Have It Your Way—It’s A Whopper!

After last week’s post I don’t know about you, but I feel invigorated. I have taken in a deep cleansing positive breathe, embraced the circle of life and released all negative thoughts.
 

Well, not exactly. I was doing great by the way until the very next day when I read an article on Yahoo about horses in Ireland and Great Britain. Oh, and it’s a whopper! I truly think that I am going to stop watching and reading the news. Things just get crazier by the minute.
 

Do y’all know about Mister Ed?
 

If not, I think you can still catch reruns on Nick at Nite or somewhere on the internet. It’s an old comedy series, but it came to mind after reading that Yahoo article. Its jingle went like this:
 

“A horse is a horse, of course, of course

And no one can talk to a horse of course

That is, of course, unless the horse is the famous Mister Ed.”
 

You’ve got to admit that’s catchy. 🙂
 

Anyway, the Golden Globe award winning television series was based on a short story written by Walter Brooks in the 1930’s called, “Ed Signs the Pledge.” Now you have to know that “Mister Ed” had an opinion for everything. If Wilber, his owner, got into a pickle about something, he always walked out to the barn and talked to “Ed”. Of course we realize that horses can’t talk, but if they could, I’d hate to think what Mister Ed would say about this.
 

Apparently, Burger King is huge in the U.K. and Ireland. In fact, they love their burgers as much as we do in the U.S., if not more. But it was announced last week that they’ve stopped using one of the firms caught up in a scandal of supplying grocers with beef that contained horse meat!? And not just a little horse meat. The hamburger contained twenty-nine percent horse meat.
 

Okay, does this…


 

Look like this…


 

No? Oh good, because I thought I was losing it for a minute!
 

I recall an incident in U.S. history when the Donner Party resorted to eating horse meat. But they were at the brink of starvation during a blizzard while crossing the Sierra Nevada mountain range in northern California in 1846. Granted, this example may be way over the top since there was a little cannibalism going on. The point is it wasn’t a pretty picture.
 

All we want is a good healthy burger. It that too much to ask? But horse meat?

Really? Are we that desperate?
 

The British food industry was rocked by this revelation—a $2.6 billion dollar scandal that has left them reeling with the aftereffects from the first major shock-waves after its discovery. Food safety experts say the horse meat posed no added health risks to consumers, but the discovery has raised concerns about the supply of our food chain and the ability to trace meat ingredients.
 

Well that’s interesting, because as you may know, the U.S. has had its own ground beef concerns with E. coli and Salmonella. Should we also be looking for horse meat in our ground beef too? Uh, this is not just a bunch of hamburger. This is a real concern, especially if you’re a beef eater, which accounts for most of the kill ‘em and grill ‘em population.
 

You see the vast majority of ground beef we purchase is from a few enormous meat-packing corporations that sell beef through gigantic supermarket chains. These meat-packing plants butcher thousands of cattle every hour. Meat and trimmings from all that cattle are combined, so any random package of commercial ground beef could include particles of meat from hundreds or even thousands of individual cattle. This, as you can imagine, makes it much more difficult to monitor the source of contamination or in this case horse meat.
 

So what can we do?
 

Well, as you know, I am into healthy and natural. Hello Sexy Kale! But, I too like a good juicy hamburger straight off the grill. Mmm, yummy!

Now that’s my kind of whopper!
 

Here’s what is suggested:
 

If you’d like to have it your way, buy food that is free of synthetic pesticides, antibiotics, hormones or other chemicals. Thus, the best approach to buying ground beef is to go directly to its source. Buy meat that is ground at the facility where you purchase the meat. That way you are assured of its quality and that the ground beef you purchase comes from one head of cattle, verses several thousand individual cattle. (And yes, that number is correct.)
 

I can’t tell you how much better organic beef is over non-organic. But this of course is a personal preference, although hubby and I have taken this one step further buying grass fed organic beef.
 

Now grass fed beef is a horse of another color. Please pardon the pun. I just couldn’t help myself. Yet, this is a subject I’d like to explore on a later post.
 

So until then, remember this:
 

“A horse is a horse, of course, of course

And no one can talk to a horse of course

That is, of course, unless the horse is the famous Mister Ed.”
 

If you want a “Whopper”, have it your way!

And that does not include eating a horse!

Of course, of course!
 

Hmm, I still wonder what Mister Ed would have said about this?
 
 

So what do you think? Do you enjoy a nice thick juicy Hamburger straight off the grill? Or do you lean towards vegetarianism? Does the safety of our food concern you? Do you grow some of your own food? What measures to you and your family take in order to eat healthy?
 
 

Thank you so much for dropping by and for all your wonderful comments!
Karen

40 thoughts on “Have It Your Way—It’s A Whopper!

  1. Donna Newton

    Okay, I am one of those that will eat meat as long as it doesn’t resemble the animal it once was. Fish is fine if it’s coated in breadcrumbs. Beef is fine if it’s rounded, flattened, and squashed between two buns. Pork is fine if it looks like a sausage and it covered in ketchup… get my drift.

    I like to live in ignorance and pretty much ignore everything in the newspapers, especially what is good/bad for us to eat.

    *Neigh*

    I will never stop eating burgers.

    *Neigh*

    Great post, Karen xxx

    Reply
  2. Miss Snarky Pants

    I heard about this and the first thing that popped into my head was an episode of one of Gordon Ramsey’s shows (he’s got so many, I can’t remember which one) in which one of his guests was a big proponent of horse meat becoming a diet staple for people in the UK. Apparently, the meat is very lean and no worse for you than any other red meat.

    Of course, this doesn’t excuse mixing horse meat with beef and selling it as a 100% beef product. As a vegan, the news doesn’t affect me personally, but I would suggest that people who are nervous about eating beef right now may want to consider buying buffalo meat. It’s more expensive than beef, but it’s very lean and I don’t believe there is any evidence that buffalo meat has been similarly tainted. I used to cook with it all the time. It’s particularly good in chili because I find that buffalo meat becomes more tender the longer it cooks. Perfect for your crock pot recipes.

    Now if you really want to freak yourself out, investigate “fracking.” It’s going on nearly all over the country and it’s polluting the water table…which means that many farms are impacted. It’s hard enough just trying to ensure that you’ve washed any fertilizer, dirt and bugs off of your veggies; how do you ensure that the produce isn’t compromised because the water used to irrigate the plants is essentially poisoned.

    Reply
    1. Karen Post author

      Hi Cristy! I appreciate that you took the time to weigh in on this. My intent with this post was to inform everyone who read it that there was a mixing of horse meat with beef and people weren’t told about it until six months after the fact. It would be nice to know what we are in fact eating. Yes, horse meat can be eaten and as you say, is a lean, acceptable source of meat among certain cultures. But don’t feed it to the public without their knowledge. So not cool. I’m so glad you brought up buffalo meat. My DH read last week that eating buffalo meat is really taking off here in the states because it is a lean form of meat and really good to eat, yet it is more expensive. Thanks for the tip about the crock pot. That always is a winning meal in my house. Now about fracking. That is a hot issue my new friend. And a nightmare! I don’t know how they’re going to stop that one. There’s just too much stuff happening all the time. Thank you so much for coming by and leaving a comment Cristy! It is so nice to meet you! 🙂

      Reply
  3. Louise Behiel

    ok, don’t shoot me, but I find it interesting how culture affects our beliefs about what is appropriate to eat. Cats, rats, horse, dogs, cattle, birds, frogs and snakes are all okay, somewhere. but very few of them are ok here.

    I do prefer to know what is in what i’m eating, so I can make a decision for myself, so this is a huge scandal in my world. but only for that reason
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    1. Karen Post author

      LOL, “don’t shoot me”, Louise, you’re funny! Yes, I would assume that you could eat one of those various animals that you listed. I’m sure it is acceptable in certain cultures in the world. But, let it be our decision to make if we choose to eat that product. Don’t force it unknowingly upon the public and pass it off as beef. So not cool in my world either Louise. This is a huge scandel in the U.K. I just read another article this weekend that said Burger King knew about this over six months ago and this information is just now being released to the public. Iy, yi, yi. So watch out Louise and be careful! 🙂

      Reply
  4. Jodi Lea Stewart

    Don’t even get me started on horse slaughter and horsemeat consumption. I’m sickened beyond words at the thought of it! Ever since our President made it okay again to slaughter horses, outrageous acts have occurred in this country. Those vultures (buyers) are at every horse auction, beady-eyed and ready to throw money at the older, weaker, or sickly equines so they can starve them into death and butcher them. Oh, right…I said I wasn’t going to get started on this…suffice it to say that I shall twitter your blog around the universe, Karen.

    Reply
    1. Karen Post author

      Hi Jodi! Oh wow Jodi, I wasn’t aware of that sickening detail. I take it you are affiliated with horses in some way? I assume you have perhaps first hand knowledge about this? The way you make that sound, it makes one wonder if horse meat isn’t already in our/U.S. ground beef. Is the food we buy actually the food we think we are buying? Scary thought, isn’t it? I didn’t mean to get you started, but this is an important subject. We’re all consumers and we have the right to know what we’re eating. And thank you very much for tweeting my blog out into the universe Jodi! I really appreciate your support! 🙂

      Reply
    1. Karen Post author

      HI Rhonda! Ick is right! That’s a good point you make about trusting our food supply. Isn’t that sad Rhonda? Yet, how many of us are in the position to grow our own food? We’ve all moved to big cities where it just isn’t practical or there isn’t enough room for us to grow our own food. Although in German, they rent out plots of land outside the city to grow a veggie garden. Perhaps they are on to something, eh? Just try to eat organic and watch were your food is being processed Rhonda. That ensures some kind of peace of mind for you and your family. Thanks for stopping by and for the blog love! 🙂

      Reply
  5. Kristy K. James

    One word…Ewwwwwww! I can’t even eat venison without gagging, so I know there’s no way I’d want to deal with horse meat. Maybe it tastes fine, but I still wouldn’t want it. Venison, from our area, tastes just like beef, but every time I take a bite I think ‘Bambi,’ and then I have to spit it out.

    Do I like a burger fresh off the grill? You betcha. I’d rather have a steak though, and a potato I cooked on it in foil though. 🙂

    Unless people eat strictly organic, I don’t think there’s any way you can eat healthy today. Too many pesticides, genetic engineering, chemicals, preservatives, and who knows what else. Some countries refuse to import our produce because no one knows if these fake foods will cause health issues somewhere down the road, but our elected officials are too spineless to make them stop.

    So what do I do? The best I can. And we take a lot of supplements, trying to make up for the lack of nutrition in the foods we are forced to settle for.

    Great article, Karen! Can’t wait to see the next one. Glad you included Mr. Ed. I’ve never seen the show, but have seen clips of it now and again. Please do post about grass fed beef. I know the beef I buy at the grocery store doesn’t taste nearly as good as the beef my mother served when I was a kid.
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    1. Karen Post author

      Hi Kristy! Ewww, is right! Well yes, thinking of Bambi doesn’t help you when you’re presented with venison on your plate. I have never eaten venision, but I’ve heard it is delicious. And that was my point. As humans, we can eat deer, rabbit, frogs, horse, etc. But, tell us that’s what we’re eating. Don’t try to push something on us that isn’t what we think we’re eating. We have the right to eat what we want. Just tell us the truth. What was the purpose in stretching the ground beef with horse meat? It does worry me with the drought conditions in the U.S. that there is going to be a beef shortage Kristy. How can there not be. Last season they had to rush to butcher cattle because there was a lack of feed. The drought hasn’t ended. So what now? Will they try to pass off ground horse meat as beef here too? And was that why they did it over in Great Britain? Who knows. I don’t think they know yet either. Do try the grass fed beef. I will write a post soon about it. And yes, more than likely that is why our beef tastes different than when we were kids. Those cattle were probably not raised on corn. Hmm? Thanks for your input Kristy! 🙂

      Reply
  6. Serena Dracis

    Nothing tastes like grass-fed beef. I am a big believer in eating organic, whole foods. I am not at all perfect at this; time, convenience and price get in my way, but I make it happen when I can. I am convinced many of today’s modern health problems stem in large part from our diet. Overprocessed, GMO’s, fake colors and flavors, have become cheap and easy, and the norm for most of us here in the U.S. Karen, girl, you have hit on one of my biggest pet projects; helping spread the word about healthier eating. Keep up the great work!
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    1. Karen Post author

      Hi Serena! Thank you so much for your supportive comment girl! You don’t know how much I worried about writing this post. I, like you, am pasionate about our foods and how they’re handle. I too am conviced that our health problems stem from our foods and also the environment. Don’t even get me started on this subject. lol. Yes, eating organic, whole foods can only improve our prospect for better health. And with that said, it only makes sense to eat grass-fed beef, as we were intended to. I will write a post soon about that subject. Thanks Serena and enjoy those fresh organic eggs! I’m jealous! 🙂

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  7. Kassandra Lamb

    As Mike mentioned, horse meat fit for human consumption is usually more expensive than beef. In France horse meat is considered a bit of a delicacy so you’re not likely to have it passed off as beef.

    As for the horse meat in dog food, don’t buy it, please. One, much of it comes from dead or sick horses and two, if the horse is still alive when the “meat wagon” takes it away, it will be loaded onto a very crowded horse truck, with no food or water, and shipped to some packing plant, perhaps several states away. The horses are often dead by the time the truck arrives. But the dog food people don’t care.

    So read your dog food package ingredients, folks!

    I have no issue with the use of horse meat, as long as the horses aren’t abused in the process (nor cows or chickens for that matter; I buy cage-free eggs). But I don’t want to eat it, being a horse lover myself. So truth in advertising is a must.

    Sounds like that was the main issue here.

    Thanks for the tip, Karen, about grass-fed beef, that this means they are probably allowed to graze in a real pasture until time for slaughter.
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    1. Karen Post author

      Hi Kassandra! Yes, I agree with you whole-heartedly. Mike made a great point about horse meat, it’s consumption and expense. So why did that meat-packing company push off horse meat as beef? It was quite a big amount in the mix. And that was the point of my post. Caution is needed as consumers when purchasing our food. Be it beef or anything else. Thus, the suggestion to buy your ground beef where they grind it, that way you know where it’s coming from and you are assured of its freshness and quality. Do try grass-fed beef. It is not natural for cattle to be fed corn. They don’t digest corn like grass, thus we don’t either. And then you also get into the discussion about GMO corn fed beef. As I said, I’ll write a post about this later. It’s an interesting subject. Thanks Kassandra for sharing your thoughts! 🙂

      Reply
    1. Karen Post author

      HI Ginger! Somehow I knew you would be with me on this one girl. Don’t you just love having to watch everything you do and eat? It seems like you cannot trust anything or anyone these days in regards to sales and marketing. And that was the point. Why did they push off horse meat as “beef”? The whole situation is strange. Well, I’m on the watch my dear friend. Have a great weekend! 🙂

      Reply
    1. Karen Post author

      Hi Nigel! After reading something like this, aren’t you glad you’re a “veggie”? Taking that into account, yes, I suppose that there wouldn’t be much of a difference between eating a cow or horse. And yes, the point was, people were lied to and thought they were in fact eating “beef” instead of horse meat. If something is labeled a certain way, don’t try to fool the public with somehing else, eh? Don’t ask me what Mr. Ed had to do with this Nigel, but it’s just the way my mind works and I went along with it. I happy you enjoyed it. I think from now on I’m going to eat veggie burgers! 🙂

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    1. Karen Post author

      Hi Lynette! Good grief is right my dear friend! Did you read Chisine MacKenzie’s comment? She’s living through this right now. It’s a bloody nightmare in the U.K. over this issue. I suppose if one wants to eat horse meat, let them. But don’t try to push off horse meat as ground beef. Iy, yi, yi Lynette. This is why I always buy our ground beef at a market that grounds it right there on the premises. That way we are assured that it is safe. Or somewhat safe. Or relatively safe. lol! Oh boy. And your though on future labels reminds me of the labels on our clothing. It’s pretty tough to find 100% cotton, isn’t it? What in the world is happening! Hope you and hubby are having a great week Lynette! 🙂

      Reply
  8. Eden Mabee

    I’m a tried and true horse lover, but having met some wonderfully friendly (and intelligent) cows, I can say that it’s not any less “icky” to realize that my really yummy hamburger at Juicy Burger (yes, I confess I am a carnivore) was once a gentle and lovely animal whether the meat came from a cow or a horse.

    In some senses, it’s almost better to be using horsemeat (although normally that meat is used in dogfood, not human food) along with cow. The way cows are treated to make enough meat for sale abysmal. At least by dividing the sources, some cows will suffer somewhat less cruel lives.
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    1. Karen Post author

      Hi Eden! I’m with you. I love horses. Well, I like all animals. And talking about a juicy Burger, I’m getting hungry just thinking about it. But if someone wants to eat horse meat, that is their prerogative. But don’t label ground beef and then mix in horse meat. That’s a bit misleading, don’t you think? Not cool, indeed. And never fear. I hear you on the treatment of our cows girlfriend. That’s why I want to write a post about grass fed cows/beef. It’s kinda like free range chickens, if you know what I mean. Thank you Eden for expressing your thoughts on this! 🙂

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  9. CC MacKenzie

    The public are going nuts over here. The reason is our food and standards agency are like the ‘food police’. If it says on the pack that the meat within it is ‘beef’ then it had better BE beef or the company is closed down.

    So the whole thing about horse meat being found in beef products has hit a nerve. The products came from a company who supplies meat to almost every single big supermarket in the UK and is based in Ireland. From what I’m seeing the company has lost the contract to supply ‘beef’ to every single market and I suspect its days are numbered.

    We do not eat horse meat in the UK. The French and other Europeans are quite happy to pass off horse meat as beef in their restaurants for example – yet another reason why I will never visit/eat in Paris.

    So now our food standards agency are testing every single meat import.

    I see a visit to my local butcher coming soon! At least with chicken I know it’s chicken!
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    1. Karen Post author

      Hi Chrisine! Thank you so much for weighing in on this. I bet the public is going nuts. I went nuts when I read about it. And yes, we have the FDA, who are “food police” here. So if the label says ground beef, it better be. But have they figured out how the horse meat got mixed in with the beef? Oh wait. Was the packaged ground meat meant for France or other European countries? And perhaps it was accidently shipped to Britain? Yikes! That means Bill and I might have eaten horse meat in France? Noooo! Yet, who could blame the authorities for checking every import Christine. They’d have to. But because we’ve had such a horrible time with contamination in our bulk packaged ground meat here with E-coli and this week Salmonella, I buy our ground beef at a grocery store that grounds it on the premises. That way I know exactly what I’m getting. Wait! You mean a chicken is a chicken? Since when? Are you sure? 🙂

      Reply
  10. Mike Schulenberg

    I don’t know how much cows or horses cost, but I would’ve thought horses would be more expensive than cows, making them a less than optimal choice for cutting costs in meat production. We generally buy organic meat when possible to hormones and the weird chemicals that the industry tends to use to sterilize their food before shipping it out. If I liked a wider variety of vegetables, I’d probably just try going vegetarian for a while.
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    1. Karen Post author

      Hi Mike! Interesting calculation Mike. Horses could cost more, unless…they’re old horses. And don’t we use that meat for our animals? And I’m with you. We too buy organic meat when possible and organic veggies since we are not in the position to grow our own. “hormones and the weird chemicals that the industry tends to use to sterilize their food.” Ooh, I had forgotten about that Mike. Thanks for bringing that up. I guess the point is, if they want to sell horse meat, sell horse meat. But don’t pass it off as ground beef, or mix it in to stretch the ground beef supply. And that’s why so many are in an uproar over this situation. The public didn’t know. And could that happen here? Hmm? Thanks Mike! Great to see you! 🙂

      Reply
  11. Patricia

    Well . . . while horses and cows do look different on the outside, they basically look the same when absent hair, bones, etc. I’m not saying this practice is okay, I’m just saying, raw red meat all looks the same.

    I’ve eaten rabbit, which tastes like chicken (it really does) and looks like chicken when in the raw form. A lot of people think eating rabbit is gross and wrong too. I guess it’s what each person will allow themselves to consume.

    I would not be comfortable eating horse meat.

    Interesting question to ponder.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt
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    1. Karen Post author

      Hi Patricia! Ah yes, when butchered it may look the same. Yet, I too have eaten Rabbit. I had a very close friend who raised rabbit. They never named them. They were called “Rabbit Dinners.” lol. Although rabbit looks like chicken, I found it had a gamey taste to it. Now they say that you can eat frogs too. And they’re supposed to taste similiar to chicken. But, I can’t bring myself to eat a frog Patricia. And I’m sure in certain cultures, it is quite acceptable to eat horse. I’m just not ready for that. Though, if you want to sell horse meat, than label it horse meat and don’t try to pass it off as beef. And that was the problem. The meat packing company mixed the horse meat in with the ground beef. 29%? That’s a lot. And people are in an uproar over this. Could this happen here? Interesting, isn’t it? 🙂

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  12. Jennette Marie Powell

    I agree with Prudence that the ick factor of eating horse is just cultural, but I still want to know what I’m eating! Makes me very thankful for our freezer full of vennison. Good, lean, healthy stuff and I know exactly where it came from!
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    1. Karen Post author

      Hi Jennette! Aha! You are married to a hunter, eh? So while you write, he is away hunting deer. Good for you. Yes, it’s lean, healthy and this is the point…you know exactly where it came from. You are one of the fortunate few Jen. But if they want to sell ground horse meat, then at least tell us so that we can make the decision to eat it. But, I’m with you girl. Defintely, an ick factor there for sure! 🙂

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  13. Marcy Kennedy

    Ugg, I don’t even want to think about eating horse 😛 Depending on where you live this might not be an option, but where I’m from, a lot of people will pair up with another family and “buy a cow.” Obviously you don’t actually see or care for your cow when it’s still alive. What happens is your local butcher takes care of the buying and butchering for you, but you know what you’re getting is from that one cow and there’s more quality control. Some beef farmers will offer this option too, in which case you buy from them, they hire the butcher, and your half a cow (or however much you get) comes directly to your door.
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    1. Karen Post author

      Hi Marcy! Can you even imagine? If it was labeled a horse, then of course you’d expect horse meat. But don’t label something ground beef and then sneak in horse meat. What a mess. I think your suggestion is a wonderful idea. And this option is available here in the U.S. The problem mostly is with ground beef. So even if you buy a half a cow, either grind the beef yourself, or at a local butcher. That way you are assured that what you’re getting is what you expected. I’m with you girl. It’s all about quality control. Let’s keep it healthy Marcy! Thanks for your suggestion! 🙂

      Reply
  14. K.B. Owen

    Interesting post, Karen! A bit nauseating, too. I’m a definite meat-eater…the plant part of the omnivore DNA gene didn’t seem to make it to me…but we try to buy organic whenever possible.

    Okay, off to the grocery store!
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    1. Karen Post author

      Hi Kathy! Sorry. Didn’t mean to make you sick my friend. You my dear are one of multitudes who are meat-eaters like myself. I tried to go vegetarian, but I needed the meat protein in my diet. But we trust when we go to the store to get what we’re paying for, right? So can you imagine, like Christine MacKenzie said in her comment, she lives in England. People are in an uproar over what happened. If you are told it’s ground beef, should it not be ground beef? Not horse meat. Then label it accordingly, right? And if it happened in England, could it happen here? Hmm? 🙂

      Reply
    1. Karen Post author

      Hi Coleen! Well, after today’s post, I think one may lean towards vegetarianism. Yet, you have to be careful about that also. Are the veggies you buy ladened with chemicals? Or, if you purchase organic, are they organic? Yes Coleen, I agree with you. The industry has become extreme. Extremely huge. It shocked me to know how many cattle could be in one package of ground beef. Can you even imagine? Yet, this is exceptable? Why? Most likely because most people don’t know. They don’t pay attention. Then you have an outbreak of Salmonella this week. From ground beef. Scary indeed. We need to grow our own food like Jenny Hansen. Thanks Coleen! 🙂

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  15. Prudence MacLeod

    Hi Karen, interesting post. Long ago our ancestors hunted horses more often than bovines because they were easier to catch and kill. The horse is a herbivore and as such a natural prey for human carnivores.
    I know, I know, I can’t stomach the idea of eating Black Beauty either. The horse has been such a major partner in our rise to civilization, it almost seems cannibalistic to eat one. ew
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    1. Karen Post author

      Hi Prudence! Yes, I’m sure horse meat is eatable. Supposedly, we’ve been feeding it to our dogs for years. And I’m sure that in certain cultures, eating horse meat is acceptable. Not that I would choose to eat horse meat over beef, as in cattle. I would suspect it might be tougher and have a gamey flavor. Yet, if you are selling ground beef, it better be ground beef, not ground horse meat. That’s kinda misleading. And don’t we have the right to know what we are putting in our mouth? You can see why this is such a heated issue. Can we trust that what we buy is actually what we’re getting? 🙂

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