Food labeling - Pork
Labeling is a really quirky, grey area of food production and marketing. On one side are those that care about what is in their food and where it came from and simply ask that producers and processors state these two fundamental pieces of information. On the other side are those that constantly create new complex and creative accreditation to bamboozle the consumer, often to hide oddities or lead us into a false sense of 'doing right by the animal'.
The Pig Pledge
Pigs are known to be sensitive, social, intelligent animals with strong instinctual behaviors and are full of character. Throughout their lives they need companionship, care and an environment that allows them to exercise their natural behavior. These requirements come in the form of traditional farming methods and good animal husbandry coupled with open fields, fresh air and sound feed. The UK has some of the highest standards in the EU when it comes to pig farming however nearly 50% of our pork is important from other European countries with lower standards.
Genetically modified Granny Smith
The United States are planting their first commercially grown GM Apples. The apples, developed by a small Canadian firm, have just received approval from the USDA and will be the first approved GM apple in the USA.
Organic food on the up
Demand for organic food is is on the up, not only in the UK but in Europe and even the US. It seems people are truly becoming more interested and aware as to the origin of their food.
In Germany demand for organic food is increasing at a vast pace and supermarkets can now not afford to stock organic produce. One source stated the increase in demand was up by 8.4% in 2014 compared to the previous year. Customers are cited as saying they want to contribute to environmental protection and swear by the taste of organic foods. Some just want to be more healthy!
The recent cases in the media relating to cruelty in slaughterhouses, has brought this subject back to the forefront having been debated quite heavily in the past even after the RSPCA introduced the requirement for installation of CCTV in abattoirs from 2011. Needless to say it seems this has been ineffective.
Everyone likes to see the word 'fresh' on their food, but when it comes to produce from the supermarket just how fresh is it? The first clue is to look at the origin. If it has taken the slow boat from the far east it is unlikely to have been picked a day or two before, although to be fair a lot is now air freighted within a week to ten days . Not the end of the world, but it is not brilliant and of course there is the huge carbon cost of all that airfreighting.