Latest news from Big Barn and our producers.

More food scares coming to a supermarket near you!

Thank you Tracy from Pigbusiness for mentioning BigBarn on last night’s Channel4 News. The horse meat scare has not gone away yet and is a classic example of how corporates and a very long supply chain are not good for us.

Findus was bought by a private equity company from Nestle in 2000 with the objective to make profit. Either by avoiding tax or by cutting cost. Managers all along the supply chain for frozen lasagna, were instructed to cut cost and, I would guess, special checking procedures were also cut. So scares like horse meat were bound to happen.

The BigBarn local food map

The BigBarn local food map

And many predict, will continue to happen as other ingredients are tampered with, or in time, changed to reduce cost. A number of experts, for instance, are very worried about the quantities of anti-caking agents used in the manufacture of ready meals. These contain nasties such as sodium aluminosilicate that, some say, cause dementia.

The fantastic news is that there is a better way, and not expensive. COOK local ingredients. You can ask the producer questions about how the food you buy has been produced and know that because his local reputation is at stake, he will tell the truth.

Fiona at the Loch Arthur Farm Shop

Fiona at the Loch Arthur Farm Shop

Your local food will not have the cost of; a very long supply chain where every participant has taken a margin, haulage costs, marketing, fat cat salaries, packaging and Tesco markup.

I would expect most people will be a able to make a lasagne using local minced beef for not much more that the Findus product. Or cheaper if lentils are added to the meat sauce mix!

All we need to do, as a nation, is change our attitude to buying food, and cooking. Enjoy getting the story of your food from your butcher or local producer. And cooking is not a drudge. Let’s all get in the kitchen to create and celebrate!


  1. BigBarn is such a great initiative – well done!

  2. DaveD says:

    Sodium aluminosilicate is also one of the ingredients in non-dairy creamers such as CoffeeMate.
    Besides the E554 designation,and various product names, sodium aluminosilicate also goes by sodium aluminum silicate, sodium silcoaluminate, silicic acid, aluminum sodium salt, aluminosilicic acid, sodium salt; aluminum sodium silicate; sasil; silicic acid, aluminum silicon sodium oxide, aluminum sodium silicate and, sodium aluminosillicate slurry.

  3. Rwthless says:

    I have always been fussy about what I buy. Fresh food is much safer. With slow cookers, microwave and steam cooker, the cooking time can be cut down and a pressure cooker can tenderise cheap cuts of good meat. Big Barn needs to reach more local producers as farmers’ markets only take time away from the back breaking work of producing the food. Marketing local produce is of the essence.

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