« | Home | »

Horse and Beans

Tags:

Yesterday it was reported that 75 per cent of beef products exported to Ireland from Poland may not be beef but horse. The Food Standards Agency in the UK promises to make public from now on the results of its investigations into the meat (and horse) trade.

During the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, Auguste Escoffier was drafted into the army as a cook and stationed at Metz. He wrote about horse meat in his autobiography. Food at first was plentiful; then, as the war carried on, it wasn’t:

Around 15 September the lack of food supplies began to be felt and I had to attack my reserves. From then on horse meat was the highlight of my menus, which consisted of horse stew one day, braised horse meat the next, macaroni horse meat the next, horse meat with lentils, with beans, with peas, etc. I must say that if the meal of ‘man’s best conquest’ was at that time not cooked with every possible sauce then it was at least garnished with every possible kind of bean.

Comments on “Horse and Beans”

  1. deMan says:

    From ‘The Recognitions’ by William Gaddis, published in 1955:

    “The newspaper slipped to the floor, and Mr. Pivner sat up as though called. A half-pound of ground beef waited in the kitchen, for his supper. (-Is it all beef? he had asked insistently; and assured that it was, did not ask how old it was, and so was not told that it had got its succulent redness from sodium sulphite rubbed into it when it had turned toxic gray the day before)”.

  2. Rikkeh says:

    The report actually says that offcuts tested that were labelled “beef” each contained up to 75% horse meat, not that 75% of “beef” exported from Poland to Ireland might be horse. LRB’s interpretation of this makes the problem seem a lot worse than it actually is.

    I hate to be a pedant about these things, especially when they don’t cut to the core of the post, but if I can’t insist on crystal clear English in the LRB blog, where on the internet can I?

Comment on this post

Log in or register to post a comment.


  • Recent Posts

    RSS – posts

  • Contributors

  • Recent Comments

    • mideastzebra on Swedish-Israeli Tensions: Avigdor Liberman was not foreign minister November 2015.
    • lars hakanson on Exit Cameron: Europe will for good reason rejoice when the UK elects to leave. The country has over the years provided nothing but obstacles to European integration...
    • Michael Schuller on Immigration Scandals: The Home Office is keen to be seen to be acting tough on immigration, although I'm not sure that the wider project has anything to do with real number...
    • Geoff Roberts on What happened in Cologne?: The most surprising thing about the events in Cologne (and the most disturbing) is that some 600 incidents of theft, harrasment and rape were reported...
    • EmilyEmily on What happened in Cologne?: The author's argument is straightforward: Sexual violence is one beast; fears about migrants is another - let's not confuse the two. Alfalfa's poin...

    RSS – comments

  • Contact

  • Blog Archive

  • From the LRB Archive

    Chris Lehmann: The Candidates
    18 June 2015

    ‘Every one of the Republican candidates can be described as a full-blown adult failure. These are people who, in most cases, have been granted virtually every imaginable advantage on the road to success, and managed nevertheless to foul things up along the way.’

    Hugh Pennington:
    The Problem with Biodiversity
    10 May 2007

    ‘As a medical microbiologist, for example, I have spent my career fighting biodiversity: my ultimate aim has been to cause the extinction of harmful microbes, an objective shared by veterinary and plant pathologists. But despite more than a hundred years of concentrated effort, supported by solid science, smallpox has been the only success.’

    Jeremy Harding: At the Mexican Border
    20 October 2011

    ‘The battle against illegal migration is a domestic version of America’s interventions overseas, with many of the same trappings: big manpower commitments, militarisation, pursuit, detection, rendition, loss of life. The Mexican border was already the focus of attention before 9/11; it is now a fixation that shows no signs of abating.’

    James Meek: When the Floods Came
    31 July 2008

    ‘Last July, a few days after the floods arrived, with 350,000 people still cut off from the first necessity of life, Severn Trent held its annual general meeting. It announced profits of £325 million, and confirmed a dividend for shareholders of £143 million. Not long afterwards the company, with the consent of the water regulator Ofwat, announced that it wouldn’t be compensating customers: all would be charged as if they had had running water, even when they hadn’t.’

Advertisement Advertisement