Skip

Abattoir Blues
February 2, 2013 4:16 PM   Subscribe


 
It won't happen to you if you never buy ground beef. Just grind your own. It's safer and you won't have to worry about eating horse.
posted by mr_roboto at 4:20 PM on February 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


*Coughs* The price of meat is set to increase thanks to droughts that the US has had for some time. I would not be surprised if that cubed steak my mom got on "manager's special" contained horse. The USDA still thinks that visual inspection is enough to detect bacterial contamination, for the love of science.

When this happens, eating meat is only for those with strong immune systems.
posted by lineofsight at 4:24 PM on February 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


Were the horses free range organic?
posted by parki at 4:24 PM on February 2, 2013


Well, horse meat looks like beef. So, in order to avoid this, I suppose to be safe, we should slaughter our own cows.
posted by Marauding Ennui at 4:26 PM on February 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Actually, the main reason for the rise in price of meat is that a huge percentage of our corn crop is being used to make fuel ethanol instead of being used for food, especially animal feed.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 4:27 PM on February 2, 2013 [8 favorites]


Horse is tasty, why the big fuss?
posted by snofoam at 4:28 PM on February 2, 2013 [18 favorites]


I went into Burger King and asked for a Whopper. They asked if I wanted anything on it. I said "A fiver each way".

I thengew...
posted by Devonian at 4:30 PM on February 2, 2013 [19 favorites]


I have been expecting the Rubberbandits to offer a variation of their big hit, now redubbed I've Got a Horse Inside.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 4:31 PM on February 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


It's a hilarious story until the bit about how medicated non-food horses are comes up, and how you really don't want that stuff in the food supply. (Along with a lot of other stuff that already is, I know.)
posted by immlass at 4:33 PM on February 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Point 2 and 3 raised in this article seem to miss the goal. The main worry over horse meat in burgers is that the burgers are meant to contain only cow meat. Were the burgers labelled as horse, there wouldn't have been a scandal.
posted by Jehan at 4:34 PM on February 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Horse Pepsi okay?
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:37 PM on February 2, 2013 [8 favorites]


The main scandal is that beef in the UK is supposed to be subject to absolutely totalitarian levels of inspection and record keeping to eliminate any possibility of Mad Cow issues coming back. And somehow...horse got in.
posted by Drinky Die at 4:39 PM on February 2, 2013 [15 favorites]


They didn't necessarily find horse meat, just horse DNA.

It's probably nothing more than gangs of horses roaming the countryside fucking all the hamburgers. Meh.
posted by Sys Rq at 4:43 PM on February 2, 2013 [15 favorites]


One beef patty, sold by the British grocery giant, Tesco, was 29 percent horsemeat.
posted by Drinky Die at 4:44 PM on February 2, 2013 [7 favorites]


Your local grocery store isn't likely to be grinding down horses. It's only if you buy stuff that was pre-ground at the abbatoir.

What I don't get is the people saying "Make horsemeat illegal!", when that's not the problem. The problem is that horse was being sold as beef. If people want to eat horses or dogs, there's nothing wrong with that.
posted by dunkadunc at 4:44 PM on February 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


MMMMMMMMMMMM Corned Horse.

http://www.pferdemetzgerei-barz.de/produkte.htm

And you can't even get a proper Semmel in this country.
posted by dunkadunc at 4:51 PM on February 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


They didn't necessarily find horse meat, just horse DNA.

Remember, it's not BSE if you caught it from something other than a cow. A weird horse-cow hybrid (whether genetically or mechanically constructed)? That's WHXSE, thank you.
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:52 PM on February 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Plus, the kids are all in to mashups these days, I've heard. Why should music and video have all the fun?
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:53 PM on February 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


Actually, the main reason for the rise in price of meat is that a huge percentage of our corn crop is being used to make fuel ethanol instead of being used for food, especially animal feed.

This would not cause a change in the price of beef. The anticipated rise in the price of beef is due to drought (that has already happened, as meat prices lag behind weather impacting feed crops).
posted by hoyland at 4:54 PM on February 2, 2013


There is also raises the question that if people are putting horse in ground beef, what else are they putting in there.

I do like the idea of mystery ground meat, if it is labeled as such, Could be Yak, could be kangaroo, who knows what's in it.
posted by Ad hominem at 4:55 PM on February 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


"I usually only buy chicken from Burger King. Chicken is chicken, you know what you are getting."

I understand that it's not ground into a barely recognizable product but that thinking seems pretty optimistic.

It also reminded me of this creepy thing. Shudder.
posted by MaritaCov at 5:01 PM on February 2, 2013


I love how all these big food/supermarket companies say things like "We are constantly monitoring and working with our suppliers to bring you only the freshest and best quality products."
posted by marienbad at 5:05 PM on February 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


...a huge percentage of our corn crop is being used to make fuel ethanol instead of being used for food...

This is a common refrain and I'm not sure I buy it. I heard this theory when tortilla prices doubled in Mexico.

Thing is there's obviously an either or choice when it comes to a field. The corn for animal feed or people or ethanol isn't the same stuff. So you decide what to grow. If you make the correct choice you make money. If you plant what people need and there isn't a glut in the market you win and get to make a buck. If there's a draught and you aren't affected you win since prices go up.

So if you have all the farmers deciding not to plant corn for ethanol and there was no draught the market is flooded with corn for people or animals and the prices plummet and the farmer loses. Last year some of the local farmers were mowing their fields for silage in August. Some tried planting a second crop. It was a clusterfuck.

Farmers are not taking food corn and turning it into ethanol. The farmer that decides to plant corn for ethanol is also not planting peanuts, wheat, potatoes, soybeans, etc.. It's a calculated decision, and farmers would be stupid to put everything into one kind of crop.

I don't know how many pounds of corn go into making a gallon of ethanol, but it takes 5 pounds of corn to produce 1 pound of meat. If you want someone to blame for high costs I'd start there.
posted by cjorgensen at 5:08 PM on February 2, 2013 [9 favorites]


"We are constantly monitoring and working with our suppliers to bring you only the freshest and best quality products, but every once in a while a horse inevitably wanders into the kill-o-matic and it's just really hard to scrape it out 100%."
posted by Sys Rq at 5:09 PM on February 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


I'm surprised this story hasn't made it to MeFi yet.

anyway, here's an edutaining historical music & painting interlude:

The Roast Beef of Old England (song by Henry Fielding, 1731; painting =The Gate of Calais or O, the Roast Beef of Old England, 1748 by William Hogarth )

more info
posted by Bwithh at 5:10 PM on February 2, 2013


I do like the idea of mystery ground meat, if it is labeled as such, Could be Yak, could be kangaroo, who knows what's in it.

Works fine in WoW.
posted by Drinky Die at 5:12 PM on February 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


They always loudly claim that their burgers contain no human toddlers whatsoever. But if something as big as a horse can make its way into the process without them noticing... well then!
posted by George_Spiggott at 5:12 PM on February 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Horse meat, it's a lil' drier, it actually costs more in Quebec, but not really a big deal.
posted by atomicmedia at 5:16 PM on February 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


I do like the idea of mystery ground meat, if it is labeled as such, Could be Yak, could be kangaroo, who knows what's in it.

Soylent Green?
posted by Wordshore at 5:16 PM on February 2, 2013


The corn for animal feed or people or ethanol isn't the same stuff.

That's a pure function of the price, not the nature of the corn. If the cost of animal food is right, people food can become cow food. If the cost of ethanol is right, all of it can be made into ethanol.

(This is why subsidizing ethanol is so repulsive, incidentally. You're burning food.)
posted by mhoye at 5:19 PM on February 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Soylent Green?

Luckily, I like both soybeans and lentils, and green is my favorite color.
posted by Nomyte at 5:20 PM on February 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


I heard this theory when tortilla prices doubled in Mexico.

Incidentally, what's your alternative hypothesis for this? Tortilla monopolists? Nacho Cartels?
posted by mhoye at 5:20 PM on February 2, 2013


Nacho Cartels?

Didn't he play a couple of seasons for the Tigers in the early 80s?
posted by mr_roboto at 5:25 PM on February 2, 2013 [9 favorites]


That's a pure function of the price, not the nature of the corn.

Field corn and sweet corn are different things, and you don't want to eat unprocessed field corn.

Field corn, also known as dent or feed corn, makes up more than 90% of the corn you see growing in the fields. So what makes this corn different than what ends up on my dinner plate? Well, field corn is hard on the outside and starchy on the inside, unlike sweet corn.
posted by Drinky Die at 5:25 PM on February 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


It's the Soylent stuff that concerns me
posted by philip-random at 5:28 PM on February 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Incidentally, what's your alternative hypothesis for this?

My point is that a farmer decides what to plant. When you plant less of one thing there are fewer of those things, so price goes up. Blaming food corn prices on ethanol is like blaming the rising costs of pineapples on ethanol. You know, since the farmer could have planted pineapples instead of corn.

If the fields were planted with switchgrass (which is also used to make ethanol and no one eats it) would you have a problem? I can just as easily blame you for the rise in corn prices since I'm guessing you are not a farmer raising corn for people. So the alternative choice you are making directly contributing to rising corn prices.

One of the other ironies here is that for the vast majority of my life farmers have been unable to make a go of it since commodity prices have traditionally been low. Farmers compete in an amazing global market. Their products are also used in all kinds of things. Chances are the newspaper you read is made with soy ink. They are using food to make ink! Many of the "plastics" you use also have soy in them. Most plants have a ton of uses other than eating them.
posted by cjorgensen at 5:36 PM on February 2, 2013 [5 favorites]


Field corn and sweet corn are different things...

Sure they are. But if there weren't such a huge demand for the corn that's used to make fuel ethanol, the farmers would be planting the other kind, and there wouldn't be a shortage.

I think that using food crops for fuel (or, using fields which could be growing food crops to instead grow fuel crops) is obscene.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 5:38 PM on February 2, 2013


As to horse meat, I buy my hamburger at a Halal butcher shop. I'm pretty confident they won't be doing anything like this.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 5:39 PM on February 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've wanted to try horse basashi for years. Maybe my time will come.
posted by codswallop at 5:43 PM on February 2, 2013


Field corn isn't bad, it will certainly do in a pinch. Certainly is no sweet corn or bread and butter corn though. I don't think bread and butter corn is a legit variety though, just the common name for bi-color supersweet corn.

There are hundreds of types of corn.

I actually think we have enough arable land in the US that supply and demand will even out in the long term right? I don't think we are at a risk of running out of room for sweet corn, worst case scenario, we grow less corn to use as fillers right?
posted by Ad hominem at 5:43 PM on February 2, 2013


Sure they are. But if there weren't such a huge demand for the corn that's used to make fuel ethanol, the farmers would be planting the other kind, and there wouldn't be a shortage.

Right, just brought it up for the "nature of the corn" point. You make the decision when you plant and you are pretty much stuck with it. Field Corn is processed into all kinds of human foods, but that is factored into the commodity prices already when you make your decision.
posted by Drinky Die at 5:44 PM on February 2, 2013


I think that using food crops for fuel (or, using fields which could be growing food crops to instead grow fuel crops) is obscene.

By this logic any use of land other than for the purpose of raising food is evil. No roads, no buildings. By this logic being anything other than a farmer is also contributing to the problem.

I'm confused.
posted by cjorgensen at 5:45 PM on February 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


One beef patty, sold by the British grocery giant, Tesco, was 29 percent horsemeat.

You know what they call a 'Quarter Pounder with Cheese' in Paris? A 'Royale with Cheese'.

You know what they call a 'Quarter Pounder with Cheese' in the U.K.? A 'Quarter Horse with Cheese'.
posted by Room 641-A at 5:47 PM on February 2, 2013 [12 favorites]


I actually think we have enough arable land in the US that supply and demand will even out in the long term right?

No, because the government is meddling with the free market through the ethanol mandate.

If the government were to drop the requirement for including ethanol in gasoline, the market would certainly respond, by not doing that anymore. There is no market demand for it.

And then corn (suitable for food and feed) would once again become plentiful and cheap.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 5:48 PM on February 2, 2013


Using corn ethanol as a biofuel is massively stupid for plenty of reasons but it's kind of a derail here.
posted by George_Spiggott at 5:53 PM on February 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Ok I'm with you guys then. Almost nothing in life is better than sweet corn on the cob.
posted by Ad hominem at 5:56 PM on February 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


I heard horses taste just like raisins... (slightly NSFW)
posted by symbioid at 6:00 PM on February 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah - but then, if the government removed the ethanol mandate and ALSO removed all the subsidies to the oil company and then all the farm subsidies and then all that other government meddling with the free market (just like those rotten kids!)...

Oh, shit, I guess we'd all be eating horse anuses labeled as Kobe Beef.
posted by symbioid at 6:07 PM on February 2, 2013


I stopped buying ground beef from Trader Joe's when the package listed the sources as five countries on three continents.
posted by zippy at 6:13 PM on February 2, 2013 [6 favorites]


Using corn ethanol as a biofuel is massively stupid for plenty of reasons but it's kind of a derail here.

I agree.

To try to get this back on course...

I didn't want to only link to the NPR story (though that is where I heard of this first). In finding other sources for the same story (while avoiding using Daily Mail) I read a lot of horrific stuff.

People imagine their meat comes from the farm up the road, but in the US your Applebee's baby back ribs were probably raised in the UK.

The idea that meat from several states is ground together makes no sense to me. The idea that it's from multiple cows...fine. Multiple animals? Not so fond of that idea.

In the Midwest here in the US we went through a "pink slime" scandal where ground beef was more or less just a slurry boiled off the bones and hide that was treated with ammonia. We had our Governor and former Governor running around the state saying, "Beef is beef!" and eating hamburger.

They were also opposing any voluntary labeling of food because it would confuse the consumer.

The religious concerns for the UK scandal is also interesting. There was pork mixed in there as well, and I would have thought that would get more people upset.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:15 PM on February 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


I remember just after the war (WWII) my Dad took me to a restaurant in London where we ate horse steaks. it was delicious!
posted by lungtaworld at 6:23 PM on February 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


marienbad: "I love how all these big food/supermarket companies say things like "We are constantly monitoring and working with our suppliers to bring you only the freshest and best quality products.""

Yes, this is corporate PR-speak, but don't be fooled into taking your local supermarket for granted. It's an absolute miracle that they can acquire and sell such vast quantities of decent-quality perishables in such huge volumes, with such high consistency, and with such low prices.

A few years ago, I spent a few months working in the food distribution chain. I've never seen another industry where literally every player was trying to rip everybody else off. Every transaction had to be done in cash (because nobody paid taxes, and because nobody trusted that their customers' checks would clear), and then we would need to check to make sure that the cash was real. That was only after every last piece of the product was thoroughly inspected to make sure that it wasn't crap. Customers also needed to constantly reevaluate their vendors, because the vendors would typically slack off, and reserve their best goods for their newest customers.

Don't do your diligence, and it's pretty much a guarantee that the distributor's going to sell you a truck full of moldy tomatoes, or almost-but-not-quite expired meat.

I really don't know how the supermarket chains do it on such a large scale, or with any degree of consistency.

Neighborhood grocers and farmers markets are great, and the ones who are actually good at it are largely still around. However, it's a damn difficult business, and I seriously doubt that we'd be able to do it on a large scale, even if the higher costs weren't really a factor. Supermarkets are an absolutely amazing part of our modern society that everybody takes for granted.
posted by schmod at 6:31 PM on February 2, 2013 [11 favorites]


There was pork mixed in there as well, and I would have thought that would get more people upset.

Horse meat is actually less kosher than pork, though whether it's halal or not is debatable.

Really, though, anyone who's vigilant about keeping kosher or halal would, by definition, only be getting their meat from kosher or halal sources, so this really wouldn't affect them much at all.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:32 PM on February 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think we all need to abattoir of the Burger King meat processing facilities, so we can see for ourselves.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:39 PM on February 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


As to horse meat, I buy my hamburger at a Halal butcher shop. I'm pretty confident they won't be doing anything like this.
Yeah, because butchers or their suppliers would never lie. (Those were just the fastest links I found) While it is true that any Jew or Muslim who really cares about not eating pork is going to be going to a kosher butcher/supplier, they can and have lied as well. There's a serious mark up on kosher/halal meat and if the supplier/butcher can pocket the price difference.....

Horse meat is actually less kosher than pork, though whether it's halal or not is debatable.
What does that mean? How is horse MORE unkosher than pork? There's kosher and not kosher.
posted by atomicstone at 6:41 PM on February 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


...the main reason for the rise in price of meat is that a huge percentage of our corn crop is being used to make fuel ethanol instead of being used for food, especially animal feed.

I'd like to see a citation on this. All other corn-enriched products haven't jumped. Check your snack aisle.

In any case, ethanol is a much better use for corn than meat is. Meat is a luxury, energy isn't.
posted by DU at 6:54 PM on February 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


What does that mean? How is horse MORE unkosher than pork? There's kosher and not kosher.

Well, yeah, obvz, but there's two main criteria, per Leviticus: Chewing cud and cloven hooves. Pigs at least have the latter.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:55 PM on February 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


The problem isn't horse. That's a quaint sideshow that makes people laugh it off, or make jokes about foreign cultures that •gasp• have different cultural norms. Horse, by the way, is delicious. Come to Japan. We can have a meet-up, and I'll make sure you get to try it. Bring money though, it's not cheap.

The problem is false labeling. This is simply fucking with the social contract. One of the most basic parts of a society based on buying and selling is being able to believe that you are actually getting what you pay for. The government is obligated to regulate things like this, and they are failing. In Japan a couple years ago, it came out that supermarkets were mislabeling meat as domestic when it wasn't, labeling frozen food as produced domestically when it was imported. If you think that's not a problem, realize that the unlabeled country of origin was China, which for the last decade or so has seen all kinds of absurd ongoing bullshit over fake or outright poisonous food (using melamine as a cheap source of protein to cut corners in baby formula was just one of series of unbelievable events). If we can't trust the products we are buying, and if the things we believe to be safe are not only not what we believe them to be, but actually hazardous, where do we go from there?

and for the, well, it can't happen here crowd, wasn't it last year in Chicago where Trader Joes or some chain was selling poisonous puffer fish (yeah, basically fugu) labelled as monk fish? Luckily they managed to pull that from shelves before anyone died.
posted by Ghidorah at 7:05 PM on February 2, 2013 [11 favorites]


Also, for those that didn't RTFA - horses not raised for meat production tend to be contaminated with both microbes and supplements that can be quite dangerous to human beings - diseases, disorders, cancer. A little aplastic anemia with your unlabeled horsemeat? More than half of US domestic non-feral horses have been treated with the equine painkiller phenylbutazone. There is NO safe human consumption minimum for this common horse medication, and we really don't know how long, if ever, it takes for a horse to completely clear it. And that's just one.

And for the record, before I kept strictly kosher, I enjoyed delicious horse and/or foal meals in Canada, Europe and Japan. If we are going to resume legal US horse meat production, it had better include very strict requirements of how to first deal with the hundreds of thousands of unwanted, inedible horses in the country. Or we will assuredly find them in our human food supply.
posted by Dreidl at 7:50 PM on February 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


That's a quaint sideshow that makes people laugh it off, or make jokes about foreign cultures that •gasp• have different cultural norms.

I don't know if its still the case, but when my mom was growing up in Belgium they even had separate horse meat butcher shops.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:55 PM on February 2, 2013


It's not just that it's horse meat, it's horse meat that nobody has any god damn idea where it came from and how it got into the supply in a country where that simply can't be allowed to happen because of the Mad Cow.

*puts on preachy vegetarian hat* Meat is basically meat, there is no reason to get more disgusted by horse or cow or deer or dog or whatever, but this issue goes beyond just false advertising. Mystery meat of unknown origin is dangerous.
posted by Drinky Die at 8:03 PM on February 2, 2013 [6 favorites]


Does anyone have a cite for the claim that maize (i.e. field corn) cannot be used for human food (e.g. tortillas and HFCS), ethanol (both to drink and to add to gas), and animal feed? I'm sure that certain varieties make tastier tortillas or Bourbon, but otherwise, why would it matter? As I understand it, maize is a commodity and we can and do use commodity maize for all of these purposes.

I'd be interested to see any information suggesting otherwise.
posted by ssg at 8:38 PM on February 2, 2013


I think I'm the only one who mentioned the distinction. I noted that it is used processed in all kinds of forms for human food.
posted by Drinky Die at 8:40 PM on February 2, 2013


It's not just that it's horse meat, it's horse meat that nobody has any god damn idea where it came from and how it got into the supply in a country where that simply can't be allowed to happen because of the Mad Cow.

It's known where it came from, btw, namely Poland. But more specifically, I think it's even known where specifically the horses were being killed (somewhere that's not meant to be producing horse meat, IIRC). The open question is who actually bears the responsibility. For example, did the original supplier know they were shipping meat other than beef? If so, who at the next company along the chain picked the shady supplier and why didn't they this figure out?

I kind of wonder how relevant BSE actually is here. It's incredibly relevant politically because BSE was covered up for so long (complete with the agriculture minister feeding his daughter a hamburger on TV), but did anyone really think the British food supply was any more highly and reliably scrutinised than elsewhere? That's almost the opposite belief mad cow instilled in me, but I'm not exactly representative--I was a kid and while I spent enough time in Britain to be banned from donating blood in the US, I wasn't living there. Of course, I suspect we could partially trace my vegetarianism to BSE as well.
posted by hoyland at 8:41 PM on February 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


cjorgensen writes "By this logic any use of land other than for the purpose of raising food is evil. No roads, no buildings. "

This is sort of the theory behind BC's Agricultural Land Reserve. Its aim is to prevent farm land from being turned into tract housing and its trappings.
posted by Mitheral at 9:47 PM on February 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


At least they've proved it's real meat.
I'm fine with eating horse meat.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 9:51 PM on February 2, 2013


There's kosher and not kosher.

As far as the government stepping in and regulating the social contract on that, the judge said he's not touching a religious issue. So there's no way you can really be sure what you're getting, even with a kosher or halal label, let alone half-hearted (no pun intended) FDA inspections.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:14 PM on February 2, 2013


The Tesco burgers that contained up to 29% equine DNA were likely to have been made with high-protein powders derived from horse rather than fresh meat...

Economy burgers are typically bulked out with additive mixes of concentrated proteins extracted from animal carcasses and offcuts. Industry sources said the 29% horse DNA was more likely to have originated with these high-protein powders from rendered horses rather than any fresh horse meat.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 12:15 AM on February 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Protein powder from rendered carcasses? That sure as hell isn't kosher by me.
posted by dunkadunc at 12:18 AM on February 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Currently more corn goesto ethanol than live stock feed.

Abiut 2 weeks ago FAO came out against corn ethanol sincr we are near record low grain reserves.

2012/13 grain estimates are lower than last year. there has been a prolongef drought in the middle of the country(the Mississippi had to be dredged it was too low for grain transport boats).

On my phone but all this is easy to look up.
posted by Shit Parade at 12:30 AM on February 3, 2013


I had no idea ground meat (I hesitate to say 'beef') is made from animals killed at various times and from various countries. I assumed the meat would all have the same death date, that my ground beef essentially came from one cow. Obviously, it wasn't anything I put much thought into. My farm experiences of animal slaughtering didn't prepare me for mixed meat.

Now... Dear Gods I'm never buying ground meat again. I don't mind the horse parts; I grew up rural, there's a lot I've eaten that many wouldn't. But mixing fresh kills with not so fresh kills, from gods know where, just grosses me out to no end.
posted by _paegan_ at 12:31 AM on February 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


Officials said the meat came from two processing plants in the Irish Republic and one in England

And of course we deal with these plants because, the *ahem* 'beef' is so cheap.
posted by BlueHorse at 12:56 AM on February 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


And there I was wondering why you don't see pictures of wild horses running about the streets of Dublin like you used to.
posted by MuffinMan at 2:19 AM on February 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


Wild horses couldn't drag me...

to Burger King.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 2:32 AM on February 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


There's kosher and not kosher.

Not quite. There is Kosher and Glatt Kosher. Glatt follows Sephardic Jewish definitions of Kosher and has only become the standard since the 1960s with the spread of hasidism and orthdoxy. It means the animal has its lungs checked for minute lesions, if any are present, it is declared unkosher. And then, on top of that, various hasidic groups have arbitrary restrictions that, while not canon law, do have the effect or restricting who some folks will eat with or socialize with. A lot of old New York delis were perfectly kosher, but lost the majority of their business because they could not afford the shift to pricier glatt preparation. (Note: Katz's in New York and Schwartz's in Montreal are not kosher delis.)

Visiting Ljuljana, Slovenia? Don't pass up a trip to the Hot Horse burger outlets, serving horseburger daily to the adoring masses. It actually quite good.

In Italian cooking, Verona and Padua are well known for their love of horse meat. Pastisada de caval is a horse sauce on polenta you should never pass up.

I buy horse meat debreceni sausages from my local market in Budapest. Regular debreceni are Forint 1700 a kilo (about USD $8.00) while the horse meat ones are Forint 700 a pound ($3.20) They are made in less industrial circumstances so they taste better, have better texture, and being cheap, tend to sell out within hours of hitting the butcher stands.

But when you want a burger, you want a beef patty. You shouldn't depend on Tesco for that.
posted by zaelic at 2:58 AM on February 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


I am old enough to remember the kangaroo meat scandal at Jack-in-the-Box back in the 1970s. Because of the last fun with E.coli contaminated meat out of Canada, Mr. Roquette and I agreed that we would no longer purchase beef at any local supermarket. All are supplied by Sysco. My daughter's store was very proactive about pulling the contaminated meat, but I said to Mr. Roquette, 'I am sick to death of worrying whether our meat will make us ill!' We began to purchase all our meat from a well known local butcher shop. All their meat is from within the county.
The only exception we make is halal certified lamb from Australia.
There are neither halal nor kosher butchers here. I have been vegetarian at various times in the past and my health suffered each time, plus even though I LOVE beans, they give me such catastrophic gas that it's just not viable. I wish we could simply raise our own animals. We live in a town, and simply can't do it. So we just do the best we can to get decent meat.
We have had fewer digestive upsets since making that change.
E. coli is not a joke as people get older. It can kill you.
When my budget and transportation options were less favorable, if there was a lot of E. coli and salmonella, I used to switch to canned meats because at least canning sterilizes the product.
I really hate what's happening in the meat industry. It's like Upton Sinclair's 'The Jungle' all over again.
It seems though that there are many more food-borne illnesses than when I was younger. Inspection used to be better and that went for domestic and imported foods.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 3:12 AM on February 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Kangaroo meat scandal? But kangaroo meat is usually more expensive than ground beef.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 3:19 AM on February 3, 2013


I went to Burger King on Friday and to be honest I was more annoyed to find that my regular Coke contained 100% Diet Coke. Blech.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 4:50 AM on February 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


I had no idea ground meat (I hesitate to say 'beef') is made from animals killed at various times and from various countries. I assumed the meat would all have the same death date, that my ground beef essentially came from one cow. Obviously, it wasn't anything I put much thought into. My farm experiences of animal slaughtering didn't prepare me for mixed meat.

This.

The majority of people think that their meat comes thriving friendly farmers who raise each and every cow for your consumption. The scary truth is meat has become a business. A scary ass not-held-accountable business where people want it cheap and plentiful, and if some people or kids die of e. Coli because no one is seriously inspecting the facilities where your meat comes from, then that's the price people seem happy to pay.

Horse meat? I'm more shocked people are shocked.
posted by Kitteh at 6:26 AM on February 3, 2013


Protein powder from rendered carcasses? That sure as hell isn't kosher by me.

I realise this was a joke, but the existence of kosher gelatin relies on stuff made from hides being pareve.
posted by hoyland at 6:35 AM on February 3, 2013


We can have a meat-up...
posted by sneebler at 7:23 AM on February 3, 2013


"I usually only buy chicken from Burger King. Chicken is chicken, you know what you are getting."

Very optimistic:

A chicken nugget is a chicken product made from either meat slurry or chicken breasts cut to shape...

In my experience, the chicken breast ones are increasingly rare.
posted by sneebler at 7:26 AM on February 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


E. coli is not a joke as people get older. It can kill you.

I have a cousin that is quadriplegic and mentally disabled to the degree he'll never speak. He listens to Barney CDs all day. Same disc on repeat for hours and days and weeks and months and years. He becomes agitated when the disc stops. He was infected with E. coli as toddler. Around this same time a couple elderly people died in his geographical area. The investigators we unable to find any commonality between the cases. It pretty must tore that part of the family apart and obviously destroyed this kid's life. Being killed isn't the worst thing that can happen.
posted by cjorgensen at 9:48 AM on February 3, 2013


The french can joke about it even
posted by jan murray at 2:47 PM on February 3, 2013


It's the Soylent stuff that concerns me

I know, you can't get the good stuff anymore, they've been cutting it with horse.

Find a local butcher you trust, or do what I do and hunt your own.
posted by sebastienbailard at 11:55 PM on February 3, 2013


Horse is tasty, why the big fuss?

This is a fairly reasonable question to me. Is there any additional risk in producing or eating horse meat?

Currently more corn goesto ethanol than live stock feed.

Our society needs fuel in order to provide essential services.

No one needs to eat meat.
posted by mrgrimm at 2:20 PM on February 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


hahahahha

oh good luck with getting that policy option to fly without riots or installing a dictatorship.

HHAHAHHAH oh why, yeah, amazing what some people will say.
posted by Shit Parade at 2:22 PM on February 4, 2013


oh good luck with getting that policy option to fly without riots or installing a dictatorship.

Is that directed at me? If so, you are leaping/projecting a bit, I think.

Which of these statements is not true?

1) Our society needs fuel in order to provide essential services.

2) No one needs to eat meat.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:32 PM on February 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


No one also needs doctors. Needs / wants etc etc (id say food wins over gas for the car). Anyway your formulation is so naive it caught me off guard. sorry about that.
posted by Shit Parade at 4:42 PM on February 4, 2013


No one also needs doctors.

Yep, that's an argument winner. Kudos.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:26 PM on February 4, 2013 [4 favorites]


Quick, somebody... we need a good horse meat joke here.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:25 PM on February 4, 2013


Uhh...okay.

Hey sir, do you need a doctor to live since you have all that cancer?

Neigh!

Shit, I'm bombing harder than Cortex making an orioles pun.

posted by Drinky Die at 10:40 PM on February 4, 2013


You figure horse meat would be easy to market. People love horse racing, and horses are associated with strength and virility. "Eat our meat and you'll run like Phar Lap!"

"It's not Black Caviar, but it tastes as good!"
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 10:53 PM on February 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


My friend Jay Riemenschneider eats horse meat all the time. He gets it from his butcher!
posted by mrgrimm at 10:54 PM on February 4, 2013


Why Texas Should Reopen Its Horse Slaughterhouses

very interesting to me.

The last horse slaughterhouse in the US was Cavel Int. in DeKalb, IL, shut down in ... 2007? (Spoiler: It was killed by the ol' Illinois Horse Meat Act of 2007.)

Also, I can't be the only one wondering, "What do horses have to do with glue?" (mmm, animal glue.)
posted by mrgrimm at 11:02 PM on February 4, 2013


You figure horse meat would be easy to market.

I think it is ... in China. And Europe, I suppose. Logistics are not slight in transporting meat, though Mexico does a hell of a lot of it I think. And it's all over Canada, isn't it?

The shady trade in American horsemeat

posted by mrgrimm at 11:09 PM on February 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


And it's all over Canada, isn't it?

I've never seen it for sale. We mostly just kill 'em and ship 'em. I'd be very surprised if most Canadians even knew horse slaughter was legal here, let alone that we are the major exporter.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:01 AM on February 5, 2013


Generally, horse meat is eaten in Quebec (they even sell it in the major chain grocery stores sometimes) and not in the rest of Canada.
posted by ssg at 8:56 AM on February 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


On the BBC news website tonite: Findus beef lasagne contained up to 100% horsemeat, FSA says.

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said the findings were "completely unacceptable", but Findus said it did not believe it was a food safety issue ... The FSA said Findus had tested 18 of its beef lasagne products and found 11 meals containing between 60% and 100% horsemeat. People have been warned not to eat the products, which were made for Findus by French food supplier Comigel ...

The FSA said: "We have no evidence to suggest that this is a food safety risk. However, the FSA has ordered Findus to test the lasagne for the veterinary drug phenylbutazone, or 'bute'. "Animals treated with phenylbutazone are not allowed to enter the food chain as [the drug] may pose a risk to human health.

posted by Wordshore at 3:25 PM on February 7, 2013


"We have no evidence to suggest that this is a food safety risk"

Other than safeguards so lax the wrong fucking animal was in the box you mean?
posted by fullerine at 3:39 PM on February 7, 2013 [7 favorites]


Slaughterhouse and meat firm raided

"A slaughterhouse and a meat firm have been raided by police and food safety officials probing alleged mislabelling of horsemeat as beef.

Peter Boddy Licensed Slaughterhouse, in West Yorkshire, and Farmbox Meats Ltd, Aberystwyth, have had work suspended.

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said it was unacceptable if UK firms were defrauding the public.

Meanwhile, Waitrose withdrew its Essential British Frozen Beef Meatballs after pork was detected in two batches."
posted by marienbad at 11:51 AM on February 12, 2013




In other meat news: The Meat Industry Now Consumes Four-Fifths of All Antibiotics
posted by homunculus at 5:20 PM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]




There were in fact halal meals being provided to UK prisoners that were tainted (with pork of all things!) so I don't think seeking that out would be of any benefit.
posted by longbaugh at 4:18 AM on February 14, 2013


Of course the main problem is clearly identifying the animal on arrival into the slaughterhouse. The FSA is thinking of implementing a new identification system to ease the burden on those responsible for this process.
posted by longbaugh at 4:22 AM on February 14, 2013


I'd like to express my gratitude to the many vegans who haven't enjoyed this as much as is their right to.

when vegetables are more expensive than meat, alarm bells should be going off.
posted by davemee at 6:00 AM on February 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Häst found in IKEA meatballs
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:08 PM on February 25, 2013


Häst found in IKEA meatballs

Hästy very Tästy!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:07 PM on February 25, 2013




christ, what a hästekuk.
posted by dunkadunc at 5:17 PM on February 25, 2013


I wanted to take the family out for dinner, but we don't have enough money, so my wife hästekuk.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 1:53 AM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]




And that's why we're still number one!
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 8:54 AM on February 26, 2013


« Older Will oil companies provide Kurdistan its de facto...   |   Batteries not included Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post