Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Eggs Ban-edict

It's some years ago, 1988 to be exact, since Edwina Currie provoked outrage by saying most of Britain's egg production was infected with the salmonella bacteria.  She angered farmers, politicians and egg producers and eventually resigned over the issue.

Throughout the western world eggs are regularly recalled because they have been shown to contain the salmonella bacteria.

Now German consumers have been warned to avoid eggs since a highly toxic substance was found in the feed of poultry and pigs last week.  The toxin is dioxin and if you thought salmonella was nasty, dioxin is nastier.

The origin of the feed contamination has been traced to a distributor of oils for animal feed production in the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein, where oils meant for industrial use in biofuels were distributed for animal feed.

Newspaper websites quoted consumer protections groups saying that people should avoid eating fresh eggs until further information was available, while it was unclear how other products such as poultry and pork meat could be affected.  Some media said organic products were not affected.

Thousands of chicken have had to be culled while 1,000 farms were ordered to stop selling their products.

In my grandparents' days there was little or no testing on eggs or any other staple food.  It's only with continuing improvements in science that we have the choice nowadays whether to eat a certain food which has been found to contain elements not suitable for human consumption.  I'm not suggesting in Scotland we should stop eating eggs at present, but this may just make us pause at the egg counter and check the labelling before we buy.



Derek said...

This reminds me of Billy Conolly's sketch 'The Jobbie Wheeka'. In essence, it's about recylcling of our own waste product through the food chain and back into our mouths.

Our eggs are from two chickens that roam free in the garden. Whilst they get layers mash which is manufactured, they prefer grass (on which the dogs roam and excrete on), dirt, crumbs from the kitchen, and any juicy work, snail or slug. The eggs are wonderful, and we're fine than you.

I can't help think we eat more poison from processed foods, and it certainly is the easiest route for a drug that those who wish no 'jabs' to get got by.

Derek said...

Oops! Not 'work' but worm!

Dick Puddlecote said...

Blog title of the day, that. :)

Apogee said...

Hi SR, one of the problems with dioxins is the deformaties it causes in the unborn.
One wonders how dioxins were allowed to appear in anything, after the last problems with cleaning it out of the environment?

Richard T said...

I guess Sub Rosa that you and I might be of a close age. In my day, my parents, let alone my grandparents, kept a few hens which lived on whatever they could scratch up and house-hold scraps boiled up with bran mash. If eggs were bought it was from farmers but then along came the poultry Auschwitzs and, as with kye and BSE, they got fed unholy chemical concoctions for cheapness and growth and there you are.

JuliaM said...

Damn! I was planning on a nice omelette for lunch too!

JRB said...

With Derek all the way on this one –

Keep a few hens at home.

If you have a garden, no mater how small, or an allotment then you have space for a few hens.

The difference in taste quality and colour of the eggs against those you find in any shop is the difference between night and day.

And poor JuliaM, you have my sympathies if you were planning to use pale insipid shop-bought eggs for your omelette.

Subrosa, I feel sure you have room for a few Scots Dumpies running about your garden. You would be richly rewarded with the most beautiful and delicious fresh eggs.

subrosa said...

I thought about hens a few years ago Derek, once my farmer gave up after his second heart attack. Then a friend, who has a small holding, decided to get six of them. Since then I'm lucky and get a dozen a week and that's enough most of the time.

But I would have them if I didn't have my source. Lots round about here have chicken runs which they move around every 6 months or so.

subrosa said...

It just came to mind because that's my favourite egg dish Dick. Thanks, it's not often I'm so inspired. :)

subrosa said...

No idea Apogee. All the greenies going on about CO2 emissions and yet there is this poison likely to float around in the air because of incinerators.

subrosa said...

Hello Richard. I'm the Beatles 64 and yes,I remember family having chicken runs. For a couple of years before he died my grandpa had one on his allotment. (My grandparents lived in a tenement).

There's more to come by the sound of it Richard. Big Milk is trying to get the biggest dairy in Europe build down south.

subrosa said...

I'd give that a miss today Julia. :)

subrosa said...

I'm spoilt John having a steady supply but I did buy supermarket 'organic' over the holiday and you're absolutely right. They tasted nothing like my usual.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

I have had my own chickens for eight years. If you understand animals, they are easy to keep. They display a variety of amusing behaviours and have individual tastes and personalities.

If you want to ensure that chickens are factory farmed in brutal conditions and fall prey to man-made bio hazards just carry on buying non free-range eggs and cheap chicken.

If not, either stick to free range or experience the exceptional pleasure of having your own.

There is plenty more on my blog, just use the search tool on it.

subrosa said...

Thanks for the info WW. As recompense for my annual supply, I'm chief chicken lover for 3 weeks of the year when my supplier goes on holiday. It's great fun as it's usually summer. Mind you, her chickens are spoilt with a brick outhouse all kitted out as their living/sleeping quarters. It's amazing what can be done if you have a few acres.

Joe Public said...

Evening SR.

I fear it's another-day-another-food-scare.

I had (& have) the greatest respect for Edwina Currie. A politician who for once, spoke the truth even knowing it would upset many. She was castigated not for highlighting a danger to the public, but for risking egg-producers' livelihoods.

Whilst dioxins are undoubtedly at the 'nasty' end of the spectrum, I wager more people will die in car accidents on a leisure drive, than will succumb to a bad egg.

On the bright(er) side however, I note with a sense of irony, that the source was "... meant for industrial use in biofuels...." Another cost of fighting Global Warming!

subrosa said...

Joe, I purposely included the source just for you. :)

Weekend Yachtsman said...

I don't need to check the eggs in our kitchen, and they're not labelled at all.

I can just step outside and ask the hens whether they've eaten anything nasty in the last day or two.

Usually it's obvious if they have.

Problem solved.

subrosa said...

Lovely Weekend Yachtsman. There's nothing like a fresh egg. I wonder how many younger folk have ever tasted one?

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