Hi there! I’m Porkchop, one of the Ballakelly meat heroes. Farmer Al is busy this week getting sheds ready for lambing so I’ve been asked to do the blog.
We all sat down on Thursday afternoon for a cup of tea and a bite to eat and to have a flick through the newspaper to see if there was any skeet or scandal going on. One thing that did jump out at us was that there was an advert promoting veg*nism, which got us thinking….
There has been a lot of bad press surrounding veg*ns & vegetarians lately. Whether you’re veg*n, vegetarian or a meat eater, everyone is entitled to their own preference. But what people don’t realise is the knock-on effects which these diets have on the land its grown in, the producers and the people themselves!
One thing that strikes me about veg*ns in particular is that they’re all for living this super human life, eating what mother nature gives them from the ground and protecting the earth. Quite hypocritical when 99.9% of foods come ready packed in plastic packaging and sprayed with all manner of chemicals to keep it looking nice and fresh.
A few years back there was a programme on TV about how supermarkets can leave fruit & veg out on display for days on end without it losing colour or smelling rotten. The answer? BLEACH! They’re packed into bags or crates and sprayed with a light covering of chlorine bleach to prolong the shelf life. Yum! I don’t know about you but I’m not a fan!
In 2016 in South America, over 5,000 acres of land was used to grow organic produce. That’s not a lot when you consider the size of the place. However, hundreds of families were driven from their homes and left with nothing but the clothes they stood in, all because we as the consumer wanted organic produce. To quote a line from a famous sitcom, “during the war” there was no such luxury as over seas foods. You had what you had grown yourself and that was it. Wouldn’t it be nice to go back to them days?
Veg*n, vegetarian and organic diets all lack in key nutrients. Medical professionals all say we need a healthy and balanced lifestyle. We’re all guilty of having our favorite chocolate stashed away for the rainy days, mine being a KitKat and a pint of milk, but on the whole, we should be living a healthy and active lifestyle. I’m not saying veg*n, vegetarian or organic is wrong but after some research whilst writing this, its clear by reading other peoples stories that these people are missing out on important minerals that the body needs.
One thing me and Rachel got talking about over a cup of tea and a round of toast was seasonal fruit. Strawberries are at their best from June to September yet we can still get them on the shelves all year round. The same goes with tomatoes, they are at their best during the same period in the year however both are grown in huge numbers and sprayed with chemicals to get them nice and red and tasting how they should. Maybe one of the reasons many of us don’t like eating salads!
Anyone who knows me will know I’m definitely a salad dodger, as I always say to Rach & Al, “I’m not a rabbit”. I have an Apple iPhone, that counts as one of my 5-a-day doesn’t it?!
Also round the table was machinery supplier who lives in big dairy country, his input was that dairy farmers spend thousands making happy environments,as happy cows produce better milk, he agreed the cruelest part was the bit where baby calf is taken from mum but unless people will start paying more for a pint of milk than they do for bottle water processes can change. Bit like the bacon sandwich argument, we would have ‘truely’ free range pigs with heated shelters if people would pay £20 for a bacon bap!
Be who you want, what you want and when you want. Just don’t push it in peoples faces and make sure you know where your food comes from and how it got to your plate!
Top 10 reasons to buy local:
- Strengthen your local economy
- Reduce climate change impacts
- Support community groups
- Keep our community unique
- Create more good jobs
- Get better service
- Invest in your community
- Buy what you need. Don’t buy the hype
- Put your taxes to good use
- Encourage local prosperity
Like I said earlier, everyone at Ballakelly is all for supporting local. Nothing is yummier than manx grown fruit, veg & meat! Low food miles, no chemicals and grown on your door step, what more could you ask for?!
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this more than I’ve spent researching and scrolling through Google!
Also, one last thing. I’d like to wish Farmer Al & Rachel a happy wedding anniversary and here’s to many many more to come from all the meat heroes!