Posts Tagged ‘the cost of food’

This time last year here in Ireland we were in the midst of the ‘horse meat’ scandal.  The question everyone was asking was how could there be horse meat in beef burgers, lasagne, etc. etc.?

I just wonder do people ever stop to think how is it possible to produce a pack of 10 burgers for €2.00.  Or what is the producer getting for that €2.99 chicken you’ve just bought?  If you think about it at all, it just doesn’t make sense.

Here’s a simple example from our own perspective….. and no, I am not going to talk pigs!

Let’s talk about ducks.  We buy a few every year here for the table, and some for eggs.

We buy our Aylesbury ducklings at about 10/12 weeks old.  Aylsebury ducks are not natural mothers… they seem to drop their eggs anywhere at all, and we’ve never ever had one go broody, so it is easier to buy in.  We now have a pair of Muscovy ducks who are better parents, so maybe we will not have to buy Aylsebury ducks anymore.

Aylesbury & Khaki Campbell ducklings

Aylesbury & Khaki Campbell ducklings

While the ducks are here in Redwood they live a happy life roaming freely about the place, enjoying the slugs and the flooded lawn, being taken care of and locked up at night away from any marauding foxes.

Aylesburys, Khakis and Muscovies

So today we will be having duck for dinner…. and this is what it cost us.

  • Purchase of duckling       €8.00
  • Feed for 9 months             13.50
  • Killing & preparation         4.00

Total Cost                        €25.50

Okay, we could reduce the cost by doing the killing, gutting and plucking ourselves…. but then a neighbour, who is well set up for it and does it on a professional basis will do it for €4.00 – and it does make our life that little bit easier 🙂

Ducks ready for the freezer

Ducks ready for the freezer

If we had ducklings born here, and did the killing ourselves we could eliminate those costs, that would leave just the feed which is €13.50.  If I was to supply a supermarket at that price, and get a return on my feed costs only, (forgetting about the work I have put into minding and caring for the birds) they would then add their 50% mark-up (that I believe is standard in supermarkets)…. the duck would cost you, the customer, €27.00.

So back to those burgers….. the supermarket bought that pack of 10 for a euro!  What the hell could possibly be in them at that price???????


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