IT WAS another week for throwing things at the telly. LG, Samsung, Panasonic et al, must be in awe of the amount of hardware they are selling to farm addresses on the back of the anti-farming brigade being once again allowed to take centre stage.

The first welly thrown was at the great glee the BBC reported that meat consumption in the UK declined by 17% in the last decade. But even before the Hunter hit the ultra-sensitive screen – whatever happened to the good old-fashioned glass ones that actually needed a sledge hammer to make an impression? – the thought occurred: Actually that might be down to the decline in the national beef herd. Which, of course, it really was!

In 2020, there were 1.71m cattle in Scotland, a 1% drop on 2019, but cattle numbers have been trending down since a peak in 1974 when there were 2.78m cattle. Almost all of that decline has been in the beef herd.

The right hand welly then targetted the mealy-mouthed enthusiasm of a TV reporter to the new vegan burger range being promoted by McDonalds. This waffled between a 'burger' and a 'falafel', but that's a by-the-by, what really took the biscuit (pardon the expression) was the inference to the ingredients that make up the new vegan burger, neatly stacked in several bags in a food grade wheelie bin. Clearly, there were plant-based material there of an alien kind (at least to us in the UK) and there were several of them – but they 'looked so good', gushed the reporter.

Call me daft, but I'm pretty sure that this same fast food outlet makes a big thing about the fact that its beef burgers contain nothing other than meat; ie only one ingredient. And, apart from a run through the mincer and shaped into a patty, that's about the extent of the 'manufacturing process'.

Seems to us that a government advising us to cut out processed food, now seem to be actually encouraging the damned stuff by actively pushing plant-based derivatives down our throats that have to go through several phases of engineering before they can even be remotely edible. And that's to say nothing of the imported, or lab-manufactured spices that will be needed to make them taste of something they are not.

Then, there's the absurdity that school meals will see a strict ration of red meat in favour of chicken because 'it's better for the planet and reduces the amount of processing'. I'm sorry, but I've seen a menu being dished up to our schoolchildren and if chicken sausages are not a processed meat, then I'm a salami.

The only thing that appears to be unprocessed is the minds of politicians and most of those that advise them, who can only see happy children skipping through a field of soya. But then, let's all conveniently forget that we will have to add protein, iron, various B vitamins, niacin, zinc and phosphorus, plus long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fats, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, selenium and, possibly, also vitamin D, into soya burgers to bring them up to the same level of nutrition as a meat burger. Rant over – but only for this week!