A horse, a horse … my kingdom for a horse …

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Thus spake Shakespeare`s King Richard when unseated in the fatal (for him) Battle of Bosworth. Some 500 years later the said King turns up under a carpark in Leicester – the skeleton (with a curved spine) was uncovered during an archaeological dig last year; it has previously been thought that the old chap had been tossed into the river but no … there was the skeleton – could it be he? Someone in Canada was found who was a much-removed relation and he gave DNA which it was found matched that of the skeleton. Great jubilation! Leicester rejoicing and much debate about where the deposed King should be reburied. His skeleton was, as a matter of interest, minus its feet (with my rather noir sense of humour I did wonder whether that was why he cried out for a horse!).

Now no-one has wondered whatever happened to the horse – that puzzle was eventually solved the following week – we Brits have been eating it. As a whole we are not great horse-eaters in the UK – we always used to leave that to the French – I was taught when I first visited France many years ago that I should always request `Bifsteak` in a restaurant or I would be sure to be served horsemeat.

I can remember after WWII there were horsemeat shops around – our family bought it but it was fed to the dogs. We did try whalemeat a couple of times but then, again, just after the war we were glad to eat whatever we could get as food was very scarce. But, we were a horse-loving family so abstained from that meat.

Back to the horsemeat – it turns out that this has been put into burgers and ready-meals that purport to be made from beef. In some cases the products have been found to contain 100% horsemeat. Horseburger and fries anyone? Several well-known supermarkets and food chains have been selling this stuff as part of their `value` lines. I think of the old adage `If you think something is too good to be true, then it probably is`. But, seriously, although horsemeat per se is not harmful apparently some drugs that are given to horses are said to be bad for humans. Further investigation has traced the source of this meat to Rumania where it is slaughtered. Funnily enough, under European law Rumanians are now prohibited from using horsedrawn transport on the roads … the plot thickens – poor old Dobbin. Anyway the stuff is then sent to France (ah the French again!) where it is made into delicacies for consumption by the penny-conscious, the poor and burger-loving children. The stuff has apparently even got into school meals and hospital food (always did think the latter was a bit dodgy).

Heads are rolling, apologies are flying everywhere, investigations have begun meanwhile it has put George and me off buying any processed food or chilled meals. Fortunately we neither of us like burgers …

I shall finish with a rousing chorus of `The Old Grey Mare She Ain`t What She Used To Be.`

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14 thoughts on “A horse, a horse … my kingdom for a horse …

  1. I have a friend in for a visit from Northern Ireland and she told me about this breaking news. It’s astonishing what companies will try to get away with to increase profits. I’m in the US and I’m just waiting for us to find out if we too have been eating non-beef beef products. Our tuna isn’t always tuna, so I wouldn’t be surprised if our beef wasn’t beef.

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      1. That is so true Melanie and, hopefully, this scandal with stop the practice of squeezing suppliers until the pips squeak. Everyone is so price conscious but perhaps we should all consume less? I didn`t start out for the post to be funny it just happened when I thought about poor ole Richard`s horse and one thing lead to another! I have a very ill-disciplined brain.

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    1. If I lived on my own I think I would be a vegetarian too – I was for six months some years ago but George (who does most of the cooking) is tied into his `meat and two veg` and I must admit I do enjoy meat.

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  2. What a chuckle I had reading this post – sad but true and so funny. I’m also almost a vegetarian (a person has to have a piece of bacon once in a while with their eggs). But, I haven’t eaten a burger in many moons and that is why.

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  3. Beautiful picture! It’s kind of sad that so many are serving up horse meat and calling it beef — I’m sure I’ve probably unknowingly consumed horse myself, since meat processors are not always honest about the origin of their meat. That last line in your post made me laugh.

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  4. I think that Romania has been found to be without fault as their invoice said ‘horse meat’ when it was sent to France and the French customer sent an e mail saying the horsemeat was rec’d ok.
    Not sure if this is true or are they just …covering their tracks? We shall find out one way or another.

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