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Not on the Label

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Igrant workers ravaged fields in Europe and the supermarket on our high street are all intimately connected Her discoveries would change the way we thought about the UK food industry for ever And when the horsemeat scandal hit the headlines in 2013 her book seemed extraordinarily prescient once again Now in this new edition of her seminal work Felicity Lawrence delves deeply into that scandal and uncovers how the great British public ended up eating horses 'A brave examination of the calamities caused by a policy laughingly called one of 'cheap. This book is essentially a window into the demise of our society morality and health The message is simple supermarkets are black holes into which all other entities are pulled and consumed remorselessly be they animals immigrant workers producers suppliers or consumers We are slaves of our creations never mind worries about artificial intelligence rising up to supersede humanity supermarkets are already doing it Taking our money whilst configuring our biochemistry in order that we become obese malnourished gluttonous depressives our sense of uality kicked to the curb in favour of an addictive desire for cheap unethically produced bastardised genetically modified odourless nutrionless slop in various gastronomical forms A great piece of journalism one that would serve the general public well if we are indeed able to enforce change with our buying power I need to make a change and I hope the advice in the afterward is some I heedIncidentally 'What a Carve Up' by Jonathan Coe is a good fictional tale of similar issues this book raises

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Felicity Lawrence's Sunday Times bestseller Not on the Label updated with extraordinary new material on the horsemeat scandal In 2004 Felicity Lawrence published her ground breaking book Not on the Label where in a series of undercover investigations she provided a shocking account of what really goes into the food we eat She discovered why beef waste ends up in chicken why a single lettuce might be sprayed six times with chemicals before it ends up in our salad why bread is full of water And she showed how obesity the appalling conditions of m. If a little out of date published in 2004 Not on the Label is a solid exposé of the industrialization and globalization of food to the detriment of the environment health society our senses and wallets Felicity Lawrence has spent 3 years investigating the global food system for The Guardian uncovering the hidden and scandalous practices involved in the journey of food from the dirt to our stomachs offering up suggestions for improvements to the system for future security as 'our current food system is environmentally ethically and even biologically unsustainable' and how the average person can do their part if they wish though she doesn't judge those that are unable to do soChicken All chicken is diseased It's not a stretch to make that statement since mass contamination takes place It only takes is one sick chicken Doesn't matter if it's organically reared they go through the same processing plants And if that wasn't enough cheap chicken breasts can contain only 54% chicken the rest is water and possibly pork andor beef which usually appear in ethnic restaurants to be eaten Muslims and Hindus In that case the recent horsemeat scandal should've come as no surprise though once again it was the Irish who brought it to light Further genetic selection has seen chickens appear like 'weightlifters on steroids' with their over large breasts crippling their legs putting undue pressure on their hearts and causing skin infections from rolling around in their own excrement Limited living space from intense farming increases disease and treatment with antibiotics resulted in antibiotic resistance which may be being passed on to humansSaladReady to eat salad is less nutritious can be diseased and the chlorine it's washed in has been linked to cancer'Supermarkets rarely have written contracts with farmers or packhouses promising to buy certain uantities although farmers are obliged to commit to supplying certain amounts to them The farmers are both reuired to take the loss on any surplus and to meet any shortfall at their own expense by importing if their own harvest does not meet demand The prices paid to farmers are nowhere near the cost of carrying a permanent workforce large enough to cope with fluctuations in demand' Half the workforce in food and catering are illegals than 2 million in the UK procured and managed by dangerous and greedy gangmasters making than £8m per year through intimidation punishment murder expanding into prostitution and drug smuggling These illegals also travel to Spain the salad bowl of the UK where intense farming practices to satisfy our demand have polluted the environment with pesticides and dried out the land turning it into desert'Ninety nine pence for a few leaves is a lot of money But 99p for an unlimited supply of servants to wash and pick over it all hidden not as in the old days below stairs but in remote caravans or underneath plastic hothouses that is cheap'Food Miles TransportWe're dependent on crude oil for agrochemicals plastics and food miles Tesco in 2002 covered 224000km in 12m lorry journeys Thirty years has uadrupled the number of products stocked by supermarkets yet the variety they offer is still limited However in an effort to cut costs supermarkets prefer to collect their goods from suppliers using their own lorries meaning small independents will have to do the same contributing to their disappearance from our high streetsThe 'falldown' begins when a customer buys something in one of the supermarket stores Scanning the barcode at the till creates a new order for the product The information is transmitted to head office electronically collated several times a day and instantly converted into a delivery schedule for the farmer or manufacturer for the following day The supplier will have estimated how much food to produce but will only get a final order a few hours ahead of the time he or she is expected to deliver to the depotThe orders can vary dramatically A spell of good weather can for example double the demand for lettuce Failing to meet a retailer's order in full can result in a financial penalty Suppliers can find themselves losing thousands of pounds But then unexpected rain might halve your order If you end up with a surplus there's hardly anywhere for it to go since the big retailers control much of the country's total market'To add to the pressure suppliers can be delisted for refusing price reductions trade with other supermarkets are restricted and they're sometimes forced asked to 'contribute to the costs of store refurbishments or openings' though absorbing volume and customer discounts such as BOGOF pressed upon them sometimes retrospectively have to be the most damaging to the health of their businesses Demands for compensation for anything and everything or just having it deducted from invoices without discussion also screams unfair practice and treatment of suppliers by supermarketsSo our salad comes from Spain our veg is also sourced from Africa and traditional English apples are overlooked in favour of foreign types Even 80% of organic produce comes from abroad These food miles actually have a detrimental effect on nutritional value since frozen veg contains nutrients than fresh imported stuff that's sat countless hours in refrigerated containersBreadLess than 2% of bread is made by independent bakers yet a few bake from scratch The rest rely on the Chorleywood Bread Process CBP which involves fats E numbers salt and 3% water taking considerably less time to make than the traditional flour water yeast recipe However skipping the proving time aggravates gluten allergies that's how these allergies came aboutFruit Veg'The beauty parade' that disualifies mildly discoloured or misshapen fruit and veg has led to 40% waste and harvesting earlier and earlier to prevent bruising giving you hard odourless and tasteless results 'Each cow may produce twice as many litres of milk a year each chicken may grow twice as fast and each hectare of wheat may yield nearly three times as many tonnes as fifty years ago but in that time 60 per cent of ancient woodlands 97 per cent of meadows with their rich flora and fauna and fifty per cent of birds that depend on agricultural fields have gone as have nearly 200000 hedges Not only has intensive farming polluted water courses it has also created problems of soil erosion and flood Industrialization of livestock has left animals prone to devastating epidemics of disease'The evils of ready meals and junk food containing corn sugar soya palm and rapeseed oil which are heavily subsidized are also extolled though I've all ready been educated on this via Salt Sugar Fat How the Food Giants Hooked UsLawrence in the Afterword

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Food'' Jeremy Paxman Observer 'Book of the Year' 'Challenges each and every one of us to think again about what we buy and eat It's almost like uncovering a secret state within the state' Andrew Marr BBC Radio 4's Start The Week 'A thorough complex and shocking insight into the food we eat in the twenty first century Perhaps this should be sold as the most effective diet book ever written' Daily Mail Felicity Lawrence is an award winning journalist and editor who has been writing on food related issues for over twenty years She lives in London. I first read this book ten years ago but it's incredible how its findings still horrify the second time around Lawrence looks to have updated most chapters with developments that have happened since the first edition and the horse meat scandal is an indictment on how deceptive our food production systems have become In the past I'd naively hoped that surely Australia isn't as bad as what goes on in the UK but there's no doubt our farmers are entrapped with similar contractual farces with Goliath supermarkets A sobering read that should be read by everyone who eats

  • Paperback
  • 272
  • Not on the Label
  • Felicity Lawrence
  • English
  • 05 February 2019
  • 9780141015668

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