Getting catty about food labeling

Chinese-grown, Hepatitis A-infected frozen blueberries have been in the news lately. The packaging did not mention the blueberries came from China. It’s got me all hot and bothered about food labeling in general. 

Take cat-food. Are cat-owners really that gullible? Take a stroll down the pet-food aisle of a supermarket and you’d think you were in Fauchon or Hediard, or Cyril’s Deli. Virgin Flaked Tuna (is that virgin tuna, or tuna flaked by virgins?) and how would they know if the fish was a virgin anyway? Grilled Prime Fillet of Turkey. Fine Tuna Flakes with Shredded Crab (oh come on, who’d waste actual crab on a cat?). Succulent Chicken Breast. Gourmet this and Gourmet that.
It’s really all about the human buying the stuff, not the cat, isn’t it? 

Yes, we can all have a chuckle over these absurdly truth-free labels, but perhaps they provide a clue about the sort of lies that the human-food industry would peddle if it wasn’t regulated. As we’ve been reminded recently, it isn’t regulated enough. 

Example: on a carton of Danone blueberries in yoghurt, presently in my fridge, I’m told the milk is Australian, but there’s no information about the source of the blueberries. Of course the food industry won’t tell us if the blueberries are from a place like China unless it’s forced to. It’s not good for business. Who can blame food producers for only giving us information that sells? And, what have the authorities been doing all this time? 

Back to cat food. My cats have lived happily enough on tinned muck labeled beef, lamb, turkey, chicken and fish, but where are the tins containing the normal cat foods? Where is the tinned filet of mouse, the fricassee of rat’s tail, the roasted breast of protected species native bird? Have you ever seen a peckish pussy bring down a full-grown cow or sheep? I rest my case.

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