Horsemeat scandal hits U.S.
'Who decided what animals to eat and not to eat?'
A Philadelphia restaurant owner thinks horse meat is delicious and wants to share the delicacy with his customers.
“I am going to embrace horse meat wholeheartedly at Monsu, probably in the springtime,” Peter McAndrews, owner of the Sicilian restaurant, told the website FooBooz.
Chef Marc Vetri says he would “love to serve it.”
“Seriously, who decided what animals to eat and not to eat?” Vetri asked. “Is a horse better than a cow or a rabbit? Really don’t get all the fuss.”
McAndrews isn’t worried about the outrage from the public, including cowboys and animal-rights activists.
“There’s too much meddling,” he said. “If you’re serving something and it’s not doing well, that’s when you don’t serve it anymore. Not because you get letters about it.”
McAndrews owns several Philadelphia restaurants and has already served caballa finto, or “mock horse.” It actually is goat.
Vetri recently dined on horse filet mignon in Montreal. FooBooz said the horse on his plate probably was raised in Pennsylvania and exported to Canada for slaughter.
President Obama lifted the ban on horse slaughter in 2011.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Pennsylvania is home to the largest livestock auction in the East, in Lancaster County. It sends hundreds of horses to slaughter in Quebec, Canada each year.
Pennsylvania provides an ample supply of slaughter-bound horses, the paper said, including race track losers, spent brood mares and washed up Amish buggy and plow horses.
The New York restaurant MoMa PS1 pulled horse meat from its menu last year after a stampede of protests.
FooBooz reported French Canadian horse-meat lover, restaurant co-owner and chef Hugue said he gets “tired of beef-chicken-pork all the time and we assume diners do, too.”
“Whatever else horses are – draft animals, companions, transport – their meat is also delicious and affordable,” he said. “… Nevertheless, scandalizing animal lovers is not what we want to be famous for. It was certainly not our intent to insult American culture.”
FooBooz said the USDA did not return multiple calls seeking comment on its article.
The controversy in the U.S. over horsemeat comes as a scandal rocks Europe. It began when tests in Ireland revealed some products contained horsemeat instead of beef. Since then, consumers have been shocked to learn horsemeat has been found in products sold across Europe. British supermarkets have pulled more than 10 million burgers from shelves.
France and Germany want mandatory labeling of the origin of all meat used in processed food in all 27 countries of the European Union. EU Health Commissioner Tonio Borg said the EU is speeding up work on potential labeling changes.
But French Consumer Minister Benoit Hamon said that will not be easy.
“There is resistance,” he said. “Some countries are not keen at all to see the origin of meat appear – some countries like Nordic countries – so we will have to build a compromise.”