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By Timbo
Membership Days Posts
#567989
As it looks increasingly like this is going to be a very relevant issue for the UK in the near future, this thread is for discussion of the merits (or otherwise) of the different food production standards / methods used in the United States, compared to those we currently apply as part of our membership of the European Union.

I'll kick this off with a bit of a mini-rant, about chlorinated chicken. There are plenty of things I have a problem with when it comes to US food standards, including the allowable level of contaminants, antibiotic use, hormone treatment etc, and yet time after time, chlorinated chicken is the hill people choose to die on when arguing this issue.

The fact, in the case of chlorinated chicken, is that it presents zero additional health risk. It is an incredibly powerful way to sterilise raw meat. The reason it is banned within the EU is ostensibly because it is too effective, specifically that the knowledge that it would be undertaken may make other stages of the handling process more lax in compliance. This is openly acknowledged in all the relevant EU documentation on the issue. What it boils down to in this case is protectionism.

Food is a very emotional topic, it cuts to the core of our being and our feeling of safety. We need to stop allowing people on both sides to manipulate this and drag pseudoscience into a debate which really needs to be a mixture of economics and proper scientific fact.

Anyway, please feel free to continue discussion of this issue and anything associated with it, below.
 
By MisterMuncher
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
#568013
The point carefully being avoided is that syncing up with US standards won't result in a new export market for UK Farmers, it'll just mean the market is flooded with US gear, with all the attendant food miles and storage/transport issues. It can only result in a race to the bottom for big farming here, that they simply can't win.

It's like trying to compete with Chinese manufacturing: you can either make crap and stack it high, or go for the high end. Problem being, artisanal production is already nearing saturation and won't, by it's very nature, scale to meet the drop in income.

It is tantamount to signing the death warrant for UK farming as a going concern.
Malcolm Armsteen, Zuriblue, Timbo and 1 others liked this
 
By Biggus Robbus
#568117
Well as I live in the US I can say "chlorinated" chicken tastes great, as does US pork, beef and turkey.

I prefer venison from hunters though, even though I do not hunt myself, also black bear is very much underrated.

The standard of the food is very high here, except for bog standard store cheese, which is not ripened and has no taste.

I buy it for cheap and ripen it myself in the tray at the bottom of the fridge.
Timbo liked this
 
By Biggus Robbus
#568118
MisterMuncher wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 10:52 pm
It is tantamount to signing the death warrant for UK farming as a going concern.
That's the issue. Even China imports a helluva lot of food from here. The amount of soy bean farming here is huge and targeted towards China. Trump's tariffs are hitting soy farmers really hard.
By Andy McDandy
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
#568124
Thanks for the insights. I did wonder if there was an aspect of the hoary old "You Yanks have no culture" argument about the issue.

Still though, spray on cheese...
 
By Malcolm Armsteen
Membership Days Posts
#568125
It isn't really about the chlorine, though - remember that it's also there to wash off the chicken shit, though but. It's also about permitted levels of antibiotics, growth hormones etc. and husbandry practices.

And do we, at this point in time, want cheaper food or better food?
 
By Biggus Robbus
#568127
I don't want the poor in either country to visit food banks/pantries first and foremost.

There is a drive to fill our local food pantries with peanut butter because that is good at staving off hunger.

There are plenty of people here who subsist on ramen noodles and the cheapass boxed macaroni and cheese. The are areas that are known as food deserts in urban America where it is extremely hard or not even possible to buy fresh food.
Timbo liked this
 
By Timbo
Membership Days Posts
#568133
Well it seems the US ambassador decided to have a pop at this issue. The ultimate truth of the matter is, the United States is a territory vastly more suited to agriculture than the majority of the UK. That is the reason it is a food-producing behemoth. It is senseless to ignore the efficiencies and scale at which they can produce what is, for the most part, fantastic food of a superb quality. Some of their stuff is clearly shite - chocolate and synthetic cheese, for example, but there was never any danger of anybody in the UK buying those in meaningful quantities anyway. I think a New Zealand style clearout of the agricultural sector is the only realistic way forward, no matter which path we choose. It is going to be painful, but given the great preponderance of the farming community towards voting leave, they clearly feel prepared to take that on the chin for the nation. Sometime around 20 years from now, the dust may have settled. Until then, we face the imminent prospect of Michael Gove being the first government minister since the end of rationing to be responsible for making sure the nation has enough to eat. Mental.
 
By Biggus Robbus
#568134
Ironically American cannot even feed America. A lot of its produce goes to China. I do not think there will be any big drive on behalf of the Tories to feed the poor of Britain.

That said America does try to improve its food. Cheap peanut butter for example. If you look at the ingredients on a jar of cheap peanut butter you will see flax seed oil, vegetable oil or canola (rape seed) oil.

Sarcasm alert.

As if peanuts do not have their own oil.

End of sarcasm alert.

So they crush peanuts to get expensive oil and use the remnants with cheaper oil to make peanut butter.

Now you can start to buy peanut butter with the peanuts original oil and it tastes so much better. You can make it yourself with peanuts and a food processor.
 
By Bones McCoy
Membership Days Posts
#568144
Biggus Robbus wrote:
Sun Mar 03, 2019 7:06 pm
I don't want the poor in either country to visit food banks/pantries first and foremost.

There is a drive to fill our local food pantries with peanut butter because that is good at staving off hunger.

There are plenty of people here who subsist on ramen noodles and the cheapass boxed macaroni and cheese. The are areas that are known as food deserts in urban America where it is extremely hard or not even possible to buy fresh food.
Food deserts? Don't tell me that the invisible hand has failed again?

My observation based on a couple of shortish working trips to the USA was that it's a very long way to the shops.
The assumption that everybody has a car, means that no car, or a temporarily broken car reduces one to instant 4th class citizen.
 
By Bones McCoy
Membership Days Posts
#568145
Biggus Robbus wrote:
Sun Mar 03, 2019 7:19 pm
The snottiness can go the other way. I am not allowed to give blood in the US because ofI resided in the UK during some the Mad Cow Disease outbreak.
Both countries have a cloudy history of failed blood screening, so I can understand the caution.
 
By spoonman
Membership Days Posts
#568158
https://www.sustainweb.org/news/feb18_US_foodpoisoning/

So not only potential rises of food poisoning, but also a significant monetary cost to the economy.

Unless any foodstuff trade deal the UK makes potentially post-Brexit sees any imports having to meet very close to current UK standards, then personally I find it unacceptable. Nothing I have read on the matter at hand over the last few years has changed my mind on this.
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Ok m8. Good chat.