Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Say whoa to worries about horsemeat

You know 2012 is going to be an interesting year when one of the first question I fielded this week was on horsemeat. In this case, I couldn't tell if the person was for or against: The questioner wanted to know if it would be available soon in Charlotte meat markets or if I knew any Charlotte chefs who were preparing it.

I'm not the only person getting horsemeat queries, apparently. Interest was triggered in November, when Congress passed a federal spending bill that included a provision lifting a five-year ban on inspecting facilities that slaughter horses.

Before horse fans get in a lather, bear a couple of things in mind: First, while lifting the ban allows the USDA to inspect a facility if one were opened, it provided no money for the USDA to do inspections. The agency's budget is so tight, that's not considered likely. Second, while there has been no U.S. facility to process horsemeat since 2007, it is allowed in Canada and Mexico and has been allowed the whole time the U.S. ban has been in effect. Most horsemeat for human consumption is exported to Europe. And finally, the ban was only in effect for five or six years. Prior to 2005, there wasn't exactly a booming market for horsemeat in the U.S. and allowing inspections probably won't create a big market.

So, where is North Carolina in all that? Nowhere new, apparently. According to a spokesman for the NCDA, there are no slaughtering facilities in North Carolina. If there were an attempt to open such a facility, it wouldn't be inspected by the NCDA, it would have to be federally inspected. And the federal office in Raleigh has no knowledge of any plans to open a facility. If a new facility opened, it would be more likely to happen in the West, where there is a higher population of horses.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Only an evil person would eat horsemeat.

Reality Check said...

On what basis do you make your claim? Why is eating horsemeat more evil than eating chicken or beef?

Anonymous said...

People eat horse meat all over the world. Don't knock it until you have tried it. Makes great stir fry.

silicon28 said...

Anon. 10:44: You've probably already eaten horse meat; you just didn't know it at the time. You "evil" person you... LOL.

Draco said...

I think only an evil person would eat horsemeat also. We eat enough animals in this world. Horses have defined this world in more ways than one. WHY would someone want to eat a horse? It would be only an ignorant peson.

Anonymous said...

You should have to kill the horse in order to eat it. These brainiacs on her talking about horsemeat being "okay" to eat are so divorced from reality it's beyond pathetic.

It's distressing and sickening.

Soryn said...

Eating horse meat is sick and evil. Horses are loved and wonderful animals. They are much smarter than Cows and Pigs. There are plenty of other meats so why eat these wonderful animals. Would you eat a cat or a dog? Horses are pets too, we wouldnt eat a wild cat or a wild dog just because that specific animal wasnt somebodys pet, horses can love and care for people and we should love and care for them too.