Horse-meat in the UK, Ireland and Europe

For those of you who read this blog outside Europe (thanks for making this global!) you might have heard about the whole horse-meat scandal in Europe. If not, an explanation is given below.

Horse-meat is not bad for you

Some parts of Mainland Europe eat horse-meat happily whereas most people in the UK and Ireland see horse-meat as a ‘no go meat’ for culture reasons. Horses are seen as real pets and not as food. Culture is fascinating.

But the problem with horse-meat, in a nutshell, lies with the labels on foods. 100% beef burgers have up to 100% horse-meat in them. Horse’s get different medications, some of which can be harmful to humans, which need to be regulated. Having said that, some experts in the UK have said that a person would need to eat 500 grams of burgers a day to be infected.

You are what you eat

Although this saying is inaccurate (because you are what you digest) it got me thinking: we do not really know what is in our food. Government’s do not do enough to regulate the food industry. Why? Here are one, of many, reasons:

  • Next time you’re in the supermarket have a look at the content. Look at the amount of salt and sugar in our food. If the government really wanted to help with obesity and lifestyles they would get a tighter control on this stuff. You can run your body into the ground if you eat too much salt, or sugar. Some government’s do, however, offer guidelines but this does not reduce the volume of salt and sugar in our foods.

Food varies in price. How come lower quality food is mostly bad for you? Does this mean poorer people are more likely to suffer from health problems? This is not fair, yet this is the case.

What can I do about horse-meat?

You can’t do anything about the supermarkets and producers of these products. But you might want to consider getting stuff locally. If it’s local you have a greater chance of buying real products. Local produce is a little more expensive but you are likely to know where something has come from.

We really do not know what we eat. Although this is worrying, you should try to take as much control, on your part, as you can. One of the most important things to do is to cook your own sauce. Buy the ingredients yourself, get a lovely cookbook and knock yourself out. You can control lots of things this way — including salt and sugar. In fact, cooking from fresh ingredients allows you to have salt/sugar free meals.

Personally speaking, I cook from fresh ingredients. I find it relaxing, especially if I have coursework or exams. Don’t get me wrong, a cheeky chip is sometimes nice as a treat. But remember to enjoy your body. Love it, feed it with fresh (fruit and veg), tasty nutrients. Don’t overload it with rubbish. Salt, for example, will clog your arteries and will put a lot of strain on your heart because your body retains more water when there’s excess salt in your body.

Do you have anything else to add? How do you recommend a healthy life?


13 thoughts on “Horse-meat in the UK, Ireland and Europe

  1. I’m totally with you on this one. I try to eat real food, ie things I’ve cooked from scratch with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Cooking is such a pleasure, whether its just for me, or for family and friends. It’s relaxing and therapeutic at times, in times of stress, I find myself in the kitchen, baking, cooking and freezing. It feeds your soul as well as your physical being. Eat well, take a little exercise, even just 20 minutes of walking a day, and a healthy life can be yours. Interestingly, low fat, low calorie meals tend to have more sugars and additives. Check the side of any low calorie ready meal, and you will see what I mean. I know people will say that it’s more expensive to buy fresh ingredients, but you don’t have to use the finest cuts of meat. A simple leek and potato soup, with a little creme fraiche stirred in is quick, easy and very cheap to make.
    Jane x

    • Thanks a lot for your brilliant comment, janeykate.
      I forgot to add in a section about exercise. I go for several long walks (30 minutes plus) each week. Maybe I’ll write a post about this great, healthy and free activity in the near future.
      Hope to see you around here soon!

  2. I have eaten horse meat when I was a kid, here in the USA. It’s not bad at all. I won’t take up much space on your blog with details. Horse meat tastes similar to the Italian col cut meat Mortadella, which is boiled bull meat with bits of pork fat included into the loaf. I also worked in a slaughterhouse for one year so I am not squeamish. Burgers with horse meat should taste a bit sweet. Far too much being made of the story by the media. World War-I, my maternal grandfather said that when a horse was killed, it was meat for the troops, and they were glad to have it. I understand the belief of the Nobility of equine, but it was frowned upon to feed horse meat to boys under the age of 16 in Europe because of the belief that the spirit of the horse would enter the boy and he would grow up wild like the horse.
    Well… I am riding Harley-Davidsons since the age of 16, and I made 18 airborne jumps… :D

    • Thanks very much for taking the time to read and comment on my blog, brittius.
      It’s also good to see that you are a meat eater with experience of working in a slaughterhouse. Unfortunately many eat eaters do not think about this aspect, at least not enough. Personally, I have watched a few graphic programs (like you I’m not squeamish) of slaughterhouses: If you are going to eat it know the whole process, right?
      Hope to see you around here soon.
      Good luck

      • That is correct. I also hunt and harvest deer, and have taught my son from an early age, and will soon be teaching my two grandsons in about another year or two.
        There are many people that would absolutely starve if they had to fend for themselves.
        Take Care, Lad! Great conversing with you.

  3. i grew up riding horses so i understand people not seeing them as food. i also grew up in a third world country and understand that people are of far greater value than animals. if it came to survival, there is probably not an animal i wouldn’t eat. but hopefully i won’t have to! :) –kris

  4. With the permission of this blog’s host, if I may speak from my life experience: All of the provision meats such as frankfurters and commercial burgers, they are truly beef, but not the same animal as what one would dine on as in a steakhouse or pub. The meats are bull meat. Lean. Nice solid mass. Then the meat is ground up. Depending upon what is purchased, frankfurters have spice ingredients added and some fat trimmings of beef when steers are trimmed into cuts of meat like roasts, ribs, steaks. When a burger is made, again it will more than likely be bull meat, plus fat trimmings added. By including horse (equine), the product remains lower in fats. More actual meat is in the burger because there is less fat. Horse meat has a slightly sweet taste. In fact, it is very nice. You are not buying the “glue factory” nag. One might jokingly say “the horse lost a big money race”, but generally, the overpopulation is culled rather than having issues of overpopulation. Dog foods generally have substantial amounts of horsemeat and the aromatics will again be sweeter and self identifying. Nothing wrong aside from what people have in their heads as ideas. Years ago, my maternal grandparents could only afford meat twice a week. What meat portion my grandfather fed a family of five, today is considered to be only a portion for one person. The older people saw the opportunity to have a meat product to dine on as a blessing. God bless their souls, nothing was ever wasted from the table. Today, people see me as a caveman because when I do harvest an animal, very little is wasted. Interestingly, my grandchildren have more of an appreciation for the way I do things, as was taught to me, from people that always said to count one’s blessings and be greatful to have it. You people there in Europe, undoubtedly have heard of hard times of your generations before you, and though I am an American, I like to think of Europe as the hallmark of our Traditions and Culture. I think of it more like, we are all one big family. Foods have a significant role in our heritage and survival.
    Wishing everyone there, all the very best!

    • Thanks for this, brittius.
      Although I do enjoy eating meat; I am eating less of it.
      You pointed out some useful things to know about meat (e.g. meat does have fat…).
      And yes, Europe is a really nice part of the world.

  5. Great post and thanks for sharing :) The only thing I can think to add is that I am one of those rare oddities that actually needs a high salt diet to keep from passing out. I can’t retain salt and my blood pressure is dangerously low when left to itself so I actually ended up with a heart doctor that put me on a high salt (and high water too by the way) diet to help raise my blood pressure and keep it a level that for most people it would be at normally. I and everyone around me knows when I’ve been slacking in my salt intake too as I get considerably weaker and more prone to dizzy spells.

    I just thought you might find that interesting. : ) My family teases me (in a kind/fun way) because having a heart doctor put you on a high salt diet is unheard of. haha

      • They normally don’t. That’s what makes me an oddity occording to my friends and family. lol Mine did this with me though because salt is known for raising blood pressure and since I can’t retain it, my chances of developing health complications from it are slim to none so he decided to turn to it as a solution to my dangerously low blood pressure that I was struggling with. The increased water is there to help make sure everything stays balanced and I don’t start developing hydration issues from all the salt

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