Butchers to look out for

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Rock Salt reviews rose veal

Posted on: Nov 02 2012

We sent a sample of rose veal to food blogger Rock Salt for her to try, you can read about her cooking experience here:

"Just so that you know, this is a review of a product of which I was sent a free sample. The opinions in the post are, as ever, mine, and the review is honest. Please note my Patrick Stewart-worthy sentence arrangement in the first line there.

Veal is a meat subject to a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding. It’s understandable, too – the cruelty of the veal trade has been well publicised, with consumers hearing the story of calves being kept held in constrictive crates that don’t allow them to move, in order to produce a white coloured meat. What many people don’t know is that these crates were outlawed in the UK and Europe in 2006, and in fact the welfare standards for veal calves in the UK has been considerably higher than that of the EU since the 1990s. In the UK, veal calves must have sufficient space to move around, a proper diet including roughage, iron and fibre and proper bedding to rest on. The results of this better welfare is a pink meat, rather than white, which is known as rose veal. The Freedom Food website has an excellent document, giving more information on this, and you can find it here.

The other common misconception is that veal is from baby cows. People, we eat lamb like nobody’s business, and a lamb is slaughtered at about five or six months. Chickens are in for the chop at just 46 days, and nobody seems to mind that. Rose veal is from animals at about eight months old, making it practically a teenager by cow standards. On the flip side, the situation at present is that male calves from dairy cows are killed at a day old, because they can’t be raised for either meat or milk, and as such they’re a ‘waste product’. A living, breathing waste product. If you drink milk, eat cheese or enjoy any other branch of the dairy industry, you should be eating veal.

I think that’s probably enough of the heavy stuff, but here are some links if you’d like to find out more you can visit the RSPCA Freedom Food website, or read this article on the John Penny site, on the case for veal. These people are more knowledgable than I am, and the Freedom Food website also gives you the option to ask any questions you might have."


To read the rest of her blog post click here.




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Tom Parker Bowles

Tom is a food writer and broadcaster with a weekly column in The Mail on Sunday and is Food Editor at Esquire magazine.
His books include E Is For Eating – An Alphabet of Greed, The Year of Eating Dangerously and Full English; A Journey Through the British and Their Food. He also co-presented Market Kitchen on Good Food Channel and presented LBC Radio's Food and Drink Programme.

The steady loss of our local butchers is cause for serious alarm. Just 2 months back my favourite butcher, Kingsland and Son, fell victim to a fierce rent hike and was forced to move out. The whole area is still reeling from the loss. Because butchery is both art and science. Not just in the physical act of separating different cuts from a carcass, but the wealth of knowledge any serious butcher has; where the meat comes from, how long the beef was hung, what cuts are better suited to braising than roasting. Support your local butchers. For the sake of the community, and your taste buds too.

Jay Rayner

The award winning Observer Food Critic and One show journalist.

Jay currently chairs the new Radio 4 food panel show, The Kitchen Cabinet, having recently appeared as judge on Masterchef and The Great British Waste Menu, and hosted Channel 4's magazine show Food: What Goes in your Basket?

Now, more than ever, we need to know where our meat is coming from, and your local butcher is best placed to give you that vital information. There is no substitute for buying your meat from the people who sourced it. They are the ones who know how it was raised, how it was slaughtered and how best to cook it. If we lose our local butchers we lose an irreplaceable part of the food chain.

Rosemary Shrager

Rosemary Shrager, talented TV chef and cookery school teacher, is renowned for her role on reality TV show, Ladette to Lady. Rosemary has worked for Pierre Koffman at the famous Tante Claire restaurant in London and also for super chef Jean-Christophe Novelli.

Rosemary’s TV career began with series Rosemary – Castle Cook, followed by Rosemary on the Road, both for Channel 5. She is now a familiar face on ITV, following up her Rosemary Shrager's School For Cooks series with regular appearances on The Alan Titchmarsh Show.

It is so important to support butchers, if we do not then they will go and then we really will miss them. These people know where all their food has come from, generally sourcing everything from the local area’s farmers. Support for your butcher is support for the wider farming community.

Joanna Blythman

Joanna Blythman is Britain’s leading investigative food journalist and an influential commentator on the British food chain. She has won four Glenfiddich awards for her writing, including a Glenfiddich Special Award for her first book, The Food We Eat, a Caroline Walker Media Award for Improving the Nation’s Health by Means of Good Food, and a Guild of Food Writers Award for The Food We Eat.

We need to cherish the excellent traditional butchers who have kept going valiantly in the teeth of the supermarket takeover of our food chain. As the Meat Crusade puts it, if one in 10 of us returned to our local butcher that would be make a real difference. And if one in five of us did so, even once a week, it could start a revolution.

Brian Turner

A popular face on our TV screens, Yorkshire-born Brian’s career started in less glamorous circumstances - cooking breakfasts at his dad's transport café.

Your local butcher really cares about the meat he sells and the people he sells to. He deserves your support- let’s not lose him now.