Published on February 14, 2013 | by Nick Ford

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Horse meat: A stable diet

Nick editor blog

Deputy features editor Nick Ford

It is claimed that the top eight horse meat consuming countries get through around five million of the equine species a year.

China and Mexico lead the field in terms of production and consumption, but many European nations are also partial to a cut of plow steak.

Walk into a supermarché in downtown Montpellier or head to a saturday market in Milan and the chances are that you will find various cuts of horse meat on sale.

Looking at a list of European countries that consume the product, it is clear that the UK is one of the very few who actually do not.

The nutritional value and cost may well play a key factor in people across the world consuming the next Red Rum.

Horse meat is said to contain 25 per cent less fat, less cholesterol and almost 20 per cent less sodium than high quality beef.

On average it’s also 40 per cent cheaper.

History

While horse meat was consumed on the British Isles until the 1930s, it would certainly be frowned upon in the modern day.

Perhaps it’s the quintessentially British love affair with horse racing that sees many turn their noses up at their Findus lasagna.

There has been an understandable uproar amongst the nations public with regards to rogue abattoirs not quite supplying what they claim, but what’s to say this hasn’t happened in the past?

Beef prices rose in the US in 2012 due to the droughts the country suffered but this, as far as they are aware, didn’t mean the American food manufacturers resorted to a cheaper alternative when moulding their meatballs.

It is inevitable that the average Joe has eaten something in a restaurant that was not quite as advertised on the menu.

The likelihood of anyone noticing is rather unlikely; to quote Friedrich Nietzsch, “What does not destroy me, makes me stronger.”

So perhaps it’s time, as a nation, to get off our high horse and see what Seabiscuit and Co have to offer.

 

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