During my days in the food industry, I was often asked what could be done to make fresh foods,
Our population to area ratio is a lot larger than many other countries, so our transport costs are significantly higher.
Pricing at supermarkets has always been cutthroat – and pressure is placed on producers to supply consistently across the supermarket’s stores, cheaply and with product that holds up to conditions and to shelf life expectations.
So it was that major red and white meat producers were tasked with how to keep their produce looking good, when the greyish and dry tinges of deterioration were starting to belie the meat’s age and exposure to air.
(Rather than the more obvious and less deceptive option of managing supply chains, preparation and display within the deli department).
Similar requests came in from meat producers who needed to solve the problem of huge trays of meat in the deli case oxidising on the surface and producing brownish patching that tells us the meat is ageing. Sadly, it was not widely known amongst shoppers that the addition of a chemical additive turned the meats a vibrant, bright red. It doesn't need to be on any ingredient list, or announced anywhere, because it's considered a processing aid. Not in the interests of our better health but the result of commerce – producers responding to the demands of their customers (the supermarkets) and their customers’ expectations.
“Sadly, it was not widely known amongst shoppers that the addition of a chemical additive turned the meats a vibrant, bright red.”
Small scale, local producers are committed to consistent turnover for their livelihood to be viable. Small scale farming methods respect the product, the environment and are a better quality choice for you, the consumer. The closer you can be to the producer in the supply chain, the more nutritious the product and lower in histamine levels.
This is where you can be assured of the quality of your meat as you have direct access to the people responsible for producing it. These farmers are passionate about what they do, and happy to discuss their business as it is meaningful for them.
By supporting local and small scale farming, you are making the conscious choice to support the better health of your family, our communities and our environment.