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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

71

Hamburger Medley Overseas

"While there is a plausible explanation for the presence of pig DNA in these products, due to the fact that meat from different animals is processed in the same plants, there is no clear explanation for the presence of horse DNA in products emanating from meat plants that do not use horse meat.”
—Where's the British and Irish hamburger horse meat coming from?



71 Comments / Post A Comment

Leanne

Between this and the This American Life about bung I listened to last night, this has been a rather revolting 12 hours.

rayray

@Leanne Same! I listened to the bung thing on monday night like 'this is a nice story about something that will never happen to me and is far away' and BAM. This happens in my country.

Judith Slutler

@Leanne I am listening to that right now, just getting to the tasting part. OMG GROSS

e: "I think that if you slice something up and deep fry it, it's going to taste like something that's been deep fried" -> probably true

Leanne

@Emmanuelle Cunt EEEK. It is a good episode and an interesting story! But, yuck.

Miss Maszkerádi

@Leanne I'm afraid to click the link, what is...bung?

rayray

@Countess Maritza Oh the link is more details about the horsemeat thing. Bung is what you think it is.

Miss Maszkerádi

@rayray I think it's about forty different disgusting possibilities I've got haunting my psyche now...

Jill_Tata

Absolutely !! My favorite @k

ohmy

And this is why, until I can afford to buy pasture-raised organic straight from the farmer, I do not eat meat.

Decca

Probably the place to drop the best Irish pop song about horses about horses since Father Ted's "My Lovely Horse". (NSFW)

rayray

@Decca I haven't even clicked on the link, but I know what it is. Just gonna sit back now and watch the 'Pinners try and make sense of The Rubber Bandits.

Decca

@rayray I've gone down an awful Rubberbandit wormhole now. This might be my favourite of their songs - a proper smooth r&b jam.

rayray

@Decca The Hawk will always and forever be my favourite. Although Lady Gaga came on the radio last night and boyfriend reminded me of the Trout of No Craic singing 'Carrickmines, Carrickmines' to Poker Face. Too good.

Nicole Cliffe

@Decca mylovelylovelylovelyhorsemylovelyhorserunningthroughthefields

RK Fire

Ahhh fuck, even though this happened in the UK and Ireland I am going to go back and buy ground beef direct from farmers.

OhMarie

@RK Fire You're in MD, right? Give us a shout if you have a favorite farmer. This is yucky.

RK Fire

@OhMarie Definitely! I used to get it from Hickory Chance Farms (http://hickorychance.com/where.html) at their stand in the farmers markets in Baltimore City, under the JFX. When I moved a few neighborhoods north I would still pick some up from the Baltimore Food Co-op (RIP) but since that has gone away I have been slacking and picking up normal beef from the local Giant. The Waverly farmer's market is year round so I should just start getting ground beef from one of the stands there on Saturdays. -_-;

teaandcakeordeath

The BBC have an article up asking 'Why don't British people like eating horses?'. Umm no BBC, British people just dont like eating meat that flouts health codes. Yuck.

teaandcakeordeath

@teaandcakeordeath
But really, the reputation for food in Britain is so bad. I guess the expression is now:
I'm so hungry I could eat a British hamburger.

oh well never mind

@teaandcakeordeath
Boo, no (afternoon) tea and cake for you then!

missupright

@teaandcakeordeath I think this is kind of a memo I missed out on, being British. What do Americans/everybody else think we eat? I think most British people just eat...nice food? Normal food? Apart from the people who buy their hamburgers from Iceland, because ICELAND.

ETA: I don't even know if Iceland is a thing in America but it is a very cheap supermarket best known for having someone who used to be in a band but is now awful do its advertising.

Manchester Tart

@teaandcakeordeath yeah I missed that memo too. I can see where the reputation came from in the past maybe? As a British person who has lived in France, Spain and the U.S I've lost count of how many times I've been told the food in my country is terrible, by people who were eating things I wouldn't even countenance and wouldn't be deemed fit for consumption back home. If you buy cheap shitty frozen burgers well they're gonna taste like cheap shitty frozen burgers whatever country it comes from. I don't, and I personally find the food back home to be less processed, less overpriced and less over sweet and pumped full of crap than the food I saw in the US supermarkets - or at least at home it's slightly easier and more affordable to find such food.

teaandcakeordeath

Woops sorry, that was more of a comment on the reputation of the food abroad and not the actual food! The food is nice!
I think the memory of the BSE crisis lingers on so when Tesco sells horse-burgers it's unfairly damaging.

Es
Es

@teaandcakeordeath That's the thing though - if horse is getting in there, what the hell has happened to the '100% traceability back to an individual farm' that was brought in for all meat (not just beef) after the BSE thing? If this facility can't even guarantee the right species, how on earth can it be trusted to guarantee the right cows?

oh well never mind

@teaandcakeordeath
Oh go on then, you can have some cake.

meetapossum

@missupright I think the general American (and European?) stereotype against British food is that it's extremely bland (meat and potatoes). I, however, have had many great experiences with British food, and I look forward to a proper English breakfast when I visit next month.

teaandcakeordeath

@moosette
Yay - thank you!

oh well never mind

@teaandcakeordeath
You're welcome! (Dammit, if people still think we have rubbish food I can at least try to perpetuate the politeness stereotype as well!)

teaandcakeordeath

@Es
It's only just broke so there seems to be lots of finger pointing going in different directions, so Tesco are blaming the burger people who are blaming their supplier and as people will start looking how this is all regulated, Cameron is blaming the supermarket so ... umm ... I guess see the reason for the horse being there? Everyone just eat cake in the meantime?

teaandcakeordeath

@moosette
Oh the manners were never in question.

RK Fire

@meetapossum It's such a shame because we should be thanking the UK for being the birthplace of the delicious innovation known as Chicken Tikka Masala.

Scandyhoovian

Uh, so, did some horses just wander aimlessly into this meat plant or what? If your plant supposedly does not do a damn thing with horses then you need to figure out why there is horse meat in your product and not just throw your arms up and go "dunno, that's weird, can't explain it."

iceberg

still going to Wendy's at lunch, Hairpin.

hallelujah

Honestly, I don't really get why people freak out about horse meat more than, say, cow meat or pig meat. They seem just as cuddly to me. It is because you can ride horses for fun? DEEP THOUGHTS.

iceberg

@hallelujah Deliberate horse meat is OK (although I've never eaten it, if it's good enough for the French it's fine by me), but accidental mystery how'd-that-get-in-there horse meat like in this story, not so good.

hallelujah

@iceberg Oh I get that, wanting to know what's in your food is exceedingly logical. It's just the emotional response that horse-eating elicits from otherwise carnivorous people that confuses me.

iceberg

@hallelujah yep. I would eat a horse, not gonna lie. Cows are just as pretty and sweet as horses in my opinion, but if they don't want to be eaten they should try tasting worse.

Then again I am a vegetarian more or less by force at home, who may have eyed her dog speculatively in weaker moments.

oh well never mind

@iceberg
I had an amazing horse steak in Italy. Better than beef, I say, mmm. But I do agree with the need to know what you're eating, otherwise it just ends up like CMOT Dibbler and his meat pies!

Es
Es

@iceberg Horses are just weird, and once you get hooked they're a bit like crack. I am a horse nut, I've got three of them, used to ride for a living (but it doesn't pay) - I couldn't eat one, any more than I could eat a cat or a dog - it's the same emotional thing for me. I have no issue with other people eating horsemeat, but I don't want to. I'm also not a fluffy-bunny type, I've hunted (with hawk and ferret, not my teeth), killed, skinned and cooked my own dinner in the past, but horses - not a chance.

I know it doesn't make sense, but I can't do it. I was offered zebra once as well, couldn't do that either. Happily ate warthog, crocodile, ostrich and several types of antelope, but not the zebra.

NeenerNeener

@hallelujah
I do not know much about it, but I think (at least in the US) there is some sort of issue with the safety of eating horse meat because of the meds or antibiotics specifically given to horses? I think it would be different if the horses were raised for their meat, but I really don't know.

Es
Es

@NeenerNeener Over here (UK) they're passported and all the medication they receive is documented in their passport. As soon as they have anything that would make them unsafe for consumption, the vet stamps their passport to say so. In theory (and of course there are unscrupulous people about), they shouldn't go to slaughter or anywhere without their passport so shouldn't end up in the human food chain by accident. That said, clearly there is something dodgy as fuck going on here, so who knows what horses are in these burgers and what veterinary treatment they've had.

Nicole Cliffe

@hallelujah It's a lot more dangerous to eat horses in Canada, because we sell a lot of horses from the US to slaughter in Canada, and there are ZERO restrictions on horse meds and supplements in the US because they do not have to be "food grade." I have no real moral qualms with eating horses v. other animals in general.

Bloodrocuted

@hallelujah Maybe it has to do with America's young history? Horses have high utility as rural animals. Poor pilgrims would not have started traditions of eating their one horse.
(I think that is why Americans are revolted by beheading. It's not in the history.)

hallelujah

@NeenerNeener @Nicole Cliffe Exactly the kind of information I was looking for! That makes perfect sense, then.

RK Fire

@moosette Second Discworld reference in two days on the Hairpin! <3 <3 <3

Tragically Ludicrous

@hallelujah Here in the Netherlands, you can get horse steak and horse cold cuts in the supermarket really easily, although I'm not sure how popular it actually is (as opposed to Belgium, where I know it is popular). Still haven't bought it, though.

rayray

@hallelujah Yuh, if you see the thing I linked to above, it's to do with the fact that people are using horses to smuggle other stuff across borders too (from Ireland to the UK in this case) such as money and drugs. They had forged the papers which you need to get a horse killed in an abbatoir for human consumption, because they're likely stray horses that were just rounded up in Ireland.

In other news a pony died of starvation in a town centre over here the other week and no-one did a damn thing. Ireland = not fun if you are a horse.

office of the carver@twitter

@hallelujah History time! In the early modern era (pre-18th century), horses weren't eaten because they were more valuable/useful for other things, as working animals. Same thing with oxen/cows; you'd only slaughter an oxen after it had outlived its usefulness as a beast of burden, and by that point, the meat would not have been terribly good anyway. Cows were valuable for producing dairy products (primarily butter and cheese).

Totally unrelated: the Harvard Faculty Club still serves horsemeat. (Or still did as of a few years ago. I don't keep up on these things.)

SarahP

Maybe the horses and pigs cuddled or made out before the pigs headed off to the slaughterhouse. One last goodbye.

Cawendaw

@SarahP Or a livestock costume party that went terribly wrong?

meetapossum

@SarahP Now I'm viewing it like a Animal Farm thing. The pigs are forcing the horses into the slaughterhouse.

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

@SarahP
"One last goodbye."

okay now I'm crying

SarahP

@Rock and Roll Ken Doll SO WERE THEY

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

@SarahP
Exactly.

As time goes on, I'm getting increasingly worked up about the importance of not eating animals, but I'm not sure what to do with those feelings (beyond the obvious personal choices). Thanks for being a friend in this respect.

whateverlolawants

@Rock and Roll Ken Doll
Me too. This stuff makes me sad. Why are we eating animals?! (No one answer that, it's a rhetorical question.) :(

Megasus

Calling it: Gordon Ramsey is putting it in there.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

I have nothing to add except that yesterday I learned that mama pigs sing to their babies. Sing. To. Their. Babies.

stuffisthings

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

So do Nazis, and we still eat them, right?

dale

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose Where did you learn this? I am interested and wish to subscribe to this newsletter.

Miss Maszkerádi

@stuffisthings Yeah call me a horrible person but I have a hard time getting too upset about the ethical implications of eating meat when humans are still so fucking awful to each other all the goddamn time.

stuffisthings

@Countess Maritza Tigers would eat us all if they could*.

* I don't know if this is actually true.

stuffisthings

[Insert animated GIF of French person shrugging]

stuffisthings

@stuffisthings Weirdly, the French DO get upset when they are served halal meat without being told it's halal, so...

mittens blum

I'm really glad that articles like this somehow always pop up when I'm struggling with my attempts at going vegetarian. But that might also be my confirmation bias talking.

SarahP

@mittens blum Unrelated, but IS THAT YOUR REAL-LIFE CAT?! We have one who looks just like that!

SarahP

@SarahP Oh wait, I can tie this all together: And we don't eat her.

mittens blum

@SarahP Very sadly no because I am not responsible enough to be a pet parent but SOMEDAY. And I will name it Toothless.

I am also in favor of not eating cats.

prakasharige

Presence of horse DNA is unbelievable. We can understand the presence of pig DNA since it is possible pig meat might have processed in the plants, but what about horse meat?
Fiesta Pizza

psh
psh

Nice post and it would be great for everyone, Thanks a lot for spreading this information hereVideo

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