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BS: foot and mouth

Greyeyes 11 Mar 01 - 02:56 PM
Greyeyes 11 Mar 01 - 02:47 PM
Greyeyes 11 Mar 01 - 02:39 PM
sian, west wales 11 Mar 01 - 02:10 PM
Greyeyes 11 Mar 01 - 07:41 AM
Greyeyes 11 Mar 01 - 07:07 AM
Llanfair 11 Mar 01 - 06:43 AM
Fiolar 11 Mar 01 - 05:49 AM
Sorcha 10 Mar 01 - 11:12 PM
Jon Freeman 10 Mar 01 - 10:42 PM
Greyeyes 10 Mar 01 - 07:42 PM
Jon Freeman 10 Mar 01 - 07:17 PM
Greyeyes 10 Mar 01 - 05:58 PM
Gervase 10 Mar 01 - 01:04 PM
Gervase 10 Mar 01 - 01:00 PM
Peg 10 Mar 01 - 12:55 PM
Gervase 10 Mar 01 - 12:40 PM
Greyeyes 08 Mar 01 - 04:56 PM
GUEST 08 Mar 01 - 01:15 AM
Hawker 07 Mar 01 - 05:12 PM
Grab 07 Mar 01 - 08:31 AM
Gervase 07 Mar 01 - 05:06 AM
GUEST,Pete M at work 06 Mar 01 - 07:08 PM
Peg 06 Mar 01 - 03:08 PM
McGrath of Harlow 06 Mar 01 - 02:13 PM
Megan L 06 Mar 01 - 02:07 PM
Metchosin 06 Mar 01 - 12:59 PM
John J 06 Mar 01 - 12:40 PM
Steve Parkes 06 Mar 01 - 10:28 AM
sian, west wales 06 Mar 01 - 09:51 AM
GUEST,Patrish 06 Mar 01 - 09:35 AM
Gervase 06 Mar 01 - 08:59 AM
Steve Parkes 06 Mar 01 - 05:23 AM
sian, west wales 06 Mar 01 - 05:00 AM
Dave the Gnome 06 Mar 01 - 04:21 AM
BanjoRay 05 Mar 01 - 07:31 PM
Llanfair 05 Mar 01 - 06:21 PM
Greyeyes 05 Mar 01 - 04:21 PM
oggie 05 Mar 01 - 03:01 PM
Dave the Gnome 05 Mar 01 - 07:06 AM
KingBrilliant 05 Mar 01 - 06:53 AM
Dave the Gnome 05 Mar 01 - 06:45 AM
KingBrilliant 05 Mar 01 - 05:14 AM
Liz the Squeak 05 Mar 01 - 02:49 AM
Metchosin 04 Mar 01 - 08:08 PM
Greyeyes 04 Mar 01 - 07:58 PM
Greyeyes 04 Mar 01 - 07:46 PM
Sorcha 04 Mar 01 - 07:38 PM
Metchosin 04 Mar 01 - 07:28 PM
TamthebamfraeScotland 04 Mar 01 - 07:09 PM
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Subject: RE: BS: foot and mouth
From: Greyeyes
Date: 11 Mar 01 - 02:56 PM

Getting a bit long So click here for part 2


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Subject: RE: BS: foot and mouth
From: Greyeyes
Date: 11 Mar 01 - 02:47 PM

Sorcha, horsemeat is consumed in most European countries, but in the UK we have as strong an aversion to it as Americans. It was widely consumed throughout the last war, but was rarely advertised for what it was; butchers thought up various euphemisms for it, and people pretended they didn't know what it was.


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Subject: RE: BS: foot and mouth
From: Greyeyes
Date: 11 Mar 01 - 02:39 PM

Good article about the effect of F&M on the tourist industry here


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Subject: RE: BS: foot and mouth
From: sian, west wales
Date: 11 Mar 01 - 02:10 PM

They announced yesterday that there is a suspected case just west of Carmarthen. This is very bad, as it is in a completely new area of Wales. As above, Tourism really is suffering ... as is everything else. My friends have a small pub / family-run hotel in Carmarthen town centre and there were all of 10 people in on Friday night. 10! On a Friday night!? If the case here is confirmed ... well, I hate to think.

And if anyone wants an allotment ... you can have one in town here for 2 ukp, and that includes the 1 ukp for the key to the gate! But you can't give them away!

<< big sigh>>

sian


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Subject: RE: BS: foot and mouth
From: Greyeyes
Date: 11 Mar 01 - 07:41 AM

Click here for Fairtrade info


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Subject: RE: BS: foot and mouth
From: Greyeyes
Date: 11 Mar 01 - 07:07 AM

Jon, I'm deeply envious. The one thing I really miss since moving away from my parents place (apart from the dog) is the fresh veg they grew.

Llanfair, bravo. Did you know it was "Fair Trade Fortnight"? Look for the fair trade logo on products and the producers are guaranteed a reasonable price for their crop, instead of being ripped off by the supermarkets in the way described above with the African mange tout.


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Subject: RE: BS: foot and mouth
From: Llanfair
Date: 11 Mar 01 - 06:43 AM

Sorcha and Grab, all UK towns and cities have allotments, mostly under used, which can be rented for about £30 a year. If I were forced to live in a city again, I would have one, or two!!
Now that the Deri woods are closed, and we are officially in an infected area, even though the nearest case is miles away, the town is deserted today. Usually people are coming to walk in the woods, or to attend one of the 3 places of worship, but there is no-one about.
I have taken this thread seriously when it comes to supermarkets, and my monthly shop was just for basics like pasta, rice, tea and coffee. Our local butcher sells beef and lamb that he raises himself and knows personally, so I will be buying from him in future, and planting veg seed is well under way in the greenhouse and propagators.
The hens have started laying again, too, so there is some good news!!
Bron.


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Subject: RE: BS: foot and mouth
From: Fiolar
Date: 11 Mar 01 - 05:49 AM

Interesting in that all the postings no mention has been made about the inpact on the British Tourist industry. The hoteliers and others in the areas banned to tourists are facing bankruptcy. Farmers will get compensation but people living in such places as the Lake District and other beauty spots will get zilch. Already many have had canellations and have had to lay off staff. Another point made in one of today's papers is that 75 percent of organic food is bought by only seven percent of consumers.


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Subject: RE: BS: foot and mouth
From: Sorcha
Date: 10 Mar 01 - 11:12 PM

It just keeps getting worse, doesn't it? Will all of Europe and the UK end up being vegetarians by force? Vegan/Vegetarian is, of course possible, but it takes a LOT of attention to diet, which most people are not willing to do.

I am given to understand that horse meat is human comestible in Europe......horses can move F & M on their feet, but they don't contract it, so the meat would not be contaminated. Being from the US, I just don't think I could wrap my head around horse meat unless I was awfully hungry.

Somewhere above, someone mentioned the impossiblity of gardening in a flat complex. It's not impossible, just difficult. You have to want to very badly. First,

there is Roof top container gardening. Lots of miniature veggies have been created (hybridized) just for this. Baby carrots, Petite Pois, Cherry tomatoes, etc.

Second, there is "hanging basket" gardening. All you need is a sunny window.......

Third, in the US there is a movement called Community Gardens for people without land, space or dirt. The land is owned by Person or Entity A who rents out parcels of the dirt. The owner tills, and you plant, fertilize and harvest as you wish. At the end of the season, you clean up your own plot and next spring, the Owner tills again. Water bills are divided on a ratio basis.

We have two Community Gardens in my town, even though it is called The Gardening Town of Wyoming. Everybody has a garden and getting rid of produce in August gets very creative! One plot is owned by the Episcopal Church, the other by the City. Maintenance on both is done by the local junior college.


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Subject: RE: BS: foot and mouth
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 10 Mar 01 - 10:42 PM

A lot more confident now I am temporarily living with my parents Greyeyes - they have a nice little vegetable plot (not to mention their own hens).

Jon


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Subject: RE: BS: foot and mouth
From: Greyeyes
Date: 10 Mar 01 - 07:42 PM

Are you confident the veg you buy & eat isn't coated in chemicals, Jon? The Govt. recommended several years ago that all non-organic carrots should be peeled before eating. If the Govt. admit there is dodgy stuff on unpeeled carrots, it must be pretty dodgy: it took them years to admit beef might be a bit iffy.


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Subject: RE: BS: foot and mouth
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 10 Mar 01 - 07:17 PM

One could always eat more vegetables.

Jon


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Subject: RE: BS: foot and mouth
From: Greyeyes
Date: 10 Mar 01 - 05:58 PM

Gervase, that was exactly the point of my post, which I think you attributed to Grab. Free-range and organic meat is prohibitively expensive for most people, but if you shop for the cheap cuts/offal/wobbly bits, whatever you want to call them, they can often be cheaper than the over butchered, skinless, flavourless, plastic wrapped, chemical saturated garbage that most people live on.

We're all busy people, taking a bit more time over your shopping rather than throwing factory farmed junk into your Tesco trolley is better for you, better for your children and better for the planet. If you think it's important you'll find the time. If you don't care, you won't.

I too have fond childhood memories of my mother up to her elbows in pig's brains making brawn. Not a pretty sight, but it hasn't put me off the wobbly bits.


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Subject: RE: BS: foot and mouth
From: Gervase
Date: 10 Mar 01 - 01:04 PM

...my mother did draw the line, however, when I found a large and long-dead mouse in the garden and tried to dissect it on her best wooden chopping block, using carpet tacks to hold down the skin and bits while wrapping a scarf around my face because, even to me, it was a bit high.
Unreasonable harpy!


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Subject: RE: BS: foot and mouth
From: Gervase
Date: 10 Mar 01 - 01:00 PM

Ah, but then you sweet-talk your butcher and get the organic stuff...and leave the 10-foot pole for Tesco's!
But why the problem with sweetbreads? They're just the thymus gland of a young-ish sheep. Sheeps' tescticles, on the other hand, are much more chewy and an acquired taste...(but I speak as one whose mother was an offal addict. I was raised on brains and bits, and a whole pig's head boiling on the hob would be a treat - especially as an inquisitive seven-year-old who loved collecting skulls...but maybe I should just keep quiet about my upbringing in case the social workers come calling!)


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Subject: RE: BS: foot and mouth
From: Peg
Date: 10 Mar 01 - 12:55 PM

Gervase;

while I confess I have often found these sorts of foods repugnant (glad I knew what sweetbreads actually were before I tried them thinking they were pastry), I think one reason people may be averse to eating them these days (why I am, at any rate) is the decline in standards for hygiene in the meat industry. So much more salmonella, e coli, etc. being found. Also, animals are pumped full of all sorts of poisons (anti-biotics, hormones, not to mention whatever pesticides they absorb from their food or heavy metals or toxic waste in their drinking water); and these organs often are the sites where such poison is filtered, so toxins would be more concentrated than in muscle meats....

I used to love *fresh* calves' liver when I was a kid (we would get it fresh when we had our butchered side of beef delivered to us twice a year) but I would not touch it now with a ten foot pole...


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Subject: RE: BS: foot and mouth
From: Gervase
Date: 10 Mar 01 - 12:40 PM

Grab - so right! What is wrong with people that they won't eat offal (or meat at all, unless it's pre-prepared, bloodless and wrapped in sanitised plastic)?
Give me the inner organs of beasts and fowls - nutty gizzards and kidneys with a faint tang or urine - any day.
But that's one of the problems surely; people don't like their food to taste of anything. I remember buying some cheese a couple of weeks back and the Saturday kid behind the counter apologised because it was "on the turn". It wasn't - it was just coming to perfection (which, being a Chaume, was pretty bloody pungent, I have to confess), but when I got him to taste a bit he could finally see that it was meant to hum, and that the stinky, gamey taste was actually what it was all about. But he still let me have it half price because "most people don't like it when it's gone this far". Maybe I should give him some of my jugged hare...
Or maybe I'm just strange. I do like food that stands up and demands attentiom though. Andouilettes, stuffed hearts, tripe, tongue, brawn, haggis, oxtail, trotters, devilled kidneys...Ah, all those bits that now go into pet food and cheapo pies that we used to love for themselves.
(sighs and slinks off to inspect the fridge, looking for the most pungent thing in there....)


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Subject: RE: BS: foot and mouth
From: Greyeyes
Date: 08 Mar 01 - 04:56 PM

I may have sounded a bit 'holier than thou' above. I know it can be difficult making the effort and meeting the expense of ethical shopping, but I live a hectic, busy life and don't earn a huge amount. I am, of course, single, so am only shopping for me, which makes it significantly easier and cheaper than shopping for a family. I am also fortunate in that I actually enjoy cooking.

Part of the problem is we have not only become accustomed to cheap food, but have grown unaccustomed to eating the really cheap stuff. A sheep's head will feed a family of four for several days; tripe, liver, hearts, kidneys, brains, belly of pork, scrag end of lamb, a bit of boiling bacon. If you are really thrifty you can eat humanely reared British meat very cheaply. most people simply don't care enough, and would rather buy battery reared skinless chicken breasts in polystyrene trays, just as they'd rather shell out for pre-prepared frozen chips and veg rather than make the effort of buying fresh spuds and veg and preparing them themselves.

If you really can't get to an independent greengrocer or butcher, at least make sure you only buy seasonal British produce from the supermarket. English Purple Sprouting Broccoli is just coming into season; it is wonderful, nothing like the ordinary broccoli most of us are used to. Look for it at your local supermarket and if it isn't there, ask to speak to the manager and find out why.

On the F&M front, just as you though it couldn't get any worse....


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Subject: RE: BS: foot and mouth
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Mar 01 - 01:15 AM

Be vigilant?

Why?

It's not as if it's incredibly dangerous, or anything.

Get rid of BSE, instead.

What's that saying? Take care of the pennies....


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Subject: RE: BS: foot and mouth
From: Hawker
Date: 07 Mar 01 - 05:12 PM

Hi, Update from MAFF website
as at 4 p.m. today (7th March) UK time,this was the following horror story.....
47,907 animals have been slaughtered
36,713 animals are awaiting slaughter
86 confirmed cases (including 1 in N Ireland)
151 premises are still under form A restrictions - these are served on premises where an affected or suspected animal is found or where it is suspected that Foot & Mouth exists.
A local radio programme today had a veterinarian on stated that the virus could live on the soles of shoes and tyres for up to 6 months
be vigilant!
Lucy


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Subject: RE: BS: foot and mouth
From: Grab
Date: 07 Mar 01 - 08:31 AM

Part of the problem is actually _finding_ good-quality butchers, greengrocers, etc. We're lucky in that we've got a good butcher just round the corner from us, but we've yet to find a decent greengrocer. Lacking any other options, it's Tescos for our veg.

Gervase, home-grown is great when you live somewhere with some land. But if you're in the 20th floor of a block of flats, you're a bit out of options, and growing veggies on the carpet is usually not appreciated by the neighbours! ;-)

The irony is that the only way to stop this method of farming and stop the power that supermarkets have over farmers is to go back to protectionist pricing policies (ie. we can't import ultra-cheap stuff from abroad and destroy farming in our own country); allow government subisidies for farming a particular way (and the EU Common Agricultural Policy has just been a _huge_ success, hasn't it?); or dream up laws which give farmers more rights over pricing which will raise the price of food in the shops, cost consumers money, and therefore increase inflation. Hmm. Of course, if the farmers ganged together in co-operatives, as they used to, then the supermarkets would have less clout over individual farmers - as it is, they're hanging separately instead of hanging together.

As far as the effects of F&M restrictions go, I fly hang-gliders, and that has basically stopped completely for the duration. Hill sites are mostly sheep-farming areas so those are out, and flat-land winch sites are on or near farms. And even if the site wasn't restricted, you can't guarantee where you'll come down on a cross-country flight. The national competition panel has said they'll refuse to accept any competition entries, and most local clubs have said they'll expell anyone caught flying from a restricted site.

Grab.


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Subject: RE: BS: foot and mouth
From: Gervase
Date: 07 Mar 01 - 05:06 AM

Steve,
I agree; buying all organic is more expensive. But consider the alternatives. Next time you're in the queue for the checkout, look at the baskets and trollies around you. Many will be filled with processed foods, prepackaged and branded, which cost far more than better-quality DIY food.
Ready-made pizzas, ready-to-cook meals, pre-prepared veg - all of them are hugely more expensive than knocking up some dough, preparing a meal with the basic ingredients or simply topping and tailing your own veg. And that way, you'll know what your family is eating without having to deciper a string of E-numbers.
For too long in the UK nutrition was not taught as it should. As a result, a whole generation of families on low incomes has been buying absolute junk and effectively wasting a large proportion of their weekly budget. And that's to say nothing of the helath implications. Remember the obesity figures last month - which were most worrying in the lowest socio-economic groups.
There are wider considerations, of course - time and the tyranny of the modern work ethic being one of them. But I've had to support a family on an income below benefit level, and we ate like kings - masses of good thick bean soups made with a piece of bacon hock that cost around 50p and plenty of pasta augmented with as much fresh fruit and veg as we could afford. And, though we were poor, we didn't feel poor (but maybe that was down to the home-brew, the home-grown and the elderberry wine!).


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Subject: RE: BS: foot and mouth
From: GUEST,Pete M at work
Date: 06 Mar 01 - 07:08 PM

Hi all,

just a few comments, easy stuff first: Peg, if you are doing a long post "rant" or not, try writing it using your favorite WP program and then doing a "copy and paste" into the dialog box in the thread, that way (providing you save your work as you go, you can't loose it)

Here in NZ we have probably the most vulnerable economy in the developed world to F&M, and there is consequently hightened awareness of the problem now. BUT the inportant thing to remember is that F&M is endemic in about three quarters of the world, and the only way it is kept out of NZ, usually the UK, and other countries is by very stringent border control. Now this of course costs money both directly in paying the MAF officials, the disinfection programmes etc and in "inconvenience" to travellers, extra cost for importers, delays to airline schedules etc.

So like the "method of farming" debate it all comes down to whaT WE collectively are prepared to pay and as has been noted above some people are not even prepared to give up their "rights" to walk in the country to prevent the spread of this disease, let alone be inconvenienced in their travel or pay more for their food.

I understand very well Steve that choice in buying food is not an option for many, but it is true that "cheap at point of purchase" has been the policy of the UK, and most other Western governemnts for a long time. It is not this policy but how it has been achieved that is, if not the root cause, at least a major contributor. It has been unfashionable for a long time to consider the systemic outcomes of policy rather than the easily counted "outputs" and the "purely" economic argument for currently advocated farming methods whether intensive farming in Western Europe, the US, etc or the replacement of food with cash crops in developing nations ignores, as it is required to do by the rules, the external cost whether in health, social disruption or consumer costs.

Of course there are no easy answers, but anyone even attempting to quantify the problem effectively flies in the face of received wisdom. Friedman, Reagan, Thatcher and Douglas (their disciple in NZ) may all be gone and best forgotten , but their shadow is long.

Pete M

PS We lived in Tavistock on the edge of Dartmoor for many years so I'm well aware of the problems in that area, and I have a small herd of goats so I also have a very personal interest in this subject.


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Subject: RE: BS: foot and mouth
From: Peg
Date: 06 Mar 01 - 03:08 PM

well I just typed out a huge diatribe about the humane farming initiative I helped fight for a few years back...and how/why it was defeated...but I got logged off and it disappeared! Wish Mudcat had a way to safehguard our rants!

anyway, the humane farming initiative (in Massachusetts) would have helped small farms by allowing them to sell certified organically-raised, cruelty-free animal products to consumers willing to pay more for such things. The bill was defeated by a very visible counter-campaign known as the "Save the Family Farm" movement. Only thing the family farms didn't know: that expensivce campaign was paid for by none other then THE FARM BUREAU: one of the organizations which represents the huge corporate agribusinesses which have been systematically putting American farmers out of business for decades.

The humane farming initiative would have forced huge agribusinesses to stop all their production-boosting practices: forcing slaughter of tumor-ridden animals (instead of allowing the carcasses to be trimmed of pathological growths and sold for pet food and sometimes human food); forced decrease of use of antibiotics and hormones; larger cages for hens; better treatment of veal calves; cleaner conditions on pig farms, etc.

It lost. It lost and the people who voted against it don't even know why they were against it. They thought its supporters were a bunch of vegetarian outsiders with no interest in the local farming community. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Since then I have realized the insidious profit motive that lies behind farming in the US. It is all about the bottom line. Hence, more and deadlier pesticides, lower and more competitive milk prices forcing farmers to dump milk, "government-donated" dairy commodities like cheese and butter for the poor (a good thing but these surpluses only exist because of wrong-headed government subsidies to the farmers who needed them least)...

It is with a heavy heart to see the situation in the UK and western Europe. As a confirmed anglophile and UK traveller, I usualy think of England as a placew of pastoral beauty, where locally-grown and raised food is available in every corner shop. Sadly, in recent years, I see more and more litter in public places, more and more hypermarkets, more and more Americanization (especially the beer and music in pubs, ick!!), more and more Burger Kings and McDonalds', more and more supermarkets with the meat all packaged prettily in plastic, as opposed to "on the hoof" like in the local butcher shop...

You'd think it was turning into America. What happened??? How can we help?


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Subject: RE: BS: foot and mouth
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 06 Mar 01 - 02:13 PM

"The only supermarket chain I'm remotely comfortable using is Waitrose" - you might try the Co-op as well.


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Subject: RE: BS: foot and mouth
From: Megan L
Date: 06 Mar 01 - 02:07 PM

Thanks Steve your right it's great to have high ideals if you can aford them, unfortunately £75 a week means you feed folk on what you can get.


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Subject: RE: BS: foot and mouth
From: Metchosin
Date: 06 Mar 01 - 12:59 PM

sian the last outbreak in Canada in 1952 was reputed to have come from homemade sausage brought in by a European immigrant. I would suspect that swine would be the most likely point of entry, given the fact that, at least when I was more current in my association, resturaunt scraps and outdated supermarket produce and dairy products were commonly fed to pigs here and I Imagine still are.

As an Agriculture Inspector at Vancouver International Airport, I found it was amazing the variety of products people tried to bring in, either unwittingly or smuggled in their baggage and the flack we took, no matter how carefully and patiently we explained the implications of their banned goods, was incredible. We were always understaffed and I would imagine given today's international traffic, even more so.

Cold comfort I know, but the call has been put out here for government Vets from B.C. to go over and help, so at least I may feel that my tax dollar in Canada is offering some small assistance.


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Subject: RE: BS: foot and mouth
From: John J
Date: 06 Mar 01 - 12:40 PM

BBC Radio 4, PM prog @ around 5.30pm 6th March. Meat prices are increasing. Farmers prices are not. Nuff said.


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Subject: RE: BS: foot and mouth
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 06 Mar 01 - 10:28 AM

You're overlooking the fact that there are an awful lot of people who simply can't afford to buy any but the cheapest food, however unethical. When it comes to a choice between barely feeding your kids or being politically correct (and I don't mean that in a negative sense), then there's no choice. Granted, some people chose to be parsimonious -- they are open to persuasion, but there are those who don't have the luxury of choice. I now I'm starting to sound like my dad now, but there just ain't any simple answers!

Steve


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Subject: RE: BS: foot and mouth
From: sian, west wales
Date: 06 Mar 01 - 09:51 AM

Amen!

I'm lucky - I live across the street from our main provisions market and can do a lot of shopping on Saturday. However, it helps if the sellers help us out by doing their bit. As I'm sure happens in other rural towns, shops still open as though all women are stay-at- home housewives and can shop from 9 - 5. Well, I work those hours, and just far enough from the town centre to make lunch-time shopping impractical. So I have to freeze stuff. We also have a monthly farmers' market (presumably cancelled for the time being), which opens from 10-4 on a Friday, for gosh stake! Not open when you go to, or come from, work, and not all offices have facilities for cold storing food if you shop at lunch.

So, it takes some pulling together at each end to make this work.

I for one will make a(nother) Lenten promise - to give up buying meat and veg at supermarkets!

sian


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Subject: RE: BS: foot and mouth
From: GUEST,Patrish
Date: 06 Mar 01 - 09:35 AM

A brilliant rant Gervase!
I am inspired to attempt to try what you advocate.
Patrish


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Subject: RE: BS: foot and mouth
From: Gervase
Date: 06 Mar 01 - 08:59 AM

Dave, et al,
You're right - the long-term solution is down to us as consumers. We get our food both too cheaply and at too high a price.
Without wanting to sound preachy or holier than thou, we should all buy ethically. For me that means not using the big chains. The only supermarket chain I'm remotely comfortable using is Waitrose (and that because, maybe naively, I feel that as part of the John Lewis partnership it is that bit more ethical).
Instead I've rediscovered the joys of shopping. My local butcher has become a mate, and the delights of seasonal eating have returned. OK, he charges maybe 10 per cent more than Tesco's around the corner, but his meat is 100 per cent bettter, it's organic and you can see on the blackboard behiind the counter where it's come from in most cases from farms less than 15 miles away). As a result meat has become a treat - I only eat it a couple of times a week, but I'm happier and healthier that way.
But the problem is to do with more than just meat. Pick up a pack of mange-tout in Sainsburys/Tesco/Asda/Safeway and read the label.- It says "only" 99p, yet it's been grown and picked in Kenya by farmers who are paid the lowest prices the chains can squeeze; who have to grow the bloody stuff with the aid of tonnes of chemicals to survive rather than produce crops that are economically and nutritionally useful to their own population. Then it's been flown in a jet using tonnes of polluting aviation fuel just so you can enjoy the freakish sensation of baby peas in March.
It's more than freakish - it's almost obscene. As obscene as Peruvian asparagus in February or Chilean strawberries in January.
So don't buy them.
Make new friends by using proper independent butchers, bakers, greengrocers and fishmongers and market stallholders - because if you don't, they'll close up and leave the high street to the chains. Be a bolshie bugger and ask awkward questions - where does this come from? Can I eat this without harming myself, anyone involved in its production or our planet? Be passionate about what you eat and communicate that passion. And, if you can, grown your own food. Then you'll know what mange-tout shuld taste like and you'll cherish the months when you can eat 'em. Shoot your own - a walked-up pheasant or a fat woodie that's been stuffing its crop with your peas has had a bloody sight better life than a battery hen, and it tastes better too.
And make a conscious decision to stuff the supermarkets. Cut up your loyalty cards and chuck 'em - they're just ways of hooking you the consumer into their cosy cradle-to-grave cocoon. Tell your friends, family and colleagues and explain why you're doing it. Be proud of being 'different' or 'difficult' - and, let's face it, as folkies we're used to that!
Remember the boycott of South African produce? That was derided as 'woolly liberal faddishness', yet it made a difference. Ask the South African wineries and they'll tell you.
So get angry - but direct your anger. If there's a phone-in on the local radio on food issues, take part. Write to your local paper. Educate your kids - don't let them graze on junk, but fill their minds and bodies with wholesome stuff. None of us needs most of the crap we consume.
Make that difference.


Sorry, end of rant!


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Subject: RE: BS: foot and mouth
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 06 Mar 01 - 05:23 AM

There have been some cases reported, in the Forest of Dean for exampe, of idiotic walkers actually removing warning notices and then walking in closed areas. A farmer in Bucks (I think) had a lot of equipment stolen from his quarantined farm; presumably the thieves went to or from other farms, taking the virus with them.

Steve


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Subject: RE: BS: foot and mouth
From: sian, west wales
Date: 06 Mar 01 - 05:00 AM

BanjoRay, you heard more-or-less correctly. It was a man from Telford who went walking in Snowdonia, fell, and had to be rescued. There is a provision for fines up to 5000ukp, but I haven't heard what has actually happened. I hope they throw the book at him. It wasn't like he wasn't warned. I understand that, apart from all the news reports, Gwynedd County Council actually paid for ads in the English press telling people to stay clear.

Dave, I work for Wales Rural Forum which has been preaching community, environmental and economic sustainability for years, and doing a lot of work on added value local produce. Alternatives do exist, but it seems that people sit up and take notice only when there's a crisis - BSE, F&M, etc. I must also say, however, that having a National Assembly here in Wales, weak though it may be, is a bonus. If you're really a legislative junkie, you could get the NAW consultation document: Farming for the Future,

LtS, you're right about the haulage and the local abatoirs. With the exception of Anglesey, and the cases right on the Wales/England border, Wales has so far remained free of the disease. We don't exactly have very local abatoirs, but we have a fair few that are going strong so haulage isn't as big an issue. At government level, Wales has done some stirling work in terms of developing local produce into premium rate goods, and I think our farming community's practices reflect the potential in that market. The trick with abatoirs, of course, is the "adding value". The real profit lies in processing the carcasses into the above, not just killing and shipping out.

Another thing: we always talk about supermarkets but the fast food market creates even more pressure on farmers.

For countries free of F&M at present, it's worth noting that one hypothesis is that the disease came into the UK via food scraps from airports and international flights which were then fed as slops to pigs. If this is true, or even if it's scientifically possible, it's a lesson that needs to be acted upon.

Oh, dear. Snow over there. F&M (and possibly floods before the end of the week) over here. Point me in the direction of a good news thread, someone!

sian


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Subject: RE: BS: foot and mouth
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 06 Mar 01 - 04:21 AM

Good on yer, Greyeyes. buying from the 'quality' end of the market is certainly a start and is something I will be doing far more of from now on.

I used to think it was daft buying, say, a 1Kg piece of scottish beef when I could buy 2kg of the 'supermarket special' for the same price. I now realise it was just my greed. I don't need 2Kg but it is all you can get if you want to buy cheap. I end up giving some to the cat!

Can anyone show me though how to determine that the extra cost is realy going to the food producers to improve standards and not to a greedy middle-man? It would certainly help pacify the side of my brain that hunts for bargains! And I suspect it would then become a better argumant for everyone to take up.

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: foot and mouth
From: BanjoRay
Date: 05 Mar 01 - 07:31 PM

I was told today that apparently someone went walking in the forbidden Snowdonia hills this weekend and found him(her)self in difficulties. The person called out the mountain rescue team who fished them out of trouble. (S)he was then fined £5000 for breaking the Foot and Mouth regulations! Does anyone know if this is true, and any factual details - I'm wondering if its a case of getting fined for using a mobile! heh heh.... anyway it would damn well serve them right!

Cheers
Ray


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Subject: RE: BS: foot and mouth
From: Llanfair
Date: 05 Mar 01 - 06:21 PM

Greyeyes, I'm glad you mentioned the price of lamb. It is one of the most expensive meats you can buy, but the farmers get very little for lambs. The more "out of season", the better the price, therefore lambing can be underway just after xmas. The lamb mortality rate, even with indoor lambing, is 20% A FIFTH OF LAMBS BORN EVERY YEAR DON'T SURVIVE!!!
Why? the encouragement of multiple births. Farmers make nothing from the skins, they used to be exported to Russia, but not now. Fleeces are worth less than the cost of shearing, and no-one eats mutton any more.
F&M is the last straw.
Welshpool was like a ghost town today, market day. The roads are deserted as there are no visitors, and many social activities have been cancelled for the duration. We're waiting for confirmation of a case at Churchstoke, 16 miles away.
Bron.


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Subject: RE: BS: foot and mouth
From: Greyeyes
Date: 05 Mar 01 - 04:21 PM

To some of us spending on ourselves MEANS food. I am more of a foodie than I am folkie. For many years I have only bought meat from the quality end of the market. I can't afford to buy entirely organic, but I only buy British meat, outdoor reared pork, free range chicken & eggs. I try whenever possible to use small independent butchers or farmers markets. I eat a lot of fish. Quite simply, it is the responsible thing to do, if you have any concern at all about the sort of world you want to leave behind for your children and grandchildren.

Supermarkets may appear to be giving food away, but a couple of years ago when the sheep farming industry was in crisis, farmers were receiving something like 25p per beast at market. There was no discernible reduction in the price of lamb in supermarkets. Somewhere along the line someone was making a lot of money, farmers were going out of business or shooting and dumping lambs because it was cheaper than taking them to market, and the consumers were being ripped off.

The food that fills supermarket shelves over the next few weeks to make up for the shortages will mostly be foreign imports, produced with far lower standards of animal welfare than equivalent UK products, not that most consumers give a toss about that, they're too busy campaigning for the abolition of foxhunting.


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Subject: RE: BS: foot and mouth
From: oggie
Date: 05 Mar 01 - 03:01 PM

In the UK the percentage of our individual income that we spend on food has never been smaller, the percentage we spend on leisure has never been higher. One reason for this is that food prices are (in historic terms) at an all time low (I know it doesn't seem like that when we pay the grocery bill) and the big reason is that the supermarkets put the squeeze on the supply chain. The only responses that the farmers have are to employ fewer people, pay less and go all out for production. As an example 20 years ago I could earn £50 a day hand-picking sprouts, today you might be lucky and earn the same!

But... we all like our leisure spending, all my instruments are but one aspect of this. Are we collectively going to pay more for food and spend less on ourselves?

All the best

Steve


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Subject: RE: BS: foot and mouth
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 05 Mar 01 - 07:06 AM

I'm not sure Kris. Usual 'intellectual disease' - big on theories, short on practice!!!:-(

I guess however the task might have been put in motion even as we speak. As the meat supplies dwindle, so will other food stocks. As food in general becomes in shorter supply, prices will inevitably increase. Once we get used to higher prices and the food supplies begin to replenish the prices need to be held at that level and then the surplus profits used to get our farming industry back on the right lines.

Lovely theory, but as I said before, weak in practice. The prices will stay high but the extra profits will of course go into someone elses pocket and we will be back to square one.

Anyone economists or polititians out there with a good workable solution?

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: foot and mouth
From: KingBrilliant
Date: 05 Mar 01 - 06:53 AM

You are absolutely right of course DtGnome, but how do we move from the current situation?
It seems like a huge & impossible task - hopefully not... but its hard to see how to make such a huge change.

Kris


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Subject: RE: BS: foot and mouth
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 05 Mar 01 - 06:45 AM

Symapthies to all affected, but once again greed has taken presidence over sense and the end result is for all to behold.

Who's greed?

The farmers for trying to cut their costs?

The supermarkets for driving the farmers prices down?

The governments for not intervening sooner?

No. Sorry. The ultimate blame is with us. The consumer. Our food bills have gone down from a third of our earnings to one fifth in a couple of grenerations. Why? To get more holidays, bigger cars and louder hi-fi's.

Supermarkets are giving away food we don't realy need. Look in any store and see how many 'buy one get one free' offers there are. We are told we must get more for less all the time and we have now begun to believe it. The advertisers have created a wonderful world where everyone eats nothing but the finest and biggest. Only the third world starves while we gorge ourselves on king size greaseburgers, mega-happy cholestrol sandwiches and bargain buckets of fried farmed animal bits.

Well, sorry, but 'cheap' food is a myth. It sure seems less expensive but what about the hidden costs. BSE., FMD. and our own increasing rate of heart disease all have to be paid for somehow.

Let us insist on quality rather than quantity. Let the farmers charge the supermarkets a price which will allow proper feeding and preparation. Let the supermarkets charge a sensible economic rate. It would do us no harm to cut down a little. Or to shift our emphasis back from rampant consumerism to the basics of feeding our families properly. Would it?

Dave the Gnome


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Subject: RE: BS: foot and mouth
From: KingBrilliant
Date: 05 Mar 01 - 05:14 AM

Living in a town we haven't appreciated much of what is happening yet.
This is a very scarey thread. My sympathies to everyone who has already been affected.

Kris


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Subject: RE: BS: foot and mouth
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 05 Mar 01 - 02:49 AM

Of course, if the abbatoirs had been kept small and local instead of being closed and turned into huge great central meat processing plants, miles from anywhere, the spread might not have been so far, so fast. Look at the first route of infection. All the way down the M1. The next route - across on the M5. Coincidence???

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: foot and mouth
From: Metchosin
Date: 04 Mar 01 - 08:08 PM

Greyeyes you are not alone, the day of the family farm and local processing is either long gone or seriously threatened on this continent as well, we are just fortunate that there hasn't been an outbreak here in a long while.


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Subject: RE: BS: foot and mouth
From: Greyeyes
Date: 04 Mar 01 - 07:58 PM

Sorcha, I definitely don't want to get into an HIV/AIDS debate, but the mother nature issue is not entirely thread creep. Both the press and the Govt.in the UK are starting publicly to admit that there may be something seriously wrong with the way we produce food.


"Naturam expellas furca, tamen usque recurret." (Horace 65-8 B.C.)


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Subject: RE: BS: foot and mouth
From: Greyeyes
Date: 04 Mar 01 - 07:46 PM

Further to what Metchosin said, the links on this thread so far have been to a MAFF site, a Canadian Food Agency site, the Independent on Sunday, and the Daily Telegraph.

"...It is full of postings by people who have no real information and guessed or listened to TV for their information."

Please enlighten us.


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Subject: RE: BS: foot and mouth
From: Sorcha
Date: 04 Mar 01 - 07:38 PM

OK. Thank you all. I appreciate your answering my questions. And I think I now understand just why "Royal" is not an issue. It's good that it is not, but they will not suffer from the destruction of their animals in the way that family farmers will........I agree that the whole mess is just too, too tragic........what a mess for any government to have to deal with.

I still in a way, think it comes down to Mother Nature sending us back our own wages.....in a sense, like HIV/AIDS. Mother Nature WILL win, in her own way, in her own time.........the destruction of Homo Sapiens means nothing in the long run, no more than the destruction of the Dinosaurs did. "LIFE" is what matters, not a particular species......and ours could be construed to be the least of all the species, if all things were taken in consideration..

IS there another species that has done as much damage to this planet as the Homo species? I really rather dobut it.

OOops, forgot the Creep Alert message.......but, I figure, "Mother Nature" values all other species just as much as "She" does Homo Sapiens, so She is standing clear of the battle.

May the "best" species win..............as long as the Planet survives......


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Subject: RE: BS: foot and mouth
From: Metchosin
Date: 04 Mar 01 - 07:28 PM

Spot I am trying to glean some understanding re contradictions that have been bandied about, by citing relevant information from United Nations, USDA and Canadian Department of Agriculture literature that is readily available on the net and not couched in excessive technical jargon. If you have more expertise please do post.


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Subject: RE: BS: foot and mouth
From: TamthebamfraeScotland
Date: 04 Mar 01 - 07:09 PM

Where I live in Scotland, as most people know that for some reason, I live quite near some farms, however I've been lucky so far as the virus hasn't reach here yet.

As for the Royal family and their animals, what have they got to do with the foot and mouth virus or in the case of Prince Phillip, 'FOOT IN MOUTH'.

Tom


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