Archive for May 28th, 2012

Nature Ramble

Late again, I know it’s Monday, but life goes on.

I wanted to finish my new “Sunday Nature Ramble” design for the post, somewhat egoistic I know.

But there you have it.

If you were to go on a nature ramble in England today, there’s something you won’t find.

Bombus subterraneus

Yes, they’re AWOL from the British scene.

Queen B. subterraneus – Nikki Gammans

Oh, you want to know what a Bombus subterraneus  is…

The Short-haired Bumble Bee.

They’re extinct in the British Isles.

But they’re about to make a comeback, there are efforts to import queens from Sweden to re-establish them.

“The short-haired bumblebee, Bombus subterraneus, was once widespread across the south of England, occurring as far north as Humberside, but post-1950’s its population distribution became isolated and patchy. This bee was last recorded in the UK in 1988 near to Dungeness, Kent and officially declared extinct in 2000. ” – Hymettus

So hopefully ramblers in the future will be able to find them.

But it raises the question, why did they disappear?

Monday Moaning

Preamble: I know this one will upset the veges and vegans, but that’s not the purpose. The reason behind this post is the incredible waste of food in a world that is crying food shortages.

British veal poised for an ‘ethical’ comeback

TV chef Jimmy Doherty at his farm in Suffolk.  Photograph: Nick Sinclair/Alamy

TV farmer Jimmy Doherty promotes revival of rose veal to prevent ‘useless’ male dairy calves being shot at birth

As far as reputation goes, it’s up there with foie gras and shark’s fin. But a decade after furious protests on the streets of Britain brought a ban on both the controversial live export of calves and on the rearing-in-crates system – veal is back.

British rose veal has already won the ethical stamp of approval from the RSPCA and Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) but it remains a niche market in the UK, just 0.1% of the meat we consume each year.

Now TV farmer Jimmy Doherty, as part of a new series starting on Channel 4 this week, has persuaded Tesco to start stocking the veal in the hope that it will catch on with British meat-eaters.

Doherty and other campaigners claim that persuading British consumers to start eating rose veal – so called because the meat is pink instead of the traditional milk-fed white veal – will go some way to address the “hidden scandal” of our love of milk that sees an estimated 100,000 to 150,000 male dairy calves shot within hours of birth.

Dairy cows are kept constantly pregnant to feed our milk and cheese habit but while female calves can go on to replace their mothers in the dairy system, there is no market for the male calves of dairy breeds which aren’t considered good for beef.

“Rose veal can offer an alternative,” said Doherty. “Crates and all that stuff have given veal a bad name but things are very different now. And it’s not about eating day-old baby cows – if you think that we slaughter chickens when they are 42 days old, lamb at five to six months, and pigs at five months – then at six to eight months, rose veal is the oldest of the lot. No one talks about that side of things.

“Dairy calves are being shot at 24 to 48 hours old and if we drink milk we all have to share in this instead of leaving the burden of it to the farmers. Eating rose veal is utilising those calves and solving a problem,” said Doherty, who is raising veal calves on his own farm.

“The veal being produced in Europe and imported into the UK isn’t meeting anything like our welfare standards. The calves have restricted milk diets to keep the meat white. Our rose veal is slightly pink and has a lovely, lovely flavour and it’s full of protein. I’d love to see more people eating it. It’s not the cheapest so for a lot of people it would have to be a once-a-week special. Tesco has been selling imported German veal so I’m really pleased they are looking at stocking British rose veal.

“It’s time to grow up and face our responsibilities: this is just younger beef.”

Source: The Guardian Read more

Opinion:

Rose Veal Steaks, just smaller

100,000 – 150,000 animals destroyed because they have no purpose; and that’s only in the United Kingdom. When you add the rest of the world into the equation that is a tremendous loss/waste of food.

Admittedly in the past the raising of this product was abhorrent, enough to create a political furore.

However, times have changed, and so have the methods; at least in the UK, although some European countries do not adhere to the same standards. They need to be brought into line.

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