Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Do we really know what we are eating?

Just watching Jamie Oliver's documentary, Fowl Dinners which looks at the debate over battery-reared vs. free-range eggs and chickens..
Not a new issue but an interesting (and somewhat shocking) approach to make the commoner see the differences..
Do we really think about where the food on our plate is coming from? I think Spain seems to have a slightly tighter control on some areas - especially when it comes to DO foodstuffs, but these only represent a fraction of the total industry..
As a consumer is there any way that we can really know what we are getting? For me, these days I seem to tend more to use smaller shops like Bon Area when shopping for meat, chicken etc. Yes, it probably works out a bit more expensive but at least you know it's coming directly from the producer itself.. The supermarkets here don't always have the best produce - limp looking lettuce, dodgy steaks etc.. better to buy from somewhere that at least knows what they are selling.
After seeing this documentary, I know I'll be check for 0 or 1 marked eggs (free-range or open barn eggs).
Edited: 29th August 2008
These days, after seeing the documentary I've been more conscious about really looking at the labels to see what they contain, the source etc... And to be honest, I think the Irish and UK market is a lot more conscious to give details about the source etc. I know it's a EU requirement but Spain really sucks on giving additional information to the consumer. Started browsing some webpages of the meat product producers based here in Spain, and to be honest they talk about the processes and the machinery used, but nothing about the quality of their product nor the conditions used in obtaining that product.
Went to my usual co-op store to buy meat the other day and realised their labelling gives little or no information, just the basic requirements - indicates it's Spanish beef giving the reference (as required) but nothing given on the chicken. I mean their eggs to my shock and horror also are battery like hundreds of other producers, so I guess there's no difference between buying from the producer or the supermarket, except the prices. Not good.. :-/

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