Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Friday, 8 February 2013
Hungry? I could eat a horse.
Over here in Glorious Albion, we have taken to eating horse-meat in huge quantities, usually in the form of burgers (25%) or lasagna (100%), and - joy - it costs a fraction of the price that is charged in a good French restaurant for a Filet de Cheval.
I have never understood the process by which a pony you may buy for your spoilt daughter will cost a few thousand pounds if she is to ride it around a paddock, or only a few pounds if she is to feed it to the family Labrador. It seems to be a seller's market, and now the Eastern European (allegedly) sellers have found a way of adding value to their products by mis-labelling it as beef.
Of course, the meat is just as good as any other scrag-end of factory-farmed beef - perhaps better - and the only known health risk (so far) is the slim chance of ingesting some of the drugs which may have been administered to the animal when it was earning it's keep by working, in order to keep it working.
It is only us Brits who seem to put an old horse out to grass for the remainder of it's unproductive days, as we usually fall in love with all animals in our care, no matter how unresponsive or aggressive they are in life. If the old Labrador starts biting the children for no reason in it's dotage, most middle-class families have to think hard when deciding between putting the dog or the children down with a lethal injection, and only decide on the former option for legal reasons.
When my father was a child in the East End of London, he remembers stalls in the street which sold nothing but cooked horse-meat on skewers, for about a penny a stick. I would rather eat one of those than the kebabs which are moulded around a former and called 'pensioner's legs' by drunks in the North. As the old joke goes, I don't mind eating a doner kebab, just so long as I know who the donor is.
In this case, it's the principle of the thing, whether or not you eat meat. I am not talking about the moral dilemmas of vegetarians or hypocritical animal lovers, but the fact that nobody likes to be hoodwinked into buying something under false pretences, even if it is superior to what it is actually called on the packet.
Having said that, this is a massive victory for vegans and vegetarians, but it is also a massive victory for small butchers, small farmers, expensive supermarkets and anyone else who can prove the origin of their products by naming the farm and - in some cases - quoting the exact date when the animal was slaughtered.
Also, this is yet another good reason never to buy cheap meat from unscrupulous sources, if you buy meat at all. I for one would not want to eat a chicken which can be bought - ready roasted - from a supermarket for about £4. I would rather make Waitrose richer than they are already.