Burger King Drops Supplier Linked to Horse Meat

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Miami-based Burger King is cutting ties with a United Kingdom meat supplier found to be using horse meat to "beef up" its products.

Burgers from processors Liffey Meats and Silvercrest Foods in Ireland and Dalepak Hambleton in Britain tested positive for horse DNA, according to Reuters. Part-horse patties were also sent to grocery chains throughout the UK.

The scandal sent shockwaves through the nation's multibillion-dollar beef industry, but other than being gross by American standards, it almost seems like no big deal. The UK sends "thousands of horses a year abroad to be killed for meat," according to a story in USA Today.

More recently, Dr. Andrew Wadge, who heads the UK's Food Standards Agency, told a British food industry publication "there's nothing about horsemeat that makes it any less safe than any other meat products."

Such statements ought to be taken with a grain of salt, as often times government "watchdogs" are merely transplants from the private sector. Take for example America's financial regulators.

Is horse meat really the worst thing we can eat? If it were actually meat, real muscular protein, it could be preferable to the so-called pink slime that temporarily disgusted much of America's fast-food-eating public.

A recent Cobaya dinner, Miami's not-so-underground-underground dining club, at 50 Eggs' Khong River House offered silkworm larvae, deep-fried waterbug, and a red ant egg salad. Assuming horse meat can be treated with the same concerns for health and safety, could it actually be that bad?

People of different cultures are raised in environments and with ingredients that make their palates and preferences far different from ours in the West. The Vietnamese love for chewy and gristly bites is why you often find braised beef tendons in that bowl of pho you posted on Instagram.

Finding out there's horse meat in (some) of our burgers is certainly a revolting discovery, especially when it's being done under the table, behind consumers' backs and without any oversight.

Yet there are also incredible stressors on our food system. Though the massive amount of waste should be enough to feed the 870 million people who go hungry every day, the move toward efficiency is slow. At the same time, the world population could rise to almost 10 billion by 2050.

Those of us in the First World who aren't obsessed with finding the next trendy bit of offal to eat might have to get used to the fact that we might not get the choicest, prettiest cuts of meat. Ranchers don't grow pork chops and beef tenderloins.

For more follow Zach on Twitter @ZachIsWeird.

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6 comments
rifter0x0000
rifter0x0000

This article COMPLETELY misses the point.  The supplier was selling horse meat as beef. That is not only unethical but illegal. It has nothing to do with how "gross" Americans think it is, it is deception.  If they were selling pork as chicken it would be the same thing.  I think it's illegal to sell horse meat as food in the US. Another factor here is the fact a lot of European horse meat comes from endangered US mustangs, an important part of our heritage. In any case incidents like this highlight the fact that we are backsliding to the 19th century in terms of food safety, testing, and labelling. It's not by accident, either, because industry has lobbied to reduce same. Shame on the author for minimizing this and trying to make the whole thing into some kind of joke. The pro-Burger King slant of the articles seen so far leave a fishy smell to the whole thing.

Rosy Cordero
Rosy Cordero

Not the worst thing we could eat but we should be told so we can decide if we want to eat horse or not!

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