Friday, February 15, 2013

Food Insecurity causes Food Contamination

I am a massive advocate of the “Consume what you Produce and Produce what you Consume” principle, especially with regards to agricultural and food production. I think a country like Jamaica should get most of what it consumes from local sources and only import the things it needs, not want and that are required for the production process. This principle also affords us greater control over our food supply as it allows maximum control over the entire process from the farms to the processing plants and finally to our tables.

Events taking place in the United Kingdom have only served to support my argument even more, the British woke up to find out that the beef they thought they were consuming was in fact horse meat and in some reports donkey meat have also entered the food chain. It also seemed that finding out what was in the food was the easy part but trying to locate the source or sources of the contamination was another matter altogether, they are still trying to follow that tangled web. The French and several other European countries have also tested their so called beef products and found some containing as much as 100% horse meat. As per the French the contaminated meat must have passed through several countries before finally hitting the supermarket shelves and then the tables of unsuspecting consumers.

This ladies and gentleman is what happens when we have Food insecurity, this is what happen when we have lost control of our food supply system and hand control over to countries and cultures that are completely different from our own, with different sense of moral standards where the line between right and wrong is not stringently policed and adhered to. This is what happens when we leave the process to unscrupulous, greedy people who will do anything for money.

There have been many debates online regarding the merits of eating horse meat and I say to these people, you have completely missed the point, however no one have yet defended the merits of eating Donkey meat. The issue is not the type of meat, it has nothing to do with the merits of eating horse, cats, dogs or monkey but the fact that consumers went to the supermarket to buy beef that was properly farmed, raised well, fed well and supposedly slaughtered properly but was giving cheaper horse or donkey and heavens knows what else made its way into the food chain which was completely compromised. That ladies and gentlemen is what you should be worried about, if people wants to eat Horse or donkey or Human meat for that matter, then fine but we need to control how these animal live and how these animals died and we need to make sure these foods are properly labeled so that the conscientious consumer can make the proper selection, you may not care what you eat or where your food comes from but most of us do! Not only did horse meat enter the food chain but it is reported that horse meat with Low levels of a potentially dangerous drug Bute, was found in horse meat destined for human consumption.... Found this time, only because we were looking for it this time.

This is the age old problem of greed and the age old scamming technique of Bait and Switch in which cheaper horse, donkey, cat or dog meat is bought by greedy meat suppliers and sold as higher price beef, not even the school lunch and hospital was spared. The Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals have been investigating the declining number of horses for sometime. the ISPCA claimed that a criminal gang have been stealing horses and selling the meat as Beef.

European Meat Prices:
  • Horse: 700 to 800 Euros Per Tonne
  • Beef: 3500 to 4000 Euros Per Tonne
  • Pork: 2500 Euros Per Tonne
Jamaica is no stranger to food contamination, a recent report showed that Jamaica import’s 80% of the food it consumes, most of which is already grown right here in Jamaica and as such we are undermining our local food sources, in a sense we are kicking away the legs from under our farmers and food processors simply because Jamaicans believe that if the food is imported then it must be superior to our local homegrown foods. We have given up control of our food production system to countries we have no control over.

In the past Jamaica Imported:
  • Cheap counter flour from Europe laced with insecticides, 79 persons died.
  • 1,500 Metric Tonnes of “Contaminated Rice” filled with 'dried out' rodents and frogs from the United States of America.
  • 22.73 metric Tonnes of “Contaminated Red Kidney Beans” (red peas), valued at more than $2.6 million from Belize containing “Rodent Filth”.
  • Old not fit for human consumption Chicken pieces from the United States of America
  • Pink Slime from America to make our Jamaican Beef patties


  1. I like your blog.You present a thorough discussion of the topics you write on ..well done

  2. Thank you, I really appreciate it.