I actually enjoy grocery shopping because I don’t spend a long time reading labels. Shopping would take longer and be more of a chore if I had to read the label of every item. I generally have products I know and trust and those I never read the ingredients list on, things like steak, bananas, butter etc.
We usually buy our meat at the butchers because of the price and quality. Our local supermarket more expensive and the quality is not as good, but we recently shopped at a discount supermarket (the yellow and black kind) and I was amazed that the meat was half price or less. That should have been a warning, but the bargain hunter in me said, “Woohoo! A meaty bargain!!!”.
I bought a package of “steak” at the discount supermarket. The “sirloin” was on special at $10 per kg, so thinking I had eyed up a fantastic deal, I bought a pack. Sirloin steak at our local butchery is $25.95 per kg, so that should have triggered alarm bells.
When I got home, I realised my error. The “steak” lists 12 ingredients. It says “sirloin” on the packaging but the word “steak” is never mentioned. Not once. On unwrapping, there was a weird pink coating on the meat and when cooked it has soft texture of ham. No steak knife required. No doubt it’s pumped full of water and filler to make the beer heavier, hence the cheap price.
At $10 per kg, I can see how this could be appealing to people who can’t afford steak, but is it a bargain? I don’t think so.
If it looks like steak, still check for the word steak and if it has more ingredients than you have dinners in a week, then it’s probably not steak!
Now, there was some good that came out of the visit. On my parent’s recommendation, I also checked out their seafood counter. The salmon fillets I bought was actually very good. An astonishing number of bones for fillet, but good quality South Island salmon at an amazing price. I suppose they leave the bones in to justify the price low. Next time I’ll just have to check for pin bones prior to cooking.
I didn’t check the ingredients list though. I hope it was: “Ingredients: salmon fillet, may contain bones”.