We Brits are an odd bunch, a nation fast to react to a crisis but also a nation with incredibly short memories. Take the BSE problem. Once it was discovered that the disease could cause new variant CJD, beef sales plummeted overnight. And yet as soon as supermarkets slashed beef prices the meat sold like never before – anything for a bargain. The time is ripe to change our attitudes. If we learn one lesson from recent farming problems it must be to spend more money on food – especially meat – to achieve safety and quality.
We don’t need to eat so much meat: far better to eat meat less often but, when we do, to pay more for a quality product. On Easter Sunday I ate the most brilliant leg and belly of Middle White pork. Ever since I tasted Middle White at a rare breed tasting some time ago I have been hooked. Eating normal supermarket pork now is like eating cardboard. There is no comparison: Middle White is juicy, it’s incredibly tender and the crackling works a treat. I liked the product so much I bought two live animals for my smallholding, which I have successfully bred to produce 14 piglets. Oh no, I can hear you cry, he’s not going to eat them! Get real, guys, that’s why we have 60 million animals in the UK – they’re for eating. But unlike most of the intensively reared animals, my animals will have had a life. They will have felt the warmth of the sun, they will have rolled in their mud baths, they will have been well treated, and for their short time on this earth will have enjoyed themselves.
But don’t worry, I’m not asking you to return to the days of the Second World War, when many families kept a pig in their back garden, to enjoy the taste of Middle White pork. I use a guy called Richard Vaughan, who owns one of the largest Middle White herds with a company called Pedigree Meats of Herefordshire
Tel: 01600 890 296 Fax: 01600 890 390
Once the foot and mouth crisis is over you’ll be able to buy this marvellous meat directly from him. Trust me and you’ll never return to supermarket pork again… Slowly, slowly we’ll get the message across to supermarkets to think quality before quantity.