The problem with U.S. meat goes beyond whole chickens
A broad coalition of U.K. supermarkets have dealt Boris Johnson an apparent blow by pledging not to stock chlorinated chicken or hormone-injected beef, should the U.K. strike an agricultural trade deal with the U.S. The Co-op and Marks and Spencer have joined Waitrose, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, and Aldi in their antagonism to the products, according to Business Insider.
Every supermarket cited support for both customers and farmers in clarifying its position, to varying degrees of firmness, largely responding to the government’s wriggling out of its manifesto pledge to protect food standards in June. They are choosing U.K. meat ahead of U.S. meat; at least when it comes to steaks and chicken breasts and whole birds.
None of the statements accounted for where chlorinated chicken is most likely to enter the supply chain: food processing plants and meal production factories. Even if supermarkets can reject the raw product, that rejection falls into the same trap that food standards protests fall into with chlorinated chicken: a clearly defined, easily protested bogeyman for consequences that are in reality much less graspable. Ready meal producers like Bakkavor, which supplies Tesco, Sainsbury’s, and other supermarkets that have made this pledge, are likely to see cost benefits if U.S. meat makes it into a trade deal, and supermarkets are unlikely to boycott huge sources of product. Maybe they will: but it’s more likely, that despite the nobility of any pledge, the burden of lower food standards will again fall on people who have the least choice in what they buy.
And in other news...
- How the best restaurants in the city are reopening — if they are reopening at all.
- Author and activist Riaz Phillips has published Community Comfort, a collection of over 100 recipes from writers and cooks of colour in the U.K., raising money for BAME victims of COVID-19.
- Cereal Killer Cafe will close permanently due to the novel coronavirus pandemic’s impact on business. It was best known for being a cafe called Cereal Killer.
- Good tweet:
Emma Barnett: would you nationalise sausages?— Eve Livingston (@eve_rebecca) July 8, 2020
Rishi Sunak: Just 50% of them up to the value of £10 between Monday and Wednesday in August