THE BLOG

Horseplay

21/02/2013 12:50 GMT | Updated 22/04/2013 10:12 BST

While the majority of the country is up in arms about horse meat sneaking it's way into their microwaveable-freeze-dried-long-life-nuclear-treated fast food, I can't help but think, so what?

Yes, it is disturbing that an awful lot of the food we consume has a miscellaneous provenance. But how can everyone be so appalled at the prospect of eating a different animal, when they are happy to eat meat hasn't seen daylight until it is wrapped in cellophane.

Chicken, for example, the most readily eaten meat in the world. Mass produced for mass consumption. Fast-tracked through their brief early development with a diet of special formula protein paste made out of fish carcasses.

Most frequently filmed standing in their own fecal matter, featherless and frantic. Hungry yet? Why not pop down to KFC for a helping deep-fried cartilage?

I should say at this point, I am not a vegetarian. I love both cooking with and eating meat. I am, however, passionate about ethically sourced, local, seasonal, sustainable, free-range ingredients.

My pedantic obsession with following my moral compass has meant that since January 1, 2013 I have not eaten anything, unless frozen or tinned, that was out of season and not produced in the UK.

I carry a little beige notebook with me everywhere I go. It details the meat, fish fruit and vegetables that are in season each month and I stick to it ardently.

When game is in season, I try to avoid any other meat. Game is better for the environmental due to fewer processes in its production. It's shot, hung and prepared by hand for your supper. Simple.

It is seasonal and local, but most importantly, it is utterly delicious. I don't know why on earth someone would be tempted by the golden arches when there is a plump autumn pheasant, braising in the oven.

Good quality ingredient is undoubtedly what the majority of my money is spent on.

However, I do think there is a massive misconception that eating ethically is more expensive.

Sustainable fish tend to be cheaper as they are less popular species like sardines and herring.

Less demand means a lower price proving it pays to be a little more diverse in our eating habits, and steer clear of the options at the chip shop counter.

I have a good relationship with my local fishmonger, (http://boroughmarket.org.uk/sussex-fish) which means he can inform me fully on what is in season and what he caught most of that day.

He is always keen to share recipe ideas and my weekly trip to his stall has become a tradition that I always look forward to.

Plus, his golden, home smoked sprats are insanely tasty.

Free-range meat does undeniably carry a hefty premium. However, if I have to pay an extra £2 for a chicken that hasn't been biologically abused since before it was born, then so be it. Animal welfare is not something I am willing to compromise on.

My attitudes towards food have, in the past led me to be called a "self-righteous, pretentious snob". Well if having a conscious and eating like a King on a student budget makes me a snob, then a snob I am. And proud.