Tuesday, 13 August 2013

A safari trip with Jungle Dogs

A trip to a safari park during the school holidays sounds a great idea, doesn't it? Jungle Dogs invited us to Knowsley Safari Park to an event to learn a little about their product and to go on safari. The last time we went round Knowsley, I drove somebody else's car - at least in mine, it would be a little less stressful!

Jungle Dogs are a new chilled hotdog product and they were keen for us to try their products. So much so that they prepared it in a number of different ways for us to try whilst the children did some colouring. Unfortunately, Missy Woo put her fussy head on that day and tried hardly anything because they dared to use a lot of soft cheese! And the wraps had green stuff in it. How very dare they?

I also ended up talking about school holidays with Tina O'Brien off Coronation Street which was also a bit bizarre. I may have asked someone what her name was - although in my defence, I was sure she was called Tina something. (Can you tell I have my finger on the pulse of popular culture?) The children had no clue either - I had to tell them later that she was on the telly!

Anyway, the children were very taken with their goody bags containing pencils, colouring books and finger puppets and even more exciting to be giving an animal onesie to take away; they have slept dressed as a kangaroo and a kitten ever since!

Ever since I had told the children where we were going, Monkey had been very anxious. The local radio station had been running adverts mentioning the baboon bus which he decided was going to be a bad idea. In fact, the ad came on the radio as we pulled up to the safari park. Having promised him we wouldn't go on the Baboon Bus (or in the enclosure) it meant we had to skip the guided tour and so I drove them around. This is why some of the photographs above are a bit wonky - the children took it in turns to take photographs; and believe me, those are the good ones, tightly edited! Our favourite animals were the lions (sleeping) and the baboons from the safe vantage point of the car friendly route that passes outside the compound. The children were laughing at the baboon showing his very red bottom whilst seemingly asleep on the bonnet of a moving car!

Back to the Jungle Dogs. They gave us some samples to take away - some packs containing 6 hot dogs which is enough for 2 or 3 children. Now, the whole point of these hot dogs is that they are meant to be a guilt free option. They are higher in meat than other hot dog brands (around 85%) with no mechanically recovered meat and no artificial colours or flavours. It's also sold as meeting the FSA target for salt. Sounds great, doesn't it?

I did however look a bit deeper. One of the things that always scares me about hotdogs is the amount of fat in them and it's hidden fat, because it's not obvious when you use or cook them that they contain a lot of fat because it doesn't render during heating. I looked at one of the packets of Jungle Dogs we've been given and was shocked to discover that each 30g hotdog contains on average 8.1g fat, and 2.9g of those are saturated fats! In other words, that's just under 30% fat and over 75% of the calories come from fat. If a child has all 3 hotdogs, they'll eat a whopping 8.7g saturated fat. Now, I can't find information on recommended amounts for children but an adult woman is meant to have 20g saturated fat maximum. Assuming a child's recommended amount is around a half to two thirds of this figure, you can see that 8.7g is a very large proportion of a child's daily allowance. If they were to label them the way the FSA wants food labelled, they would get red for their saturated fat content. In other words, guilt free? I don't think so.

Yes, they taste nice. Yes, the children liked them. Yes, we had a great day out, and we thank Jungle Dogs for that. But would I give them to my children regularly as a "guilt-free" option? No. I wouldn't ban them either but I will not be feeding them to my children too often. Sorry, Jungle Dogs. The facts don't stack up for me.
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