Latest news from Big Barn and our producers.

American hormone fed Beef in our shops

Should we consumers and farmers feel threatened by the possibility of a trade agreement with the USA meaning American hormone fed beef in our shops?

At the moment under EU rules hormone fed meat and chicken washed with chlorine is not allowed in the EU and therefore UK as well. If Brexit goes through and Trump has his way this could all change.

There are three issues here, most of which were missed by the media this morning.

1. Is hormone fed meat safe to eat?
2. If it does get sold in the UK will it be clearly labelled?
3. Will our farmers be allowed to rear animals in the same way to compete on price?

What’s in the burger & bun?

1. The US Food and Drug Administration says ‘yes’ but many reports have disagreed and link breast & prostate cancer, as well as early puberty in girls to hormones in food. I would rather go without, thanks.
2. I doubt it will labelled clearly and I doubt there will be any campaigns by butchers and farmers to raise awareness of the dangers of USA Beef. Perhaps a job for BigBarn?
3. Our authorities will not allow farmers to use hormones. These kind of practices are often proved safe by corporate backed ‘scientific research’. And in 90% of cases they probably are. The 10% of cases, however, where the rules are not followed precisely could do a lot of damage.

Most experts say that we eat too much meat in the UK, so allowing more cheap meat to get in our shops will increase consumption and ultimately the tax payers bill for the NHS.

Labelling and consumer knowledge is my main concern. I once found a burger in a school kitchen that the dinner ladies thought was beef. On inspecting the label we found the only beef in the burger was 5% beef heart, the rest: 45% reconstituted chicken (bones, gristle, neck, etc), 30% rusk, 20% water, preservatives, additives, colour.

Please keep your beef Donald and enjoy our artisan cheese instead.