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The problem is long food chains. If you don't know or even care who produced your food, or where, then you are, by definition, open to eating stuff that is not what you expected.

Processed foods are a symptom. It is often claimed that people are obliged to eat factory-produced rubbish for price reasons. This generally doesn't stand up to close analysis : people buy processed foods because they don't want to spend the time and effort of buying ingredients and preparing it themselves.

It is heartening to see that this scandal has caused at least some people to question their eating habits. The industrial food-processors will of course counter-attack, in an attempt to buy themselves a virginity :

Vertical integration is one way :
Horsemeat scandal: 'government warned two years ago' | UK news | guardian.co.uk

an announcement on Sunday from the managing director of Waitrose, Mark Price, who said that, as a result of recent events, the John Lewis-owned firm was planning to set up its own freezing plant to prevent cross-contamination.

This means that the food will be as "good" as the retailer wants it to be; doesn't really address the issues of the final consumer, as far as I can see.

Government testing?

The FSA has conceded it is unlikely the exact number of people in the UK who have unwittingly eaten horsemeat will ever be known. Its chief executive, Catherine Brown, said testing was the right way to address the issue and that the focus would be on areas of higher risk.

As long as the "issue" to be addressed is the narrow one of horse meat in burgers, her approach is valid, I suppose.

Fundamentally, horse meat is in hamburgers because there's money in it and they could get away with it. Like dope in cycling. When a new test comes out, they have to switch to some other dope : now that the DNA test has been demonstrated to work, you can be sure that they won't try that particular cheat again.

But that doesn't exactly instill confidence in the integrity of the factory-processed food chain. It shouldn't, anyway.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Mon Feb 18th, 2013 at 04:22:38 AM EST

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