# 15 (2014) Can You Ever Really Trust A Food Brand?
It’s been in the news a lot lately. Evidence of the food we eat not being what it says on the packet. And just this week further news that things are not well in our supermarkets – still.
I’ve never had much faith in big companies. Anyone motivated by profit on a grand scale will turn a blind eye to anything in search of it. The manufacture processes, and distances covered for products to reach the shelves, are so long and arduous you just know someone out there is cutting corners.
When I go to the supermarket (bearing in mind the budget restrictions we’re facing right now) my motivations are price first and product content later. Also in this second place is animal welfare. I am always reminded of it. But I have two conflictions which I cannot resolve.
One, that I don’t believe most of the ‘free range’ packaging claims, so buying more expensive with the little blue tractor I’m being sold a lie. And two, I can’t afford an apparently happy and free until the day it was brutally murdered chicken for £7. In my quest to avoid these problems I even bought my own hens so I could avoid the free range egg conundrum and still be able to afford eggs in my life. One of the best decisions I’ve ever made I might add.
Generally most things I make from scratch including bread and anything that requires mixing ingredients together. I do homecut chips, pasta dishes, chinese meals and cake amongst many other culinary delights. And if I can’t afford ingredients I go without. Simple.
But I’ve recently changed a few of the basic meat products I buy (chicken, sausages and beef mince) to stay on budget and have enough to eat. Even more than before I am acutely aware that what I’m eating isn’t strictly what it says on the label. I am buying value range of course, but as the news reveals, even top range brands have fallen foul.
I figure that all the time I am buying from a supermarket I am in a no win situation where sticking to an unmoveable budget (even though prices around me continue to rise) is the name of the game. And I’m in no position to review my tactics any time soon.
Eating frugally is fine for us. It’s healthier in quantity terms and removes many temptations such as snacking, impulse buying and ‘treat days’. It’s easy to work out when you actually need to eat and when you’re being greedy.
But it does mean guilt trips every time I go shopping because I loathe contributing to a system I am so angry at. If I could afford it, and if food wasn’t one of my life’s loves, I’d go vegetarian again and have done with it. But on a tight budget, it’s an impossible diet to keep interesting.