'Dem coulda ban it some more' ... poor J'cans unaffected by bully beef restriction
Several Jamaicans have expressed that the current islandwide ban on corned beef does not affect them, as they had stopped purchasing the canned commodity several years now, due to its hefty price tag, and its implications for their health.
"Corned beef is a thing wha me did love one time, but it outta my league now because it too expensive. A lot of poor people cannot buy corned beef. I couldn't tell when last I really eat a piece of corned beef because me no have the money fi buy it," Winston Roberts, of Tel Aviv, Kingston, told THE STAR yesterday.
Roberts explained that instead of forking out roughly $350 for a large tin of corned beef, or $250 for the small tin, he purchases more affordable products.
"Me will buy piece of chicken, chicken back, chicken neck, callaloo, cabbage," he said, adding there are many others like himself.
Several other persons who spoke with THE STAR shared similar sentiments. Sonia Smith said corned beef is a scarce commodity in her household.
"Normally, me no buy corned beef because it too expensive. Me only eat it when somebody buy it give me. Instead, me buy chicken neck and all dem something deh," she said.
Others added that the high sodium content in the product was a major deterrent, as it has negative health implications.
"Me no used to dem stuff deh. It have too much salt. Me mostly go vegetarian. Dem coulda ban it some more because it [the ban] no affect me," Berry Palmer said.
Similarly, Marcia Robinson said she stopped purchasing corned beef about three years ago.
"Most a the corned beef them salt, and me trouble with cholesterol and high blood pressure, so me no bother with it," she shared.
On Monday, the Agriculture Ministry imposed an immediate import ban and issued a recall of all corned beef originating from Brazil, which supplies 99.5 per cent of Jamaica's corned beef.
The move follows reports from Brazilian authorities that several major Brazilian meat processors have been "selling rotten beef and poultry".
The companies are also alleged to have paid hefty bribes to auditors in exchange for fraudulent sanitary licenses.