Why you should NEVER trust a label

I had a great day in the garden last week – for the ONE day where it wasn’t raining.

It was a boggy, muddy experience, because I was mainly digging new beds and creating some new borders.

But it was good to get outside in the fresh air and dream about what lovely things I might grow this year.

I’ve got my seed packets all lined up and ready to go!

It doesn’t matter whether you have an allotment…. a little back garden…. or just a window box of herbs.

There is no joy greater than seeing healthy flowers, plants and vegetables growing.

But for me the greatest delight is when you pick a fruit or vegetable and eat it fresh from the soil…

…there truly is no better feeling.

Knowing that the minerals and vitamins are at optimum levels, taste and texture maximised and vibrant colours adding to a visual feast on the plate make a few hours of caring all worthwhile.

This is the proper, old-fashioned way to eat good food – because you know it’s truly organic, something that’s not so easy when you go shopping.

Why you should NEVER trust a label

As I’ve written about in the past, there is a problem with fake “organic” meat, fish, fruit and veg across the country.

Labels changed… big black marker pens used to blatantly lie on market stall packaging… sneaky loopholes exploited to bend the truth… that kind of thing.

Shoppers have been duped into buying fake free-range eggs that were actually factory farmed….

Organic Scotch Beef has been found to be poor quality beef from South America…

‘Wild’ salmon has sometimes been found to be as wild as a pet gerbil…

‘Corn fed” chicken has been found to be nothing of the sort.

But you can see why the rogue traders have moved in. A chicken worth £2 can fetch £12 when you stick on an organic label. Steak that sells for £10 per kilo can fetch as much as £29.59 if it’s “organic”.

A lot of people are making a lot of money by taking advantage of our desire to eat good food.

It’s not easy to find a solution, either.

I mean, what can you do when food manufacturers deceive you on the packet?

All I can say is that, if you can, try and buy fresh British produce from farmers’ markets, bona fide organic retailers, and good, traditional markets.

I realise this is sometimes hard for people to do. But check out this email I got from a friend of mine who reads the Good Life Letter and whose father is in the farming business.

“Supermarkets are bleeding farmers and producers dry. In a few years our dairy farms will be broke and we’ll be net importers of milk.

“We should stop buying fruit, veg and meat from the supermarkets, use farmers and normal markets instead.

“In many cases, I think it’s cheaper and a whole load tastier than supermarket stuff and when you get home there’s none of that packaging to get rid of so it’s much better for the environment too.

“It’s really satisfying to sit down to a meal knowing that more of the money is going back to the farmers and producers as opposed to lining the pockets of monopolistic supermarkets.”

What all this adds up to is profiteering by the food retailers.

They’re driving farmers and growers out of business, promoting poor quality and fake foods and then charging us a premium price by sleight of hand.

Looking out over my growing crops I feel strongly that we should all do more for ourselves.

Take any chance to grow a few salad leaves, a fresh tomato or two, even just a bit of cress on damp blotting paper will make a difference!