Horse Meat, the trend to put pets on a plate- would you eat it?

Could you imagine having Mr. Ed for dinner?  Now imagine having Mr. Ed for dinner.  There has recently been a resurgence in sales when it comes to horse meat.  A new trend is developing on re-introducing old meat sources, and horses are quickly becoming less of a taboo when it comes to the menu.  For the majority of mankind’s early existence wild horses were hunted as a source of protein.

coahorsebutchery Horse Meat, the trend to put pets on a plate  would you eat it?

WHAT DOES HORSE MEAT TASTE LIKE?

Horse meat has a stronger flavor than beef, has been described as slightly sweet, is very lean and usually quite tender.  It is a major meat in only a few countries today, notably in Central Asia, but it forms a significant part of the culinary traditions of many others, from Europe to South America.  The top eight countries consume about 4.7 million horses a year.

eat me Horse Meat, the trend to put pets on a plate  would you eat it?

Keller Moore: "Don't eat me!"

TABOO:  THE PSYCHOLOGY OF EATING PETS

As horses were used more for work and transportation, predominately in the UK and North America, horse was seen less as a source of food and more as a pet.  Many of the meats commonly eaten in the past have become taboo by their companion status, including rabbit, turtle, and horse… of course.

There is quite a debate raging over whether horse meat should be made more readily available to the general public.  The USDA actually promoted and spelled out the many benefits of eating horse, as well as having purchasing, preparation, and storing tips.  Most people now feel that it is inhumane, that it is wrong, that it should even be illegal to eat horse.

 

TOP CHEF CANADA BEING BOYCOTTED

“Top Chef Canada” came under intensive fire over an episode in which one contestant was asked to prepare a dish using  horse meat.  While the show aired a Facebook group emerged, called “Boycott Top Chef — Protect the Horses” and the membership swelled to over 5,000 strong within minutes totally eclipsing the Top Chef Canada’s Facebook page of 3,500.

The Boycott Top Chef page lists the following information as the premise for the protest:

“Food Network’s TOP CHEF show is planning to air an episode where chefs are required to use horse in their dish: this season’s Episode 6

 

The majority of the public finds eating horse meat offensive. We are concerned about the bad precedent this may set. Horse slaughter is far less humane than beef. Horses are rarely raised for meat, so the source of horsemeat is our riding and racing horses. This means the meat is tainted with toxic or carcinogenic residue from drugs such as bute, dmso, steroids, lasix, antibiotics, and certain de-wormers. Horse meat is not a safe or acceptable food for Americans or Canadians.

 

We ask this show NOT be aired.  And we ask viewers to boycott both the show and its sponsors if it does go on air. Please contact the sponsors and let them know WHY.”

GLOBAL DELICACIESfood network meat source Horse Meat, the trend to put pets on a plate  would you eat it?

  • Basashi is a dish where horse meat is sliced and served raw in Japan.
  • Kazakhstan food – Kazi, Karta, & Shuzhuk. Kazi and karta are  boiled large intestine and stomach, respectively.  Shuzhuk is a kind of sausage whose casing is small intestine filled with rib meat and fat.
  • Pony Stroganoff- Yes, served on egg noodles.  The US recipe calls for onion soup mix.
  • Horse meat stew- France

 

MY TWO CENTS

I did a quick Facebook poll to see where people were at on this issue.  I asked if they would eat horse.

56% said NO, they would not

44% said YES, they would

That seems a pretty even split, and leads me to believe that what really is happening here is not a good vs. evil fight, but more a difference of philosophy around food.   As omnivores, humans eat ALL kinds of things, and horse is really not that far off the staple of many diets, pork and beef.

Many people would actually start to cringe when they think about the animal that plastic and Styrofoam wrapped roast came from, and perhaps even balk at bacon.  It’s funny that the proponents of horse meat are generally those that actually work in the food and beverage industry or are passionate about fresh, high quality ingredients.

Would I eat horse meat?  Yes, definitely.  I may not make it a regular occurrence at my dinner table, but I personally  believe that if an animal is respected in life, slaughtered humanely, and cooked to perfection, then dinner is served.

So… would you eat horse meat?  Tell us in the comments!

Artwork: Marcos Oliveira

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6 thoughts on “Horse Meat, the trend to put pets on a plate- would you eat it?

  1. From Japan, now in the US

    Hi,
    Maybe it is not a timely response to this post as I found your post just now.

    I am a Japanese living in the US (CA and NJ) for 5 years in total. Although we did not have meat-eating tradition for more than 1,000 years through late 19th century, when we opened borders to western courntries, eating raw horse meat is not a strange thing in Japan now. For us, cow, pig and horse are equal. To be honese, personally, eating rabbit sounds more weird, as rabbits are so cute and pretty as food, but it tastes good.

    I always wonder why American media start bashing when they find something different from America. I would say it is an Angro-Saxson thing. People in France, Italy, German Belgeum, and even the neibor, Canada, eat horse. Feelings to horse meat consumption shown are not Universal things at all. Same to dog, cat and whale (we do not eat dog or cat, but I do not accuse someone for eating dog or cat). It is like accusing for being “different from them”, it looks you are not one of them though.

    So this is my comment. A few years (or a decade) ago, the word “Globalism” was regarded as “Americanized”, but now I think it should be interpreted as “diversified”.

    Best regards,

    Reply
    1. jimmyjames Post author

      Thank you, I couldn’t agree more. Modern food practices and production have REALLY watered down what is available, and over time have changed the way many (especially in North America) view ingredients. Take something less “risqué”, like fish for example. Only a few species are eaten on any significant scale, such as salmon, halibut, cod… leading to low and even endangered numbers. Monk fish (delicious by the way) was actually thrown back because it was ugly. I guess as food increasingly becomes more expensive and scarce, more will diversify their diets, and not be so caught up in misconceptions and dogma.

      Reply
    2. Streakin Amber

      Excuse me!!!! Are we here calling your heritage weird? You now live on the U.S. soil and it is NOT a custom here to eat horse meat! You both want to eat it, go where you can eat it!! TO ANOTHER COUNTRY!!!! BECAUSE THIS COUNTRY DOES NOT SERVE HORSES FOR DINNER!!!

      Reply
      1. jimmyjames Post author

        Good thing I live in Canada… Amber, there is a history of eating horse in the US, especially when they couldn’t be used as beasts of burdens anymore. Eating horse meat in the US was only recently banned in 2007. Here’s a great article about the history of eating horse meat around the world if you’d like to educate yourself… including the US – http://amillionhorses.com/horsemeat.htm .

        Reply
  2. barbie

    Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive read something like this before. So nice to search out somebody with some authentic thoughts on this subject. realy thank you for beginning this up. this website is something that is needed on the web, someone with slightly originality. helpful job for bringing something new to the internet!

    Reply
  3. Samantha wheeler

    Are you trying to make people sick you are nasty people who think you should eat are pets what if you had yo grill your favorite animal in the world or your pet how would you feel I feel awful for these animals and you don’t you are sick people

    Reply

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