Friday, February 8, 2013


Unless you've had your head buried firmly in a suitable medium for the burying of heads for the last little while, you'll probably have heard about the discovery of horse DNA in various products being sold in British supermarkets.

All the products (so far) where the erroneous equine ephemera have been detected were being sold as beef.

Some of the products had just a smattering of horse. Horse seasoning. Essence of horse. Beef burgers with a side order of Black Beauty's bollocks. Hold on, was Black Beauty a boy horse? I don't know.

Now, the fine people of the FSA (Food Standards Agency, not Financial Standards Authority) have discovered that a Findus Beef Lasagne on sale contained 100% horse meat. That's ALL THE MEAT, percentage fans! Blimey.

I have been massively enjoying the assorted reactions to this piece of news. Here are some of them:

1.Lots of Members of the Public - "OMFG! Horse! In our burgers? That is DISGUSTING! I don't eat horse. I eat cow."

Well. Yes. Because you live in the UK you are not accustomed to viewing horse meat as part of your diet. But, if you lived somewhere else you may well have eaten it. In my opinion, meat is meat. I'd eat a free range guinea pig if it was cooked nicely. If you're not going to be outraged about consuming one type of meat, it's a bit silly to be outraged about eating another. I bet horse tastes good.

2.(Some) Vegetarians and Vegans - "Hahahaha, that's what you get, stupid meat eaters! Bet you wish you were as clever and brilliant as us. We knew AGES AGO that you'd end up eating horse. Serves you right."

Fair enough. But I like meat. It's tasty, and I'm not sufficiently motivated by animal welfare to stop eating it on those grounds.

I would probably rather eat a vegetable lasagne than one of Findus' finest though, so perhaps you're onto something.

3.Tesco - "Oh fuck, we've just lost £300 million from the value of our corporation in a day."

Ha ha fucking ha, Tesco. I dislike you a lot, and hope that many more misfortunes befall you.

4.Lots of (Sensible) Members of the Public - "Erm, this is a bit worrying, do the people producing our food have no control over what's actually going into it? Is this all a monumental balls up? Or has someone, somewhere, decided it's okay to put something completely different in the box?"

This seems as good a time as any to mention Soylent Green.

Who knows why this has happened? Someone, somewhere does. Perhaps eventually the investigation will uncover how it happened. Perhaps not.

One possible reason is cost.

Food, you may have noticed, is getting kinda pricey.

We get leaflets through the door from the government's "Change for Life" campaign with tips on how to eat better for less money.

Eat more vegetables! Vegetables are cheap!

No, they're not.

Last time I went shopping I bought two leeks: £1.71. That's about 660g of leeks. Leeks have twenty-five calories per 100g. So that means the two leeks contained roughly 165 calories. For £1.71.

That is not cheap, when a Findus Beef Lasagne is £1.60 for 360g and 463 calories.

What IS cheap is shit food.

Shit food is cheap, and cheap food is shit.

Real, good food is expensive. It also doesn't contain the parts of the animal which you can sweep off the floor once you've fired a high pressure water hose at its carcass once all the real meat has been sliced off it using more conventional butchery.

Anyone who buys cheap, processed meat products and believes that they've never eaten an animal's arsehole is probably kidding themselves.

Here, in my opinion, is the real problem: there are a huge number of people in this country who do not have a choice about what they eat.

They need to buy the £1.60 Horse Bum Lasagne because they need the 463 calories. They don't have time or inclination to make the cheap, healthy food, because the cheap, shit food is rammed in their faces every time they go to the supermarket.

The supermarkets won't think twice about selling their customers eyeballs and arseholes as long as it makes them some profit.

So, what's the answer?

I don't know. Maybe you do and you'd like to pop it in my comment box?


  1. I am a number 2. NO, not a poo, a vegetarian, but my response is more number !! NO, not a wee..... Brilliant post. We were only discussing Soylent Green in our house this very morning! And as for the fascist dictatorship of tescos- it couldnt happen to a nicer company. Right. Off to check if my crispy pancakes have been infiltrated by badgers.

  2. Can't log in to comment via my phone, but it's David from It's A Dad's Life here. I agree with what you're saying minus the good food being expensive. We can buy a good amount of local, good quality beef shin, cool with a few carrots, stock cube and a couple of tons of tomatoes in a slow cooker and that will give us about 4 or 5 family meals. The total cost is about £6 so it's just over £1 to feed 2 adults and 1 child.

    Good food doesn't have to be expensive. It just requires a bit of effort. And that costs nothing. It also doesn't take a lot of time. Fry off beef takes about 10 mins. Chop veg takes about 5, bung in slow cooker and go to work. Ready when you come home.

  3. I wish I knew the answer. I think something about education and people knowing what they are eating is some part of the answer. Somehow though people always seem to cop out when it comes to eating healthily. We are bombarded with programmes via the media about healthy eating and that does not appear to be having much of an impact so other than forcing your way into people's homes I'm not sure.

    As for the horse meat I'm married to an Italian and well they eat everything...even if the meat is raw. I have tried donkey myself! I do though take issue of being sold something that's not what it says on the tin!

  4. This is all entirely true, how to fix it? I have no clue, I think Jamie Oliver has changed more eating habits than the government has in the last five years.

  5. Love this post! Made my laugh, but also true and made me think. I'm a smug vegetarian, but my reaction is more about why the hell don't they keep track of what's in food?

  6. Brilliant post. No answers but have to agree that meat is meat as long as they tell us what kind! Cheap food is quick and easy and if you don't have the time to cook then it's very convenient...
    If you think about the chemicals that are in a lot of our food these days that we consume everyday, some meat from an animal we're unaccustomed to really isn't the end of the world.

  7. Mahahahahahaha....I shouldn't laugh. This is awful. But it does make me chuckle. I do like the sound of your man up there's *points* slow cooker recipe though.

    Do you know I nearly bought a Findus Crispy Pancake the other day as I saw it in the freezer section and was insanely curious. Mr B didn't believe that I had got to the ripe old age of 34 without ever trying one.

    Kinda glad I didn't bother now.