Did You Know?

Did You Know?

Misleading information we’ve come to accept…

Salad Leaves, what could be healthier?

A pile of fresh salad leaves, healthy, a nice light snack, barely any calories, you can’t go wrong right? Sadly wrong. Studies have shown that salad leaves are likely to contain more chlorine than a swimming pool! That’s right more than a swimming pool which you would expect to be highly chlorinated to reduce the spread of bacteria.

Side by side; Pictures of a swimming pool and a pile of fresh salad leaves. According to some sources, it’s likely the salad leaves contain up to 20 times the concentration of chlorine that you would find in a swimming pool.

The leaves are often washed in water treated with chlorine, an oxidising disinfectant. This process potentially could interfere with the nutrient levels.

To find out more about the processes used in treating salad leaves, click on the following link –

Truth about lettuce & salad leaves

What is the white scum we see in our frying pans?

It is associated with the practice of pumping meat. Water is added by soaking, tumbling and even injection and typically held in place by phosphate additives or other ingredients such as starch or gelatine. These additives, can enable an increase in weight of up to 10% without the company having to state added water™.

Left picture; a Gammon steak purchased from a leading supermarket, versus the picture to the right, a Gammon steak purchased from a local butcher – the latter was cheaper per kilo! (Nov 2012)

A Food Magazine survey found that ‘added water’ declarations are usually made in small print, and that some companies, such as Bernard Matthews, placed the declaration on the back of packets.

It is perfectly legal to sell watered-down food to unsuspecting shoppers, as long as you describe the water as an ingredient in the small print.

When you cook this bacon the excess water with it’s additives is released as white scum.

What is Free Range?

When you think of Free Range do you picture animals in a field roaming free, with lots of fresh air and greenery surrounding them?

For years we have believed this to be the case and have paid higher premiums in the believe that Free Range actually meant the above. Sadly, this is not always the case. To achieve FREE RANGE or FREE ROAMING status, producers must demonstrate that the poultry has been allowed access to the outside.

But allowing access doesn’t mean much. A small door in a barn with thousands of chickens technically gives chickens an opportunity to go outside, but that doesn’t mean that they’ll have access to grass (it may only be a concrete slab). Often the space afforded to these chickens is no more than the size of an A4 sheet of paper! Not quite the Free Range you thought? For chickens to produce the most healthy and flavoursome eggs and meat, they need to be able to eat a variety of green plants, seeds and insects.

85% of the Lamb consumed in the UK is brought in from New Zealand: You cannot drive anywhere in the UK (outside of main cities) without coming across a field of sheep! So why do we import 85% of our Lamb from New Zealand when we have so much of it here? Then think, if this Lamb is brought in as Livestock, what about the welfare of those animals travelling over 12,000 miles? If however it’s brought in as slaughtered meat, what about our welfare of consuming meat that has been in transportation for weeks, if not months?

A few food distribution facts…

  • The transportation of food by HGV’s (Heavy Goods Vehicles) accounts for a quarter of all miles undertaken in the UK.
  • Consumers drive approximately 12 billion miles every year to shop for food.
  • The government estimates that social and environmental costs associated with food transport amounts to £9billion each and every year.
  • If just 800 lorries were removed from Britain’s roads, that would save 23million litres of fuel each year.
  • Food transport is responsible for 2.5-3.5% of the UK’s GHG (Green House Gas emissions.) The UK is the largest sheep producer in Europe and the 3rd largest beef producer.
  • Obesity Policy; with the evidence on obesity levels growing ever more damning, the need for intervention is increasingly stark. Healthier options are a must.
  • In 2000, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation suggested that 4 million people in the UK were struggling to access an adequate, healthy diet.
  • Air freighted food miles rose 11% in 2005-06. Industry projections predict that freight traffic will increase by 6.1% per year over the next 20 years.
  • Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) believes that ‘buying local meat is critical for farmers and the countryside’ The character of our landscape here in the UK and the condition of much wildlife habitat depends upon the continued viability of our livestock farming’.
  • Defra’s (Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs) landmark report on ‘The Validity of Food Miles as an Indicator of Sustainable Development’, estimated overseas transport and transport in the UK to be responsible for 36% of the total food transports CO2 in 2002. Updated figures now put this figure at 47%, continuing a trend which has seen a 23% rise in the period 1992-2006 – We are not cutting our carbon footprint – merely treading it elsewhere!
  • The same report estimates car transport from the store to home as being responsible for 13% of total food transport CO2.