THE CULINARY NAME FOR MEAT CUT FROM A HORSE.
Many people ask why is there such a taboo over people enjoying their traditional habit of eating meat From the horse, yet nothing said about the sheep, pig, chicken or cow.
When one consider the origin of the egg or caviar for that matter or the French love of snails and the legs of a frog, what is the problem with Steak tartar from a horse. The Chinese and Korean love of the meat of dogs, or gypsies liking of hedgehog and badger hams.
So where does the horse meat come from in 2009.The United States produced 25,000 tons of horse meat for export in 2007, however the licenses on the last three remaining abattoirs were revoked in October 2008, these were two plants in Texas and one in Illinois.
Horses are processed in the exact same manner as cattle, if you are a vegetarian well there is no point reading any further, however if you are open minded please continue. There are 7 horse abattoirs in Canada licensed to export meat for human consumption, 21 in Mexico one must assume that the long journey from the United States to either country, is not in the best interest of the horses welfare.
One can say without fear of contradiction, that the horses are best slaughtered in the United States, unless you are going to ban the live exports as well as the meat. The out of sight out of mind attitude is also not in the best interest of the horses, half measures avail us nothing.
So what goes on at the horse abattoir, Take a look- www.clay-meat.com is a typical horse meat export abattoir, as you will se no different than a beef or sheep abattoir.
So who produces the horse meat now the Americans are killing their horses in Canada and Mexico.
Mexico produces 78,000 tons a year
Argentina 57,000 tons a year
Kazakstan 55,000 tons a year
Mongolia 38,000 tons a year
Kygyzstan 25,000 tons a year
Australia 24,000 tons a year
Brazil 21,000 tons a year
Canada 18,000 tons a year
Poland 18,000 tons a year
Italy 16,000 tons a year ( including donkeys)
Romania 14,000 tons a year
Ukraine 13,000 tons a year
Chile 10,000 tons a year
France 7,500 tons a year
Uruguay 8,000 tons a year
Senegal 9,5000 tons a year
Colombia 6,000 tons a year
Spain 5,000 tons a year (including donkey)
There are no official figures for China and Russia however estimates are:
China 150,000 tons a year and Russia 80,000 tons a year, as they are mainly butchered in small abattoirs and on farms.
There must be something good about horse meat, for all these abattoirs to have such a high production.
Well of course it is high in protein and low in fat, however for commercial farming the horse cannot convert grass to meat at the same rate as cattle, there not a viable alternative.
The United States has 9 million horses compared with 90 million cattle, however the bigger the taboo the less chance of a commercial meat industry. While farmers are asked to pay a carbon emission tax on the 90 million cattle, who pays this on the 9 million horses, who emit more gas that cattle as any horse lover will know.
Horse meat was very popular in Europe, but never eaten in English speaking countries to any large degree.
In the eighth century Popes Gregory 111 and Zachary, instructed St Boniface, missionary to Germany, to forbid the eating of horse flesh to those he converted to Christianity, which of course added to the taboo. In some countries the prohibition of the Roman Catholic Church has lingered.
There is also the role of sentiment to the horse, having long enjoyed a close relationship to man. I know this first hand as my family breed race horses.
In most countries where horses are slaughtered and all of the mentioned counties, the process is identical to that of slaughtering cattle.
According to the Daily Mail in London, around 100,000 horses a year are transported and consumed in the European Union, while in England there are only three horse abattoirs who export to France and Belgium, the practice is still frowned on by the British.
Canada has a thriving horse meat industry, mainly due the default of the Americans and in Quebec it is available in many supermarkets.
Horse meat has slightly sweet taste, rather like a cross between beef and venison, the younger the horse the more tender the meat as with beef and lamb.
When I reported recently that there are no abattoir in the United States, that slaughters horse meat for human consumption, that has been the case since November 2008.
A good commercial horse will fetch around US$500 for the meat trade, time 9 million horses in the United States. This could be a multi billion dollar industry.
I can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org