TAJ NEWS TALK
March 23 rd , 2017
TITLE: Where’s the Beef?
Did you know corned beef was invented in the 17 th Century?
It’s popularity came about due to food shortages in the Second World War.
The packaged meat product was easily distributed across the world and to
soldiers who needed the nutrition.
It’s not a product that one finds regularly on the shelves in first world countries
In Trinidad and Tobago, corned beef, like Crix and vienna sausages, have become
staples in almost every person’s diet…more with the persons balancing a small
budget, but a standard in every Trini kitchen cupboard.*
Credit, of course, must go to the relevant Ministries of Agriculture and Health, for
their proactive stance in dealing with the situation.
Also to Ambassador to Brazil, Dr. Amery Browne for keeping officials abreast of
But the issue sheds a small light on a much larger problem than most of us intend
Food safety and food security.
Agriculture Minister Clarence Rambharat said he is a member of the Joint Select
Committee and the food safety standards are nowhere near where they should
Head of the Supermarkets Association, Yunnus Ibrahim claims there is over 5
million dollars in goods in warehouses. And wants testing on these products.
But the Food and Drug lab is not up and running.
Statistics from Brazil show there are close to 5,000 meat processing plants in the
country. Not surprising, since they are the leading red meat exporter in the world.
Which brings us to the next issue of food security.
Of course, we cannot compete at Brazil’s level…now or probably never.
What we can do, and should aim to do, is produce enough to feed our people.
That way the farmers earn the money.
And the money stays in the country. While our bellies remain full. Which of
course, is the most important priority.
But we cannot continue to stuff our faces when we do not know where our food
has come from.
Or even more scary, where our food is going.
*Cupboards of those who eat beef. We respect that a number of our valued
listeners do not consume this product.