Food retailers slammed for poor quality mud on organic carrots


Tesco, Sainsbury and other major food retailers in the UK have come under fire from the Food Standards Agency, for the cheap, low-grade dirt that is being added to their foodstuffs before it is labelled ‘organic.’ The row erupted following a complaint by Prince Charles over poor quality additives enhancing the appearance of their organic ranges. ‘While we accept the retailers’ arguments for the need to create an authentic look,’ said the Agency, ‘such as smearing extra sludge on the organic carrots, we do feel that the mud should at least be of the same quality as the vegetables, rather than the ‘value’ low-grade muck we found in our tests.’

Tesco described the ruling as ‘fuel for inflation’. ‘The mud we use may not be technically organic,’ they said, ‘but it’s cheap and genetically modified to ensure a consistently sticky nature, making it economical to apply. That helps to keep costs down and our shareholders happy. People can always add their own mud when they get home.’

Only Waitrose came out of the tests with a clean sheet on their mud, confirming their assertion that that their customers are happy to pay ‘that little bit extra’ for better quality. Their new range of organic vegetables carries the labelling: ‘appearance enhanced by the addition of certified grade-one organic earth, carefully moistened with naturally-filtered Highland Spring Water. Please wash thoroughly before use.’

Regular Tesco shopper Mrs Beryl Patterson said ‘It’s always reassuring when you look inside a box of free-range eggs to see a feather stuck on one of them. Personally, I wouldn’t know the difference between an organic grade feather off a fluffy young chick and a cheap one off a mangy old crow. If some farmer’s youngest is earning sixpence a day sticking them on, well, good for him. Mind you, I’m a bit suspicious about what that grey splurge is that they seem to use for glue.’

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Posted: Aug 21st, 2008 by

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