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I cannot understand how over recent years we seem to have an epidemic of food scares.

I spent my formative years in a country village, I fattened day old cockerels, bred rabbits for the table and fur and we always had shares in a pig. The way that the cockerels and rabbits were slaughtered, (humane and quick, I won't go into the gory details), would give the average Food Inspector the horrors. The pig would be walked to the village Butcher, we could never understand how it got there, as it only had three legs when we got it back. It was then 'processed' in our cottage, which did not have any sort of sanitary facilities, no sink, no running water, in fact none of those amenities we take for granted now. The pig was converted into the many things that pigs can be. The cockerels and rabbits were dressed and sold for pocket money. No benevolent parent or grand-parent dishing money out in those days.

But, and this is a big but, despite the fact that it was later discovered that almost every well/pump in the village was 'contaminated' by the Grave-yard, and the so called modern day standards of hygiene did not exist, I do not remember there ever being an outbreak of food poisoning in our village. Of course food was cooked in those days, not placed ready prepared into the micro-wave. And, most of all it hadn't travelled thousands of miles through innumerable hands/lorries before it arrived on your plate. The occasional attack of the 'runs', (I can't spell diarrhoea), that this young lad suffered from were due to 'scumping' unripe apples from Farmer Wilkinson's orchard, with the risk of another sort of pain from Wilkie's boot.

Finally. as many of you know I don't eat meat, mainly because I do not agree with the inhumane way animals are treated after they leave the farm. And, partly because four years in a children's home gave me an intense dislike to certain types of meat.

We are still trying to work out a way to have a flock of sheep on our thirty acres, without the possibility of Defra getting their murderous hands on them.

Ron.