Meat-eating Brits are clueless about where their food comes from, study claims

A third of meat-eaters surveyed confessed they had never seen a cow or a pig in the flesh

Jack Peat
Friday 21 September 2018 19:20 BST
Butchers Donald Russell show how to cook a flat-iron steak

Britons don’t know their rump from their ribeye, according to a new survey.

Despite sitting down to 312 meals a year containing meat most respondents had a limited knowledge about where it comes from and how it got on to their plates.

Almost two thirds could not identify the correct location of a rump steak – despite the clue being in the name - while only 36 per cent could identify that a pork shoulder steak came from the shoulder of a pig.

More than 80 per cent of respondents could not find the part of a cow that a ribeye steak comes from, while only nine per cent said they knew where a Barnsley chop came from on a lamb.

The poll found the average meat eater gets through 30 steaks, 36 roast dinners, 48 sausages, 60 chicken breasts, 36 chicken curries, 24 pork chops and 96 rashers of bacon every year.

But it showed a real disconnect between what’s on our plates and our knowledge of those animals - with almost a third of respondents claiming they had never seen a cow or a pig in the flesh.

In fact, 75 per cent admitted their parents and grandparents’ generation know more about where products come from and cooking them than they do.

Meat eating Brits seldom visit the butcher leading to 'lack of knowledge'

More than half had never tried a T bone steak – a cut taken from the lower middle of the animal.

“We wanted to shine a light on the UK’s meat-eating habits and the research shows that, although we are a nation of meat lovers, there is a lack of knowledge about how to source and prepare the best quality meat, and that lack of experimentation with different cuts of meat means we are missing out on some of the best options available," said Paul Adams, marketing director of butcher Donald Russell.

“One of the problems highlighted by the study is poor access to local butchers, with most people now buying their meat from a supermarket and never therefore getting the chance to talk to a specialist butcher or explore how best to prepare the broad range of meat on offer.

“The generational knowledge gap needs to be filled, partly through inspiration of how best to prepare and serve a greater range of ‘crafted by hand’ meat, but partly through recognising the art of conversation is still alive."

According to the survey, 65 per cent had never seen a butcher at work, while three quarters have never plucked up the courage to ask a butcher for advice about meat.

A quarter admitted they felt confused, did not know what to buy and don’t understand what is on display in their local butcher’s shop. Yet 34 per cent of those polled said they’d buy more meat from a butcher if they had one near them.


Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in