by Michael Smith (Veshengro)
Processors claim not their fault... but claim meat from foreign suppliers must have contained horse...
It may be considered no longer real news, as the media have been running this to death by now but the fact remains that we have an issue here that should not have occurred.
While some burgers have 'just' contained traces of horse meat supposed beefburgers in TESCO stores in the UK and the Republic of Ireland have contained almost 30% – nigh on a third – horse meat and there is just simply no excuse.
The processors cannot have been that ignorant that the meat they obtained – especially in the TESCO case – was not only beef but contained a great amount of meat from another source, one that is far cheaper, on the European mainland, than is beef.
While it is true that horse meat is not dangerous in any way, shape or form and that it is very much on the menu in countries such as France and Belgium it nevertheless is not beef and when the label says x-amount of beef and lists no other meats then this is fraud on the consumer.
Furthermore in some cultures the eating of horse is a taboo and renders a person unclean. This is, in this case the same as if Jews or Muslims would be sold meat that would turn out to be pork.
This brings us now to 'traceability' and honesty on the side of the supplier of our meats and meat products which, as it would appear, just does not exist.
Sure the consumer, and that includes you and I, are to blame here as well as we want cheap and cheaper products which then leads the producers and processors to cheat. While that is no excuse it is the truth, after all.
If we want to know what is in our food and where it comes from then there is but one answer, localism. This means to buy our food from local sources and, where possible, direct from the producers.
The same should also go for the majority of other things that we buy. Not only do we know where it comes from, who produced it but we support local farmers, growers, producers and craftspeople.