Millennium Post

Hidden costs of value burgers

The horsemeat scandal that is taking Europe by storm these days is symptomatic of a much larger malaise that has been shoved down our throats by the culture of supermarkets and mega retail giants. As these huge market players decide what is good to eat and what is not, and as they increasingly monoplise the food industry with their sub-standard products, which are often not exactly what their expensive packaging want us to believe they are, our patterns of consumption are effectively being hijacked by the industry diktats. The issue of meat contamination, wherein frozen beef products have been found to be inauthentic and mixed with horsemeat, is one such instance of the rampant malpractice and fruads committed under the pretext of providing cheap meals for the millions of middle and the poorer classes all over Europe. Although eating horsemeat is not banned – there are some gourmet dishes that are prepared in France, while in China, it is a common food item – the fact that the animals used for meat processing had been treated with with a drug, phenylbutazone, that could be hazardous for humans and can cause a blood disorder known as aplastic anaemia, is a cause for major concern. As many as 16 EU countries have been affected by this meat contamination scam, which has clearly jolted the Europeans out of their gastronomic certainties. Well-known retail giants, such as Aldi, Findus and even the British mega brands Tesco, have been found to have stored frozen products which have been questioned by the food security agencies in the respective countries for being not upto the mark.

Murky trade in farm animals, using diseased and drug-treated animals for meat, feeding contaminated and polluted grains and fodder to the animals – such practices have been around for a long time now, but the proportions to which they are being exercised currently is really mortifying. Excessive consumption of meat has been linked to a range of cardiovascular diseases and is one of the chief contributors of obesity in the western world. Adding woes to the existing litany of problems is the injestion of food items, such as ready made lasagne or value burgers, which have a huge consumption base and is often eaten by unsuspecting teenagers and children, along with the fizzy drinks. This trading maze must be probed and exposed right upto the very last subcontractor who is party to this heinous international criminal conspiracy.
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