Well, at least there's meat in the burger

The Joyes of Life

Yvonne Joye

SO there is horsemeat in our burgers – 29 per cent apparently in some of them - but can I ask am I the only one who finds the detail of it all a tad vague if not more than a little confusing? I cannot quite figure out if the horsemeat is in the additives, in the binding agents or in the chunk of meat we assumed was the beef?

Now I appreciate it is a terrible situation for the beef industry what with all the repercussions and the array of reputations left, right and centre at stake but from my lowly ordinary punter point of view, I am just glad that there is actually 29 per cent of meat in a burger. It used to be one of those niggling feelings I'd get when I'd throw a few cut-price boxes of the very thing into the trolley – was there really meat in there? But the niggle would be pushed to the recesses of the mind and buried deep because I neither had the time nor the inclination to indulge it. It's a terrible thing how inquisitiveness is so easily quashed by convenience.

Of course, I am well aware that not everyone is as soulless as me when it comes to food. I know people (quite a number of them actually) who know every last detail about the food they purchase and they are most generous in sharing their knowledge, which I should naturally utilise for the benefit of my loved ones, but sadly I tend to zone out just as they are getting into their stride. So instead I trust the food technicians behind these big supermarket chains who I assume are well paid to put into the tin what it says on the tin.

Interestingly, only this past Christmas, I had my knuckles rapped by one said food technician when I complained of the price of party food on offer, particularly in respect (coincidently) of a pack of eight miniburgers. She explained to me that what I was paying for was the lengthy processes and concentrated efforts invested in creating this type of fare, along with the security of knowing it was safe food, quality food and convenient food. It all made very sound sense but personally speaking, I think it was the sachet of relish that came with them that pushed up the euro price.

Of course, the whole saga has laid bare my niggling feeling which now, in its glee, has morphed into a belligerent know-it-all with full control of the reins. Gone is my casual jaunt through frozen aisles throwing burger boxes at will into my shopping basket and it has put a stop to my gallop in assuming that what it says on the outside represents what's on the inside. Saying all that, there is an upside. Come next Christmas those mini-burgers should come cheap seeing we are only guaranteed the 'convenient' part of the equation although I still maintain (and bridle) that the expense was always in the 'dressage'. (All puns sadly intended).

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