Food Scandals - Update
Here's a quick update from Novopress on the scandal of horse meat passed off as beef:
The horse meat scandal is becoming a European scandal. According to Le Figaro, European supermarkets are now inundated with horse meat. With global trade, "fraudulent products can be found on shelves in all the great distribution chains of Europe." Twenty countries are said to be affected.
Horse meat has also been discovered in Russia, near Moscow, in sausages made in Austria. Traces of horse meat were detected as well in frozen dinners in Latvia without indications on the label. Le Parisien adds: "The furniture giant Ikea that also sells Swedish culinary specialties, stopped the sale of meat balls on Monday, and announced it would remove new products from its shelves, after tests came back positive for horse meat."
Note: The issue is not whether or not one should eat horse meat, but the lack of labeling that is becoming endemic on all foods throughout globalized Western democracies.
We do not eat horse meat regularly in the United States. Decades ago, in France at the student restaurant, they served horse meat without telling us. I ate it without even realizing what it was, and only found out later. It was similar to beef, but I think it had a more interesting flavor. This does not mean I would ever do it again knowingly. Nor do I think I could even recognize it today, since I rarely eat beef. (I was also fooled into eating rabbit. That too happened just once. But rabbit meat is common even here.) Throughout France some butcher shops displayed the sign or emblem "Chevaline". It was part of everyday life, and not regarded as scandalous. Below, a fine rendition of a horse's head graces a butcher shop in France. It is not something I find normal or pleasant, when I consider the sacrifices made by horses for men, but that reaction is culturally determined. (I never thought I could eat snails or frogs' legs, but in France they were delicious and I indulged whenever I could. That was long ago and I haven't looked at them since.)
According to Yahoo News, the scandal has revived an interest in horse meat, and specialized butcher shops are doing better-than-ever business.
However, on the brighter side, some French companies have announced they will only use French beef from now on. Which shows that they could have been doing that all along.