It is very difficult to discover what the supermarket suppliers feed their animals. Some things you can figure out indirectly. For instance, organic butter and cream must be from cows fed grass for most of the year in the UK to gain the organic label. However, that took nearly an hour of digging around last month; I couldn’t find that information from the supermarket. Even with companies who pride themselves on producing healthier food, it is very difficult to find information on feed. I wrote approvingly about Naked Bacon back in the summer. After stumbling across concerns over too much omega-6 PUFAs in pork, I asked these folks what they feed their pigs. I was given a load of “lawyer speak” which really didn’t tell me anything. That’s never a good sign.
Which brings us along to the fresh pork I buy. I’m lucky enough to live in an area of England renowned for its food quality. Indeed, when I think about my visits to the US and Canada, and the comparatively poor quality of the food there, I’m lucky to live in a country with higher standards generally. Anyways, I know where my pork comes from because my butcher advertises where it comes from. He is so confident about the quality that he wants his customers to know his supplier: Prestige Pork. This is the most delicious pork I’ve every eaten. Perhaps more importantly, I know that they do not feed their pigs things like soya and corn which changes the fat composition of the pigs. Instead they feed their animals barley and wheat grown on their own farm. Given that pigs would eat a lot of leaves and other plant matter in the wild, this is about as good as one can expect to find. The animals look content as well:
Is it impossible for urban dwellers to find out where their meat comes from? I think it’s very hard unless one is shopping at an actual butcher. In fact, I’m coming up against roadblocks when I shop at the big supermarkets even though I live in a rural area. I’m currently buying free range chicken from Lidl; however, I’m not convinced that these are “free range” as the layman would understand them. After all, in England chickens can be considered free range if there are less than fourteen! birds per square metre. Fortunately, there is a local market that sells free range chickens. I’ll be chatting with that seller next week!