I was frankly surprised at the whole scandal-- surprised that it happened, because horsemeat is usually much more expensive than beef in places where it's available, and surprised that people were upset for the same reason. Then I heard that the horses in question weren't raised as livestock and might have chemical residue, which made it all make sense. Of course, I also read that you would have to eat the whole horse yourself before you got enough of the chemical to harm you, but...
This specific situation wouldn't happen in the US because there is not one single facility in the entire country that processes horsemeat for human consumption, and only a tiny handful that process it for animal food. (That's actually a problem, because it's nigh onto impossible to get rid of a dead, dying, or unwanted horse. There have been problems in the border areas with people shipping horses south toward Mexico, and dumping the ones that don't survive the trip because you can't send a dead animal across the border.)
But there's still a lesson for the US. Right now, our food supply is fairly safe because a company can get in huge trouble for labeling one food as another. But the inspections that make that whole system work are the first thing that gets cut when there's a budget crisis. If nobody checks, the laws are useless. Companies will realize that it's cost-effective to just have an account to pay the fines from, because the chances of getting caught are so tiny. My brother works in one of the largest meat-packing plants in the US. Until about ten years ago, there were USDA inspectors with offices right in the plant, and they inspected the animals coming in and tested the equipment for bacteria every day. Their jobs were cut in the name of "smaller government," so now it's up to the plant to call and ASK for an inspection if they think there's a problem, and it takes a week or so for an inspector to get free and come do it. The company doesn't want to spend the money to do the testing themselves; it's far cheaper to wait for people to get sick and then do a recall.
Our truth-in-labeling laws go back to a legislator who bought a pound of coffee and discovered it was mostly fireplace ash. There were no laws against that, so they had to write one, but they also created a system to enforce those laws. That enforcement system is being dismantled really fast, and if we don't start speaking up, we're going to end up buying sawdust in flour bags, ashes in coffee cans, and cat, rat, and horse meat in hamburger patties all over again.
3/8/13 1:32 A
Horses in the US are normally given medications that should not be consumed by humans. They are also not raised as a food animal here. Other countries may have a different model, but I would consider a US horse as not safe to eat.
Fitness Minutes: (11,285)
3/4/13 3:44 P
Zenandnow, I have no idea what you are talking about. Who said I would ever serve horse meat and cover it up? I am just saying that we call cow meat beef, pig meat pork. etc. Horse meat has no other name, so it may sound offensive. I was brought up eating horse meat, rabbit meat, even though in this country they are considered pets by some. At this point, I try not to eat any meat. No judgement necessary.
3/4/13 3:38 P
LOVE4KITTIES - you pretty much summed exactly what I was thinking. The reason it is weird to people to eat horse is because they form more emotional bonds with horses than cows, pigs, etc. I would feel a little weird eating horse because our culture shapes us to feel that way. But really I don't think there is anything wrong with eating horse.
3/4/13 3:05 P
Horses, for a lot of people, are considered pets. The people who own them often bond with them and they are trainable/teachable and they are considered to be beautiful, intelligent creatures. As a result, people don't like to see them eaten. Horses are also frequently bought/sold and it's not at all uncommon for a horse to have a few owners during a lifetime. This occurs because horses are commonly purchased/acquired with the goal of them being suitable for their owner/rider at that point in time. When the rider advances in skill, etc., the horse is sold and a more suitable mount is purchased. So, for example, a child might get a pony and, when they get older, they might get a larger horse. When they grow more advanced in skill, a different horse might be purchased, etc. Horses are too expensive to keep for most people to keep every horse that they've "outgrown" and so these horses are sold/passed on to different owners (and these owners commonly outgrown them as well). It used to be very common for older horses to end up being slaughtered for meat. People didn't like the idea of their previous horses (who they remembered fondly and considered as friends) meeting this fate.
The human-animal bond is an important consideration in what animals are considered appropriate for consumption. Not too many people have the opportunity to form bonds with animals like cows and so these animals are considered okay to be eaten. But, lots of people in the U.S. have formed bonds with horses and so we don't like to see them slaughtered (just the same as we wouldn't think it was okay to eat other companion animals like dogs or cats). We also have a strong enough economy to be able to exclude companion animals (like horses) from slaughter/consumption. If we were in a different country, we might not have that luxury.
Fitness Minutes: (2,138)
3/4/13 11:22 A
RIET69...I would think that by "covering up" the fact that you are eating horse meat and even serving it to guests, you are being dishonest. Also, perhaps you are feeling guilty at serving or eating horse meat?
I certainly have nothing against eating horse meat, but I wouldn't deny to myself or others what I was eating or serving up. To do otherwise simply means that you have a problem with it in some way.
I'm not trying to be a jerk about this, however...let's call a spade a spade here!
Edited by: ZENANDNOW at: 3/4/2013 (11:23)
Fitness Minutes: (11,285)
3/4/13 11:14 A
I was born and raised in Holland and grew up loving horse meat. It was usually marinated in vinegar and lots of onions. Eating horse meat is not any different from eating cow meat or pig or chicken and turkey meat. We cover up by calling it beef , pork, or poultry.
Fitness Minutes: (128,714)
5,169 3/4/13 9:10 A
We lived overseas in the early 90's in Holland. Being a newbie and the language barrier I bought this most beautiful red ground beef, so I thought! I made this fab meatloaf dinner with all the trimmings and when hubby got home sat to a candle lit dinner with wine. We both took a bite at the same time and couldn't remove from our mouths fast enough. It literally tasted like meat that had been left on the counter for weeks and then served. We went across the street to our fave restaurant and had a lovely dinner. Went back to the butcher the next day and discovered that I had bought Pard - HORSEMEAT!
Fitness Minutes: (48,492)
437 3/4/13 9:03 A
Fitness Minutes: (555)
3/4/13 8:57 A
What we do or do not eat is very much a part of our mental outlook and cultural conditioning. Logic and reasoning have almost nothing to do with it.
As so many here have commented, one mammal (of fish or bird) is like another. So long as the species is not endangered (and it is not), I see no problem with consuming horse flesh.
I see no reason that we can eat one mammal and not another. I think humans are basically designed to be omnivores, although personally I would prefer to have been designed as a herbivore.
Fitness Minutes: (13,280)
3/4/13 8:34 A
Horse meat is eaten in Europe. I believe that the equipment used to make the meat also produced horse meat. In switching over from horse meat to cow, they may have not cleaned out the grinders. The horse meat was at about 1% or less. Not enough to cut corners, it is most likely a cleaning issue. Not sure which one is worse.
Different cultures eat all sorts of things that I personally find disgusting but it's all about where you live, what is available and customary. I had a Navajo young man who worked for me that told me they ate prairie dogs. Go figure.
Fitness Minutes: (76,052)
3/3/13 6:56 P
Yes we may be spoiled, but I also am not into meat.
3/3/13 6:35 P
Depended on how and whom cooked it.I have had my fair share of different kinds of fish birds and other critters, some are great some are okay and some not so much.I guess it all depends on how they are prepared.
Fitness Minutes: (25,529)
3/3/13 6:28 P
Our culture is so very spoiled..what we turn our noses up to now..one day maybe what helps us survive.
Fitness Minutes: (36,922)
526 3/3/13 6:05 P
I agree with bluebirdsdfly, I could never hurt a horse, but u must realize I dont like to see fish grasping to breath when caught, so I dont fish either
3/3/13 6:00 P
I was pondering this question and then The Budweiser commercial came on. My answer is that I could not knowingly eat horse unless I was really hungry.
3/3/13 2:56 P
yes here in greece is hot topic too because of the anabolic injections these horses had undergone. .however I think that if somebody eats fast food must consider these things.you can never be sure if you eat trash
3/3/13 2:43 P
The horse meat scandal has been big news in UK for about a month, often hitting the headlines. It seems that Romania has a glut of horsemeat because it has recently become illegal to use horsedrawn vehicles in the cities, so many of the working horses have been put down. It's not clear how the horsemeat got into the UK; a lot of it is in ready meals that were prepared in Europe, and Findus, among other big name brands, have withdrawn all of these meals. (Actually I wouldn't have minded trying it if they warned us it might contain horsemeat and reduced the price accordingly.) So much food presumably being wasted when thousands of people in UK are relying on foodbanks to have enough to eat. The drugs given to horses are a small issue. I read somewhere that you'd have to eat a huge number of burgers in a day (going into hundreds) to be affected by any drugs. McDonalds and some of the big supermarket chains are now only buying British beef to ensure that this doesn't happen again. Lidl (a German chain with smaller supermarkets) only sold British beef anyway). As far as I know I haven't eaten any horsemeat as I try to avoid processed ready meals, but it wouldn't bother me too much.
Fitness Minutes: (5,698)
3/3/13 2:06 P
I think many people, unknowingly, have had horse meat (among other things). Fast food restaurants. You never know what is in their products.
3/3/13 12:24 P
My grandmother talked about eating horse meat during the depression. I think whether people in a country view any particular type of meat as "ok" to eat, depends on religion and customs and the way they view certain animals. I've eaten venison, for example, but can't hardly get past the fact that "It's BAMBI!!" I have friends though that never buy any meat-- all they eat is what they hunt and fish for.
In this country part of the "problem" with horse accidentally getting into the food supply (which it hasn't) would be the various drugs that are used for horses, that aren't safe for humans. Presumably in countries where horse meat is routinely eaten, those drugs wouldn't be used.
I've tasted horsemeat and it was sweeter than beef, however not to my liking. I saw an article on the question of horsemeat being used because of how the horses are "put down" to be kind. One article claimed that they were being euthanized, suggesting that the chemicals being used were being passed into the food it was being served in.
Personally, with all the scares of disease, unhealthy aspics of fatty meats, the methods in which animals are raised, what they are being fed, and the general not-knowing when dining out, I have become very choosy in where I purchase my meats and the retailer's purchasing practices. I have been leaning more towards organic meats and many times farmed fish.
There were years here in the US that some meats like bison, deer meat, ostrich, etc. were not acceptable. Although, still not popular, I'm seeing a lot more exotic meats like this for sale. I won't be frequenting the horsemeat aisle when it rolls around though.
Adding to this, we have to give thought to the fruits and veggies that we eat now too, and the pesticides used to produce them as well as the growing environment.
Oi! there's always something!!! But I do think its good to research and know what's going into your mouth.
That's the thing, SimplyMe. :) I still cook meat for my family if they ask me to.
Fitness Minutes: (0)
143 3/2/13 7:13 P
Eating horsemeat is appropiate in some countries but not here. Horse meat is very lean as with buffalo meat. As long as horses are raised as food in a similar matter as with pigs, sheep, cows here in the States. Some people eat the food they hunt such as deer, raccoon, squrriel, etc. So I see no problem. Those who choose Not to eat any type of meat is their choice along with those who choose to eat horsement. Of course Any animal used as a food should be treated humanely during their life.
Proverbs 12:10 The righteous care for the needs of their animals, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel.
It is not so much that I think we should not eat animals, but I believe that animals should be treated humanely. I hope I'm not sounding like I'm contradicting myself. Such is not the case with the U.S. big meat industry. Just because things are general practice, it does not make it right. (Watch Vegucated. Seriously. Tell me if it does not make you think just a LITTLE bit differently. It is a good, albeit difficult, documentary to watch.) I'm not saying I will never eat meat again, but...I still think that while they're alive, animals should be treated with respect and regard. Yes, it was permissable even in ancient days to eat meat. There were some listed in the book of Leviticus that God said not to eat, which I believe was more for health reasons because of the lack of refrigeration back then. Then in the book of Acts, God revealed to Peter in a vision that it is not what goes into a man's mouth that makes him unclean, but what comes out of it. All meat is permissable to eat. It is our words that makes us clean or unclean-spiritually speaking. :)
Fitness Minutes: (290,927)
10,956 3/2/13 6:50 P
I've also eaten many types of meat, but I have never eaten horse meat.
Fitness Minutes: (2,138)
3/2/13 6:49 P
Hmm...I suppose what is right for one person is different for another. Yes, okay...I'm an omnivore. I also love animals, however... I'm also not religious so I don't equate animals with being one of God's creatures and therefore shouldn't be eaten. Besides, I don't recall anywhere in the Holy Bible where it was instructed that man should not eat animals. In fact, animals were eaten in the early days as well.
I think that Man came from cave man. And cave man ate meat, not grass (plants). There certainly was no agrarian society in the pre-historic days when our ancestors walked the Earth. Our bodies, including our teeth, were designed to eat meat...that's all that early Man had to eat really.
You're an omnivore, technically speaking. I used to feel the same way, but I am an animal lover, too. Even when I did eat cow, pig, turkey, and chicken (occasionally goat and lamb)-I know I would not have been able to eat one that I knew personally. Then seeing some documentaries and clips on how inhumanely the U.S. big meat industry treats God's creatures, I had a real change of heart. It's easy to anthropomorphize animals that SHOW very human-like emotions. I also know by "grass" you mean plants. Eating plants is actually probably what we were originally designed to eat more of. I think our teeth resemble that of herbivores more closely than that of true carnivores, anyway. Netflix can be a dangerous thing or a great thing, depending how you view life. I feel better, both morally and physically, since adopting a plant-based diet.
Fitness Minutes: (2,138)
3/2/13 6:32 P
I have no moral inhibitions when it comes to eating meat. I'm a carnivore, after all...and always will be. I don't hold to the belief that mankind should only eat grass.
Fitness Minutes: (267,554)
3,775 3/2/13 6:08 P
There are a lot of animal meats we don't eat in the U.S., but other countries do. Like in India they don't eat beef, but we do. I guess it's a matter of culture and religion.
I think it is more of a moral thing. Horses are extremely smart, exhibit emotions, form bonds, are teachable-like dogs, and (some) cats. One of the main reasons I want to stop eating all meat except fish is because of the whole moral thing. The health thing is just a perk.
Fitness Minutes: (66,181)
7,159 3/2/13 5:41 P
Horse meat is commonly eaten in European lands- there is actually no scandale in denmark with this meat. Mmany butchers legally sale this product and it is safe to eat.. It tastes a little more sweet than beef.. Some supermarket chain added it to their product and caused a scandal not declaring it telling people.. But because of it's taste people will know it is not beef..
I have been served all sorts of meat in Denmark.. I also like goat meat, it tastes alot like lamb. I prefer goat meat to horse meat..
It is no worse than eating alligator, struss or kangaroo..
Edited by: REDSHOES2011 at: 3/2/2013 (17:52)
Fitness Minutes: (2,138)
3/2/13 4:11 P
Horses are immune to Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (Mad Cow Disease), therefore, there is no risk of humans getting Mad Cow Disease from horsemeat.
I've never eaten horsemeat either. However, I am a carnivore, and I'd certainly be willing to try it. It may actually taste good, but I'll never know unless I try it. So I have no objections to buying or eating horsemeat.
Edited by: ZENANDNOW at: 3/2/2013 (16:11)
3/2/13 3:21 P
I have never tried horsemeat myself. My father said when he was very young during the Depression, one of the draft horses they had broke its leg. It was young and in good physical condition so they ate it instead of butchering a cow. He said it was sweeter than beef and had very little fat. I have eaten bear, elk, raccoon, oppossum, woodchuck and many types of game birds. If prepared correctly, just about any meat is good. (Yup, I enjoy meat!)
Fitness Minutes: (143,838)
3/2/13 3:15 P
It's meat. If I were hungry enough, I'd eat it.
Fitness Minutes: (261,210)
3/2/13 2:59 P
I've been reading about the horse meat scandal on the Daily Mail website. I'm sure there are people who don't object to eating horse meat. However, I think what people object to is being told they are eating BEEF, but in reality were served horse meat in its place. That's deceptive.
Also, considering mad cow disease, people are probably wondering how "healthy" that horse meat really is. If the company that was making those frozen meals swapped cheap horse meat for quality beef, you wonder what other corners they have have cut to save on costs.
There are many cultures in the world that have food taboos. In India, Hindus revere the cow. Here it's "what's for dinner". Do you know that the McDonalds in India don't sell beef burgers. They sell goat and lamb instead of beef. In Asia, people eat dog and cat.
In parts of the Southwest, people eat rattle snack. In New Orleans, you can find fried alligator. There are people who won't eat lobster or shrimp for religious reasons. Vegans won't eat honey, let alone flesh of any kind.
I've never had horse meat, but I have eaten buffalo and ostrich. both with a little gamey for me. I guess you have to know how to cook them to get the right texture.
Edited by: ARCHIMEDESII at: 3/2/2013 (14:59)
Fitness Minutes: (2,138)
3/2/13 12:34 P
One of the hottest topics in the news today concerns the use of horsemeat found in beef products across Europe. Which brings to mind some questions I've had...will Americans ever eat horse meat? Why is there a stigma against eating horsemeat in the US? Is horsemeat nutritious? Tasty? Let's try to find out....
SparkPeople, SparkCoach, SparkPages, SparkPoints, SparkDiet, SparkAmerica, SparkRecipes, DailySpark, and other marks are trademarks of SparkPeople, Inc. All Rights Reserved. No portion of this website can be used without the permission of SparkPeople or its authorized affiliates.
SPARKPEOPLE is a registered trademark of SparkPeople, Inc. in the United States, European Union, Canada, and Australia. All rights reserved.