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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

81

Unfortunate Week for Meat

South Africa study finds donkey meat sold as beef.

What will they find in meat tomorrow? Somewhere an olive oil wizard and his public relations team are sharing seven celebratory glasses of wine and a handful of nuts.



81 Comments / Post A Comment

frigwiggin

Naw, man, it's just donkey beef.

Emby

@frigwiggin That is magical.

frigwiggin

@Emby Hockey Star is one of the weirder albums I've ever bought, but I don't regret it.

Ialdagorth

@frigwiggin Well that'll be in my head now and forever, amen.

fondue with cheddar

Is this what the cafeteria lady meant when I asked her what kind of meat was in the sauce and she replied, "Just regular meat"?

JessicaLovejoy

@fondue with cheddar "There's very little meat in these gym mats!"

meetapossum

@JessicaLovejoy "After all, isn't there a little Uter in all of us? In fact, you might say we just ate Uter, and he's in our stomachs right now!"

iceberg

@meetapossum "...wait, scratch that last one."

EngNaturalBeauty@twitter

I've been thinking about giving up red meat. Seems like a good week to start.

JessicaLovejoy

Yeah, gurl. I eat ass.

whizz_dumb

@JessicaLovejoy Hey, that's my pickup line. It never works for some reason.

Brad Paisley

ggopd godt, nopt waklnsau!

Emby

@online dating walrus

Get going on peddling donkey, go on, don't tarry, no one purchases the whole ass knowing limited news surrounding all ungulates?

MoxyCrimeFighter

All these reports coming at the same can't be just random happenstance. I sense a quornspiracy.

PatatasBravas

@MoxyCrimeFighter It's still not enough to qonvince me to eat qreamed qorn.

leonstj

I have resolved to finally start eating healthy and shedding weight (not saying other should, personal choice, nothing perscriptive meant by that) last week and have been delighted with all of this Mediterranean diet news.

I mean, once science said it was okay to eat healthy but also consume pasta and a couple bottles of wine each week, I just had no excuse left.

Ophelia

@leon s I also always feel really self-satisfied when I realize I actually eat pretty healthily, and if I just wanted to cut out fruit leather and ice cream*, I could smugly say I eat "a mediterranean diet."

*I don't. You can pry them from my cold, dead hands.

polka dots vs stripes

@Ophelia I could never become a vegan because, ice cream. And breakfast sandwiches.

coolallison

@polka dots vs stripes For me, it is my intense love of cheese.

leonstj

@coolallison - I could go without meat/cheese, but I just think cows are really smug.

(haha jk i couldn't become a vegetarian for like, all of the reasons.)

fondue with cheddar

I agree that foods should be labeled as what they actually are. But really...what's wrong with eating donkey? Why is it acceptable to eat certain animals and not others?

Emby

@fondue with cheddar Nothing. But there's culturally conditioned attitudes and revulsions, and the fact that they are merely cultural constructs rather than ethical imperatives isn't in and of itself a reason to ignore them. What's bothersome about the whole idea is that somewhere along the production/distribution line, someone decided that their profit margins were more important than respecting people's preferences.

There's a whole other argument to be had about the validity of the cultural construction of food attitudes, as well as the economy of livestock in general, with an added bonus of classism between the consumption class and production class when it comes to meat.

iceberg

@fondue with cheddar The only rule shouold be deliciousness!

Ophelia

@iceberg I totally agree in theory, but I think I'd have trouble with dog/cat. But ask me after the Virals come and I'm really hungry, and we can reassess.

sunfastrose

@fondue with cheddar I was actually thinking about this when I read the headline. I mean, if it tastes okay, and I can't tell the difference, then I don't mind eating horse or donkey meat. But then I think about my Mom's dog or my cats and I draw the line there. I don't want to think about it anymore; I like the taste of meat (just had a slice of meatloaf) and I don't want to give it up.

fondue with cheddar

@Emby I totally agree with you about the mislabeling. It is totally unethical, not to mention illegal. And I understand that there are reasons why certain cultures don't eat certain animals. I'm just questioning why those reasons exist, because there really is no good reason not to eat something as long as it's healthy and tastes good.

That said, I wouldn't be able to eat dog or cat either, because I see those animals as friends, and therefore on a whole different level than other animals. Maybe if they were wild? But even then I'm not so sure. The only mammal I've ever eaten that did not have hooves was rabbit.

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

@Emby
"with an added bonus of classism between the consumption class and production class when it comes to meat"

I don't quite follow, can you say more?

iceberg

@Ophelia It's okay, I have it on good authority thats dogs taste awful, and I'm sure cats would too, but just out of spite.

Emby

@Rock and Roll Ken Doll Yeah, I wasn't terribly specific about that. What I meant was, when it comes to highly processed meat, the middle class wants affordable meat and doesn't want to think very much about where it comes from. It turns out that at least in the UK and other parts of Europe, much of it comes from the much poorer economy of Romania. When I brought up classism, I mean the fact the attitude that some Britons have demonstrated that goes something like, "Of course it would have come from Romania."

And I'm also referring to the privilege of being able to specify exactly what kinds of meat you'd like and at what price, which is perhaps not a privilege shared by many who work in abattoirs, or who live in rural, often poor, areas whose main trade is livestock.

The commodification of meat has led to people demanding their meat be a certain way, and the market's response to that demand has been by encouraging the mass production of meat, which is not terribly economically beneficial to most who produce it.

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

@Emby
Thanks, very interesting! I know very little about animal agriculture outside of the U.S.

parallel-lines

@Emby Did you see the hilarious segment on Jon Stewart about Transylvanian Slaughterhouses? If that's not the name of an awesome horror movie I don't know what is: http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/tue-february-19-2013/horse-d-oeuvre

KeLynn

@fondue with cheddar Agreed. I have no ethical qualms against eating a donkey or a horse (I don't know if I would WANT to eat a horse, but I'm not aghast at the idea that someone would - just like I don't want to eat a dog because of my culture, but I don't think it's "wrong"). But I do have a problem with food being mislabeled or misrepresented. That's a dangerous and disrespectful thing to do to people.

parallel-lines

I like how people are getting het up that their CHEAP, processed, poor quality meat is somehow full of things they didn't expect--like horse, which, truth be told, probably contains fewer hormones/antibiotics and received better treatment that the cheap beef they thought they were getting. I mean, if you're eating the particleboard meat food product known as IKEA meatballs you've obviously said to the world "I am putting a food product in my body that is produced by a company known for making poor quality furniture and I give no fucks."

For the record: I've eaten horse meat and it was perfectly delicious. Same for goat, donkey...well, I don't think that's anyone's first choice in dining. It's not like the rest of the world eats this stuff every single day without moral outrage.

Ophelia

@parallel-lines Goat is DELICIOUS. I don't know why I like it, since I hate lamb/mutton, but man, I had spit-roasted goat once, and DAMN was it good.

parallel-lines

@parallel-lines Also: if you're grossed out by horse, drive through a west Texas feed lot and tell me what you think is grosser--a goat or a cow chained to a fence standing in a river of poo.

Ophelia

@parallel-lines Or all of Calfornia's central valley. I can pretty much trace a sharp decline in my beef consumption (and my rabid adherence to local/small/organic milk and meat*) to an 8-hour drive up I-5.

*I know they're more expensive, I just eat less meat, and I'm willing/able to "splurge" on milk.

Susanna

@parallel-lines Part of the issue with this scandal has been:

(a) no one has any idea of the real extent to which horses who DO contain carcingenic nasties (bute) have entered the food chain.

(b) welfare is really not hot for meat horses either. It can be worse than that of "regular meat animals" because of loopholes in the law.

meetapossum

@parallel-lines Maybe if quality meat were more accessible and cheaper, I could accept that argument. I'm not anti-horse meat by any means, but I think people have a right to be outraged.

The EU put a ban on American horse meat because the horses involved are not intended for consumption, and there's no way to find out what sort of hormones or medicines were involved in their care.

parallel-lines

@Susanna But people eating cheap meat are mostly unconcerned with the welfare of the animals they consume - chickens, cows, pigs all live in deplorable conditions. Tilipia generally comes from VERY sketchy orgins, is sometimes fed animal feces and is totally full of toxins and there's not nearly the same outcry--why do horses get all the hand wringing?

MEGA VENUTIAN SPACE SCORPION

@parallel-lines Not everyone can afford to be that discerning about their food. Being poor shouldn't mean that you're not entitled to expect your food is safe and comes from the stated source.

parallel-lines

@MEGA VENUTIAN SPACE SCORPION I don't disagree that food should absolutely state the source and I think cheap meat is absolutely a bad thing for everyone, regardless of income--there's an excellent article with Michael Pollen in the new Lucky Peach where he talks about how cheap meat will basically be the end of us and will kill the environment. I just hate this whole "OMG, HORSEMEAT!" argument--like really? That's the worst thing in those meatballs that are barely even "food".

Susanna

@parallel-lines Mislabelling, in this case. Here's my larger explanation of the problems with even the "legit" horse meat trade:

http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/british-author-susanna-forrest-on-the-horsemeat-scandal-in-europe-a-884081.html

barefoot cuntessa

@parallel-lines

Truth. In culinary school I was faced with many awful stories of slaughter animal treatment which, besides being cruel, is unhealthy for humans. From the rise of super bacteria, to pollutants in our water, and e. coli in our produce and fucking peanut butter the cost of cheap meat is outrageous. And those are the strictly practical problems, let alone the ethical issues.

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

@parallel-lines
"people eating cheap meat are mostly unconcerned with the welfare of the animals they consume"

I wonder a lot about this. I don't know that, for the most part, it's a lack of empathy (though we all know that there are a distressing number of people in this world with limited capacity for empathy). I think partly it's simple ignorance, people thinking bacon comes from Old MacDonald's farm--I've definitely heard people say things along those lines. But, beyond that, it seems to me that most people are going through mental gymnastics to avoid thinking about the suffering in animal agriculture because of what it would mean for them to acknowledge the reality of that suffering.

Susanna

@Rock and Roll Ken Doll The other thing is that all those crazy antibiotics and hormones are classed as legal for secondhand consumption by the US govt, but bute is definitely not.

KeLynn

@Rock and Roll Ken Doll "I think partly it's simple ignorance" - agreed. If you don't go out looking for information about how animals are treated, you might never find it. I don't think most people believe that every animal they eat got to run and play in the grass and got petted every day by the farmer, but I also don't think that most people realize how bad it really is.

Verity

@MEGA VENUTIAN SPACE SCORPION Yes, definitely. I really wouldn't want to say, "well, they bought cheap meat, what did they think they were getting?" - a lot of people are really struggling to afford food (see the skyrocketing demand for food banks in the UK at the moment), and buying cheap burgers doesn't automatically mean they have no respect for animal welfare, or deserve to be lied to about the content and safety of their food.

I have no problem with eating horse, per se, but the main issue I have with this (which I think has been the general tone of the reaction in the UK) is that meat is meant to be traceable - we're supposed to know what's going in our food and where it came from, because that means we can make sure it's been treated properly, doesn't have unsafe substances in, etc. To find that, actually, the supply chain is not clear and that supermarkets have been selling meat containing things unfit for human consumption (like phenylbutazone, in this case), is very worrying.

In the wake of the scandal, several companies have also been found to have been selling halal products which actually contained pork, which is pretty bad.

Blushingflwr

@Rock and Roll Ken Doll Also, if that's what meat has always cost at the grocery store, that's what you think it should cost. I have no idea how much it costs to raise a meat animal in a way that is humane or how that cost should be reasonably passed on to the consumer; I just know that a whole roasting chicken is $1.29/lb at my local grocery store (actually, I had to look that up, but still). Your average citizen is just trying to feed themselves/their family in a way that is manageable within their budget.

MaxBraverman

Whatever's in my Smart One's steam bag of chicken, broccoli, alfredo is alright with me.

Pyxis

Guys, hearing of things like this really chaps my hide. These meat sellers need to stop horsing around. Don't they know that they just stirrup our stomachs when they do this to us? I mare have to swear off meat completely. But that would be kind of lame.

fondue with cheddar

@Pyxis I really like the taste of meat. I'm going to have to say neigh to vegetarianism.

whizz_dumb

@Pyxis Quit all your huffing and puffing. Horse meat is nothing to sneeze at, I'll saddle up to plate of it any time. Then again, my stomach is very stable so maybe I'm on the fence with this issue.

fondue with cheddar

@whizz_dumb I love how we all regularly spur each other on to make these pun threads.

whizz_dumb

@fondue with cheddar It only takes one pun and then all bets are off, we're off to the races.

stuffisthings

@Pyxis They were going to bring this issue up in Parliament, but they worried there would be too many neighs from the Tory backbenchers.

fondue with cheddar

@whizz_dumb Yes, everyone have fun with it! There's no reason to rein it in.

stuffisthings

And of course everyone trots out the same old jokes whenever this happens.

stuffisthings

"You can lead a horse to slaughter, but you can't make it beef."

fondue with cheddar

@stuffisthings It's a shame that those people ate horse meat when they thought it was beef, but what's done is done; you canter-ase the past.

whizz_dumb

@stuffisthings I'd say we're beating a dead horse, but that's too obvious, and it's more like we trample puns to death.

fondue with cheddar

@whizz_dumb But nooo, puns are so much fun, even if these threads do distract from the mane event.

stuffisthings

I mean what more is there to say: if you want good meat, you have to pony up.

Ophelia

@fondue with cheddar It's just this sort of fetlock disregard for the bale-ful issues at hand that really gets PETA's nickers in a twist.

PoBoyNation

@whizz_dumb We've all been champing at the bit to get to this one.

fondue with cheddar

@stuffisthings Hey, @Ophelia is good at puns and should totally be here. What is that gallup to?

stuffisthings

I thought about trying to slip some puns into the serious thread above, but I have better manures than that.

whizz_dumb

@stuffisthings What the hay, I'll bring up the rear here and breed some stamina into this thread. I'm in for the long ride.

Ophelia

@fondue with cheddar Hey, sorry, work has totally been riding me way too hard.

fondue with cheddar

@stuffisthings Good idea. You don't want to stirrup any bad feelings.

fondue with cheddar

What, you guys only make puns during the workday? What are waiting for? Quit stallion and give us some more!

mustelid

Withers or not you all know it, this thread has made my day.

WaityKatie

Don't worry, in about a month most US food inspectors will be furloughed, so if there's monkey in your meat you'll probably never find out about it.

fondue with cheddar

@WaityKatie There's a Monkey in Your Meat will be the title of my next children's book.

stuffisthings

@WaityKatie I heard 60% of monkey meat is actually just mislabeled lemur anyway.

whizz_dumb

"You won't eat our meat, but you glue with our feet."

WaityKatie

@whizz_dumb I want more horse picket signs!!

stuffisthings

What do we want?
Not to be ground up and put into beef lasagna
When do we want it?
Um, always, I guess?

leonstj

@WaityKatie - "PHILLY CHEESESTEAKS NOT FILLY CHEESESTEAKS".
aka "QUARTERHORSES SHOULDN'T BE QUARTER POUNDERS"

WaityKatie

@leon s Oh no, now I'm forced to contemplate what Philly cheesesteaks are actually made of.

Megasus

Never been more glad I don't eat red meat till this month.

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