Not on the Label

“Then there was an unexpected pause. The chickens from the factory’s own slaughterhouse had stopped winding through … We were given an early break. When we got back, a couple of dozen Belgian and blue Dutch crates filled with vacuum-packed [chicken] breast fillets had been pulled in. We were set to packing those instead.

The crates were labelled GMB Meats [a company that imports meat from mainland Europe], ‘use by 25 November’; the vacuum packs said the same … The vacuum packs were cut open and tipped onto the conveyor belts. Several chicken fillets fell down through the gaps and stayed at our feet while we packed into Sainsbury’s trays for the next couple of hours … Further down the line workers were sticking a Buy One, Get One free label on each pack as it emerged from the wrapper, before it trundled on to get its British red tractor logo and a new Sainsbury’s label with a … ‘use by 27 November’ date stamp.”

The extract above is taken from Not on the Label: What Really Goes into the Food on your Plate, a staggeringly terrifying book by Felicity Lawrence. I’ve read most of it with my mouth hanging open at the total arrogance that supermarkets show. They are in total control of our lives and we don’t even realise.

I’m quite seriously considering giving self sufficiency a go, a la The Good Life. All I need is an allotment, a cow and a couple of chickens. And some co-operative neighbours :0)

Seriously, this book describes a frightening future and a more terrifying present, because it is happening now. If you only buy one book this year, make it this one.

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