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365 Day Foodstead

Is Horse Meat the New Thing?


They say, “Never look a gift horse in the mouth,” but what if the horse is actually in your mouth?

People in the UK must be feeling like they were run over by a team of horses. According to the FSA (Food Standards Agency), the UK’s equivalent of the FDA, frozen foods producer, Findus, has been selling lasagna containing up to 100 percent horse meat. Flicka, Trigger, and Shadowfax jokes aside, that’s a lotta horse meat. You can read about it here.

The Chicago Tribune: broke away from the pack with this bit of reporting:

Investigations into suppliers have been launched in recent weeks after the discovery that beef products sold to companies including Britain’s biggest supermarket firm Tesco and fast-food chain Burger King contained horsemeat.

Coming up out of the backstretch, supermarket chain, Aldi, is moving up on the outside with its own horse meat embarrasment/scandal. And there’s speculation that the race to find Mr. Ed isn’t over… not by a furlong. It’s been a veritable trifecta across the pond, as retailer after retailer stumbles across yet another frozen chunk of lean, equine cuisine.

This evolving story adds a whole new meaning to that iconic phrase, “Guess who’s coming to dinner,” but if you think stealth horse meat is just a problem for the Brits, chew on this bit from CNN:

The Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2012, better known as the spending bill or H.R. 2112, allocated funding for several federal departments and agencies – including the U.S. Department of Agriculture – until September 2012. And part of that bill lifted a 5-year-old ban on the slaughter of horses for meat.

That’s right, some plucky profit jockey, with his eye on the home stretch, could be putting a horse haunch on your table in the near future. But you’re thinking that’ll never happen here, right? The long odds say you’re wrong. If there’s a way to make a buck selling food that normally triggers the gag reflex, there’s someone out there who can make it happen.

Personally, I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with horse meat. If it can be burger-ized, I’d be willing to give it a try, at least once. What’s wrong is that these flash-frozen nags are turning up in places where they shouldn’t, creating widespread distrust of the food system.

If you can hear the hoof beats of doubt closing in on your family meal, it may be time to take off the blinkers and learn about where your food comes from. It’s the only way to win the race.

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