Monday, February 11, 2013

The origin of the food that we eat

This is crazy:

1. Grocery stores in Sweden sell frozen lasagna that has been delivered by the Swedish company Findus.

2. Findus has ordered the frozen products from the French manufacturer Comigel.

3. Comigel has hired the company Tavola in Luxembourg for the actual production of the lasagna.

4. Comigel has bought the meat from the French company Spanghero.

5. Spanghero in turn has bought the meat from butchers in Romania.

Apparently, the Swedish company Findus, which continuously tests its own food, recently discovered that their 100% beef lasagna contains between 60-80% horse meat. They are now facing a law suit, and will in turn be filing a law suit against Comigel, which in turn will file a law suit… You get it.

I think the last time I bought a frozen meal was sometime before August was born, back in 2001, although we do buy processed food, such as hot dogs (and once I bought frozen fish sticks from Findus, just because I got excited about seeing a Swedish product in a store in Lebanon - I wonder if they had horse meat in them?). I have no idea where this food originates (here, it’s all just marked “Imported for you” as in “from the promised land”) – where does Oscar Meyer get his hot dog meat? – and actually, I’m not sure I want to know the path of the products that are used in the production process. 

I do know the origin of most of what we eat though, since it’s mainly vegetables, fruit and meat produced locally. I guess that’s the upside of living in a small, fairly isolated (import and trade wise) country or region: we live just an hour or two away from where our food is grown. This is noticeable in that fruit goes bad much faster here, since it has not been sprayed with preservatives. Speaking of which, I had better go have another banana before they all start turning brown.

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