Musings of Linda McDonald-Brown

Last week, eagle-eyed readers may have spotted the comment I made regarding my cooking skills.

Cooking is not my forte, I admit. It’s not that I can’t cook: if required I can put together a very reasonable meal. I just hate doing it, and tend to stick with what I know rather than trying something new.

My husband, on the other hand, loves cooking and, unlike me, he’s a natural at it. He is the only man I know who comes home from a day’s work and willingly cooks the evening meal.

He is in a different league to me when it comes to putting the evening meal on the table, and can create the tastiest of dishes from a handful of herbs and a few leftovers. He would no more think of putting a ready meal in the microwave than he would go to the moon.

As recent media stories have revealed, you just don’t know what you’ll be eating when buying processed food. And, as it has been proved, in some cases what you are putting in your mouth definitely doesn’t tally with what’s on the box.

Findus, a brand popular with millions of people has had to take some products such as lasagne off the shelves due to the presence of up to 100% horse meat.

Now I would never intentionally eat horse meat as I personally don’t think of them as a meat animal, but I am under no illusion that during my travels, I probably have eaten it.

In France, horse meat appears alongside chicken and beef on the butcher’s counter and is as popular with the French as chicken is with us. That is not the point, though. Buying any processed food is always a risk.

In this instance, certain products have been found to contain horsemeat, and we have been told there is a strong possibility there is a criminal connection.

Goodness, what about food scares in the future. You just don’t know what will turn up next, the DNA of cat or dog maybe in your beef stroganoff?

Why buy a packet lasagne anyway when not only is it 
the easiest dish to make, even for me, but it takes no time at all to put together and, what’s more, a home-made lasagne tastes 10 times better than the packet stuff?

Buying fresh food not only helps to keep local producers going, but it’s healthier, far tastier and, believe it or not, costs less than packet counterparts. Here in Dumfries and Galloway, we have an abundance of top quality local produce, and it is quite possible to get through a week using only local produce, for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Supermarkets are handy – yes – but for taste and provenance, nothing beats buying fresh and local.

Contact me by writing to