Tag: sustainable food

Horse Meat and Dodgy Seafood

A strange scandal is sweeping across Europe at the moment.

We’ve all been unwittingly eating horse meat, thinking it was beef.

This is not the delicious foal steak that can be bought in the best restaurants of Northern Italy; this is minced offal of unknown provenance sold as beef and packaged into the cheapest burgers and pre-cooked meals.

It’s a big story.

Chances are that many of us here in Europe have, at one time or another, tucked in to a little bit of some old nag or young filly. I’m not as upset about it as others. I think it’s pretty likely that most of these horses were simply surplus free-range animals.

Perhaps we should even prefer to eat them over the poor creatures reared indoors or in feed-lots, tight-packed and hormone-pumped, with no access to grass.

A similar scandal has been bubbling over with fish:  studies have drawn attention to mislabelling across Europe, South Africa, and Australia, but most especially the United States, where it seems that most of what you buy is not what it claims to be.

In a recent Californian study every single fish sold as “snapper” wasn’t, and 9 out of 10 sushi samples were mislabeled.

This should upset us even more than horse meat, especially when you learn, for example, that escolar (a fish that can cause severe food poisoning if eaten in larger portions) is widely sold as white tuna in sushi restaurants, and regularly turns up as cod, grouper and sea bass elsewhere.

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