The theme for Blog Action Day is Food and the hashtag is #bad11.
As dairy and beef farmers within the EU, we have to ensure traceability of our beef (as to sheep farmers etc too) and while there has been an emphasis in recent years for restaurants to show that they are buying Irish and buying local, sometimes I think it just doesn’t go far enough. We seem to want food to be cheaper and cheaper all the time, something that the supermarkets use to advantage by cutting the price of certain meats or vegetables which of course, means that the supplier has to take the cut too whether they like it or not. ?But good, traceable, safe, flavoursome food costs money to produce so my question is would we be better eating less of it but paying more for good food?
Last year we bought 18 chicks to rear and kill as meat. ?I estimated that each bird probably cost us an average of ?10 between the buying and feeding cost, that doesn’t include the hours we spent plucking and cleaning out. ?Yes, the birds were the size of small turkeys by the time we killed the last few but it really irks me when I go into a supermarket and see a chicken on special offer for ?5. Apart from the fact it isn’t much bigger than a sparrow, I wonder how much the supplier actually got for it.
I usually get most of our beef and lamb from a nearby butcher who we used to supply with beef heifers when we used an Aberdeen Angus bull. They have opened a little factory shop now and when I was last there, I queried where the chicken breasts I was going to buy came from – the answer was Holland so I left them back. ?The rashers were packaged in Ireland but came from Holland too so I didn’t buy them either. ?I don’t necessarily want to do Dutch farmers out of a living either but surely we have plenty of beautiful pork and chicken here which we can consume without resorting to meat that has travelled miles, plus we need to be buying more Irish in terms of doing our bit to help the economy especially if the price is going to be the same.