The Great Food Fraud

lettuce in the tunnelThere is a pleasure in making the connection between our food and where it comes from.

strawberries in the tunnel at Bealtaine CottageSo many children grow up not knowing where their food has come from, or the value of what they are eating.

hens in the permaculture gardenOn the day I brought the hens home, I stood and watched them for simply ages!

I watched them investigate their new home and make soft little shrilling sounds, as they approved of the fresh straw and new found space.

Bealtaine Cottage pearsWhat we plant and grow tastes so much better than food we buy.

Of course it does!

Food in supermarkets can be weeks old before it’s eaten!

Not only that but the irradiation can make the food eternal…well almost!

Tomatoes I bought several weeks ago, remain in the pantry, perfect…what on earth are these people doing to our food?

Tomatoes at Bealtaine CottageYes, it prolongs the shelf life of the food we buy, but it also destroys the enzymes in the food!

This procedure involves exposing food to gamma rays from a nuclear source and has wide-reaching implications for our health and the environment.

Bealtaine Cottage Blackcurrants in the Permaculture GardensIrradiation is a way of utilising nuclear waste materials to keep food fresh longer and reduce the risk of food poisoning by killing the bacteria.

The food is killed, as it damages it by breaking up molecules and creating free radicals.

The free radicals kill some bacteria, but they also move around in the food, damaging vitamins and enzymes.

The free radicals combine with existing chemicals (like pesticides) in the food to form new chemicals, called unique radiolytic products.

Bealtaine Cottage lettuce in the potager gardenI could go on…you begin to understand why fresh, home-grown food is best!

Purple Sprouting Broccoli grown at Bealtaine Cottage permaculture gardensMost people are prepared to pay a little more for fresh food but are unaware of the real age of the food they call “fresh!”

A loaf of bread may be 10 days old!

apple jelly at Bealtaine CottageTesco was recently reprimanded by the Advertising Standards Authority on claiming that it sold “fresh bread baked from scratch!”

Naughty and not nice Tesco, caught with pants on fire!

Tesco and most other supermarkets, ship in part baked loaves and finish baking them in in-store ovens!

Stanley stove at Bealtaine CottageThere are really very few, if any, cakes, bread or buns actually made in the supermarkets!

Permaculture Cottage Sep 2011 013Many fresh vegetables are flown in from all over the world and the average age of fresh peas, broccoli etc is about 10 days old!

Compare that to the stir fry I made yesterday, with vegetables a few minutes old.

Apple harvest at Bealtaine CottageOr the juice made with “freshly picked from outside the back door herbs” and fruit.

The weekend is almost here!

Why not get some food growing for yourself, for, after all, fresh is best and you will be saving money too!

Against , gathering tomorrow 1pm at the corner of O’Connell & Grattan Street, Sligo.


  1. A couple of years back I had made some bread for christmas but had also bought another kind of bread. After christmas dinner there were a few slices of bread left over from both of the loafs. I put them all in the same bag and unfortunately (or not) I forgot about them as they got hidden away in my messy kitchen. About a week or so later I found them and of course there was mold – on my home made bread only !!! – the store bought was untouched and they were in the same bag on top of each other…

    And now is a perfect time for sowing tomato and watch them grow up, changing every day 🙂

  2. I have often thought how unnatural it is as you say for tomatoes to stay fresh for so long and many other food items we buy , this alone alerts us to the idea of growing our own food; at least that way we know for sure it is fresh and it does taste so much better. I read today that garlic can be planted in February so this will be added to my challenge this week . Enjoy your posts always refreshing. Kathy.

  3. I cooked a meal for lunch yesterday of mostly truly local and fresh food. Spaghetti squash picked Sunday, green beans picked Monday morning, potato onions harvested around Christmas and cherry tomatoes picked over the last week to finish ripening indoors. I added cheese from the supermarket and some salt and pepper. Even the olive oil in which I fried off the onions was purchased from a relatively local supplier (grown about 2-3 hours away). The food tasted great and was so fresh I think it was still growing when it reached my stomach! 😉

  4. Grow your own, and support country markets is the way to go. Very little if any use of the supermarket. Excellent encouraging write-up. I so support anti-Monsanto demonstrations.

  5. Hello Bealtaine Cottage,

    Your place looks amazing. I would love to take a visit sometime..where abouts are you located? I am based in Galway for the next couple of weeks.



  6. Yes, our family will be joining the march on Monsanto. These are freaky times – I keep thinking its very Orwellian! Good for you for sticking to your principles and as for me, I plan to continue saving seed each year and have planted more food this year than ever.

    • Fantastic! I am hearing so many stories of people taking to the land to grow and protect what is theirs. This is be the beginning of a worldwide stand and fightback against Monsanto and other corporate monsters!

  7. Firstly, we keep hens and ducks ourselves, for the eggs, the entertainment, not for the meat. They will age and have a natural death. And be replaced in twos. We grow veg in the garden/allotment/earth sheltered passive solar greenhouse. But we don’t yet collect our own seed, except beans. No argument it is fresher.
    I used to be a baker, working in family bakeries. I wasn’t an ‘artisan’ baker, I was an artisan baker. In other words, feeding others with a staple food source, not a part luxurious commodity. All the artisan bakers have almost gone. But enough of my grumbles and nit picking. I enjoy Sainsburys multiseeded bread and know the bakers who make it in store, from raw ingredients. Most of the flour confectionary is brought in frozen, so I don’t buy. I can freeze my own. I do treat myself by baking bread occasionally, but not Sue, who bakes her own gluten free.
    Time I think the Cooperative chain stores stopped selling ‘their’ own bread and goods from global sources for local fodder. A new mindset: shop local, think global.

    • Some very interesting and thought-provoking comments here Andrew.
      Since the early seventies, people have been directed on a consumer course, that has produced much discontent.
      A simpler, more fulfilling life is what so many now seek.
      I made the move 9 years ago to downsize every aspect of my life and think of cyclical living as a good pattern to follow.
      It’s all about consequences really…in an age where those in power are notorious for short term thinking!

      • I was born after the Second World War ended, when there was still rationing. The world was still community centred then. And then, another revolution began, the consumer age. Supermarkets, Mother’s Pride, hire purchase. It’s never stopped. I ‘wanted out’ in the Summer of Love in 1967, but sadly that didn’t last. But I got to Findhorn, and thence to the Isle of Lewis.
        Any way, as consumers, we have the power, but sadly not the will. But we Will. I sense the tide changing, through many good works, including your own. I didn’t do what I wanted on Lewis, but I hope you do.

        • I am the eternal optimist and feel the change in energy happening, as more and more people awaken.
          Nature is, like all great mothers, forgiving.
          Therein lies hope that all is not lost and she will ultimately prevail…hopefully with her children in tow!

  8. I am glad to hear, and can see, that your hens are truly happy 🙂
    I often wonder when the the supermarkets claim their eggs come from happy hens?

    Wishing you and your hens, cats, dogs, etc. a lovely weekend x

  9. When I think back to my childhood, lots of my relatives were in there late 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. I don’t remember any of them having any dementia. They ate fresh farm food., not food doctored with this and that. Now I hear of people in their 50’s starting with dementia. Home grown is the best, thanks Colette for the info, I plan to get a juicer.

  10. Your produce looks amazing. It is my hope that more people would enjoy vegetables if they had access to fresh from the ground produce. It would bring the prices down, too

  11. Are those lettuces in your pictures grown this year? Here in Southern Ontario we havn’t planted our garden yet, still a danger of frost this weekend.
    Ruth from At Home on the Road

  12. Who can resist fresh, home-grown produce? Been picking various lettuce and spinach lately. No peas yet and the asparagus just aren’t fat enough (maybe next year). Lots of salads! Can’t wait till the cukes and tomatoes are ready! All my veggies are grown from organic seed with no pesticides or herbicides. Tastes great, is very cheap and its fun to garden! Plus Monsanto gets nothing from me!

Your comments are welcome!