Sunday, October 30, 2011

Horse Meat and the American Taboo

I came across an interesting piece by Food Safety News' Dan Flynn on the subject of horse slaughter in Florida. Apparently, a horse carcass without legs and a heart was discovered in Florida's C-9 Basin. Many suspect the illegal sales of horse meat persist in the region, even after 70 illegal horse slaughter operations were shut down down in 2009. 
What I found particularly interesting is that 60,000 - 100,000 American horses are exported to Canada and Mexico for human consumption. 
Some figures in Congress are moving to make horse slaughter and the export of horse meat a federal crime, while other state populations view horse slaughter as a boon to the paralytic American economy. State regulation of horse slaughter will create jobs and stop horse abuse, they claim. 
I have never eaten horse meat, not because I choose not to, but because I have never had the opportunity to consume equine delicacies. The taboo of eating Mr. Ed seems to be an American one, since Europe and Asia consider horse as a part of their cuisine. Experiencing horse meat consumption requires the use of one's passport. 
Bon appetit, Mr. Ed. 

Coming from a culture that includes dog in its cuisine, I can't quite understand why horse meat is off-limits from the American menu. 

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