Tuesday Afternoon…Eating a horse with no name.

animal,illustration,monkey,graphic,design,stamp-c337804f9edf7d8fbf14f95bdc3ec9af_hLater today, the new power cord for my laptop should be delivered.  I hope the damn thing works.

Good Afternoon,

…my thoughts are a bit off this afternoon, almost like I’m in a Virginia Woolf stream of consciousness state of mind. Sometimes it’s difficult enough to get my thoughts organized in some kind of rational order. But today it is random and ridiculous…

Tonight is the STFU speech…oops, I mean SOTU speech. (Eh, innit the same thing?)  We will be live blogging it here, so if you are around, be sure to stop by.

Just one story for you this afternoon, and it deals with the horse meat scandal over in Great Britain. Yup, you know what I am talking about!

“Ground beef” with a touch of Mr. Ed. From the same folks who brought you Mad Cow disease…there is now “beef” being sold in England and Europe that contain horse meat.

I’m not sure we have mentioned the horsemeat scandal here on the blog, but if you have been living in a barn for the past few weeks… here is a quick review of what happening in, on and around the burger scene across the pond.

A food safety group did some investigating and found horse DNA in some cheap burger meat being sold in supermarkets in the UK and Ireland.

It did not stop there, looks like Burger Kings in Great Britain also sold the Trigger burgers, since their meat supplier was the same company who supplied the supermarkets.

Testing has revealed some Findus beef lasagne  readymeals may have contained up to 100% horsemeatThen…Hi Ho, what d’ya know… Silver found himself in other “beef” products, like frozen lasagna dinners from a company called Findus. (Now, with a name like Findus….it has to be good…cough, cough.) As with Burger King, Findus Brand frozen dinner’s “beef” was also supplied by the same smeat factory. (Smeat btw is not a typo.)

The company bringing Seabiscuit to tables across Britain and the Continent of Europe is called Tesco.  You can see Tesco’s technical director dude in the hot seat, responding to the horse DNA found in its “Trojan” beef products. View the video here:

Tesco’s technical director, Tim Smith, says his company does not yet know how many products containing horsemeat have been sold in their shops, and an investigation is under way into how it happened. Samples from one of Tesco’s burger lines contained 29% horsemeat relative to beef content. Traces of horsemeat have also been found in food products sold by Iceland, Lidl and Aldi.

Watching that man and his expressions reminds me of that SNL skit with Martin Short playing Nathan Thurm, the smoking sleazeball lawyer…

You need to see this skit, if you don’t see the video embedded below, so be sure to watch Saturday Night Live: 60 Minutes online at this link.

Minkman Toys pushes 60 Minutes to investigate fraud in the novelty item business.

60 Minutes

Mike Wallace…..Harry Shearer
Herb Minkman…..Christopher Guest
Al Minkman…..Billy Crystal
Nathan Thurm…..Martin Short

Damn, I got distracted…can’t help it, that is a great skit! Funny as hell!

Okay, where was I?

Oh yeah, the horse meat.

Today some new light has been shed on the scandal:

The Guardian: Horsemeat scandal blamed on European meat regulation changes

The UK’s horsemeat scandal was in “large part” the result of a switch from UK to foreign meat suppliers in 2012 caused by an abrupt change in European regulation that the government failed to contest, according to the expert who led the Food Standards Agency’s (FSA) surveillance programme for a decade.

The change meant that “desinewed meat” (DSM), a fine mince rubbed under pressure from carcasses, could no longer be called meat on packaging. DSM produced in the UK was the main ingredient in most value-range burgers, sausages, pies and kebabs and the change meant that thousands of tonnes of meat had to be sourced from elsewhere and at low cost.

BBC News: EU ban on UK mince made suppliers vulnerable to horse meat

A former senior scientist at the Food Standards Agency says an EU decision to reclassify a type of mincemeat widely used in the UK played a significant part in creating the horsemeat crisis.

Desinewed meat was a key ingredient in value items such as pies, lasagnes and other beef products.

Dr Mark Woolfe said the decision to ban it prompted producers to go outside the UK to source supplies of cheap mince.

He also raised the possibility that UK lamb products might need testing for horsemeat.

Until 2009 Dr Woolfe was the head of authenticity at the Food Standards Agency. He says the root cause of the current horse meat crisis can be traced back to a decision taken by the European Commission less than 12 months ago to ban a key food ingredient called desinewed meat.

Under pressure

This material was introduced in the the UK in the 1990s as a replacement for mechanically recovered meat (MRM). Sometimes called “pink slime” MRM was formed by removing residual meat from animal bones using high pressure water.

It was linked to the spread of the human form of mad cow disease and the UK government took steps to restrict it from the food chain.

Desinewed meat (DSM) was developed as a higher quality form of recovered meat. It was produced using low pressure, retained some structure and was regarded as a meat ingredient on value products.

Yup, and y’all know who buys value products. Poor or low income people.

Nuff said.

Check out these headlines, some of which are a pun filled laugh:

BBC has a couple of articles, their coverage is not as intense:

Horsemeat scandal widens across EU
Beef products ‘pose no health risk’

But, The Guardian has reported a lot on the scandal:

Tesco says some of its value spaghetti bolognese contains 60% horsemeat

Eating horsemeat: what are the steaks?

Horsemeat scandal: ‘immediate testing will be done’ in schools, hospitals and prisons, says environment secretary – video

Contaminated horsemeat could harm health, warns environment secretary
Horsemeat scandal exposes the cheap food imperative

The Independent is also reporting that beef may not be the only product containing horse meat….or, carne con caballo ala Flicka:

Horsemeat scandal: Chicken and pork products may also be contaminated warns FSA, as Tesco admits Every Day Value Spaghetti Bolognese contains up to 100% horsemeat

‘Yes we sold horse – but it was labelled correctly’: French suspicious over abattoir linked to Romanian minister

Galloping into controversy over Findus

Horsemeat: Regulation doesn’t taste so bad now, does it?

Big business is bad news for good food – and horse meat may be the least of our problems

From horse to lasagne: Findus, supply chains, and why buying local is the answer in an ideal world only

Damn, what a mess! However, I do love the puns in some of those headlines…the Brits have a great sense of humor.

This is an open thread…


30 Comments on “Tuesday Afternoon…Eating a horse with no name.”

  1. hyperjoy says:

    I think eating horsemeat is pretty common in Europe, sort of a ho hum thing to them. On principle though, I don’t like it any more than dogmeat eating. Or any meat eating. I’m working on becoming a vegetarian.

    • Fannie says:

      For the first time since July, I am having a hamburger patty……………lord it was about 12 oz. worth………and hell, I left it a little bit pink……..I am sure glad I don’t work for one those processing plants………..seabisquit with American Flag atop, oh lord.

      • Yeah, I guess horsemeat is common over in Europe, but I think it is rather interesting that horse was put into beef products that poorer people eat, and they did not label it as such.
        That is what really gets me…

      • Fannie says:

        Exactly JJ…………..they don’t care about labels for the poor, let them get sick and die.

    • ecocatwoman says:

      Eating horses’ flesh is common in France & Japan. As an ethical vegetarian it’s difficult for me to understand why eating cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys, ducks, lamb and all kinds of fish, octopus & shellfish is perfectly fine but eating horses, dogs, monkeys or cats is abhorrent.

      • dakinikat says:

        There’s a hierarchy in Buddhism based in sentience. Horses and dogs are considered to be 1step from human rebirth. Also the size of the animal and how many he feeds makes a difference … one cow provides food for many and 1 shrimp won’t even feed one.

      • hyperjoy says:

        I read part of a book about octopuses. They are very intelligent.

  2. RalphB says:

    Hate to say it but horsemeat is probably an upgrade to pink slime or that DSM stuff.

  3. dakinikat says:

    Marcia L. Fudge ‏@RepMarciaFudge

    Yes! Senate just passed re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). I urge House leadership to now schedule a vote, no delays

  4. dakinikat says:

    OPINION: Inviting Nugent brings disgrace to entire House of Representatives http://j.mp/Ubhskn by Bill Press #SOTU

    • RalphB says:

      Like Pierce said, Boehner should not let that insane ass into the House chambers … and Nugent to.

      • dakinikat says:

        I noticed the right wingers posting on that thread think we hate him for exercising his ‘free speech’ … I thought threatening people with bodily harm was criminal activity, silly me.

  5. RalphB says:

    While we’re on BBC health/food stories …

    BBC: Coca-Cola drinking ‘linked to New Zealander’s death’

    Drinking large quantities of Coca-Cola was a “substantial factor” in the death of a 30-year-old woman in New Zealand, a coroner has said.

    Natasha Harris, who died three years ago after a cardiac arrest, drank up to 10 litres of the fizzy drink each day.

    This is twice the recommended safe limit of caffeine and more than 11 times the recommended sugar intake.

  6. bostonboomer says:

    Per MSNBC Christopher Dorner was in a car chase with police. There was some kind of accident and now an ongoing gun battler.

    • bostonboomer says:

      LA Times article

      Christopher Dorner was engaged in a shootout with federal authorities in the Big Bear area Tuesday, a law enforcement source told The Times.

      The shooting occurred after Dorner burglarized a home, tied up a couple and stole their car, the source said.

      It was not immediately clear whether Dorner was in custody.

      A second source said there was an active crime scene but did not have details.

      Law enforcement officials were swarming the area.

  7. bostonboomer says:

    Dorner broke into a cabin and tied up a couple. They were able to get loose and called authorities.

  8. bostonboomer says:

    The couple in the cabin were two women. Two officers injured, not clear who they are. They are showing the cabin, officers w/guns drawn hiding behind a vehicle.

  9. Fox News Chart Helps Paint Distorted Picture Of America’s Defense Spending | Blog | Media Matters for America

    Fox News opened a discussion on potential defense budget cuts with a graph which tracked changes in the United States’ defense spending, pushing the distortion that the U.S. is lagging behind China and Russia. But Fox neglected to acknowledge the actual amount these countries expend on defense; in reality, U.S. defense spending is greater than the next 12 top-spending countries combined.

    On the February 12 edition of America’s Newsroom, host Bill Hemmer displayed a graph comparing the growth in the defense budgets of China, Russia, and the United States from 2007 – 2011. The chart, which assumed that sequester cuts to the U.S.’s defense budget will take effect, projected the change in these countries’ defense budgets through 2015.

    and

    Nothing To See Here – Sheriff Arpaio’s Office Absolves Itself Of Bungled Sex Crimes (VIDEO) | Addicting Info

    In a move that should startle no Arizonan with a pulse, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio just released the results of an internal investigation into 400 mishandled sex crime investigations and–surprise!–no individuals should be held responsible, least of all the sheriff himself. Not only that, but for those individuals, like journalists, who want a copy of the report, it’ll cost $5,000, please. Make checks payable to the ‘Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office’ (MCSO). Quite a handy little money-making opportunity.

  10. RalphB says:

    Pierce: Marco Rubio Clears His Throat For His Big Solo

    Senator Marco Rubio, Republican presidential timber fresh from the mill, distracted himself from thinking about his chance at Jindalesque glory tonight by voting against the Violence Against Women Act, and by limber up his throat for this evening’s grand performance with an exercise in pure weaselspeak.

    Unfortunately, I could not support the final, entire legislation that contains new provisions that could have potentially adverse consequences. Specifically, this bill would mandate the diversion of a portion of funding from domestic violence programs to sexual assault programs, although there’s no evidence to suggest this shift will result in a greater number of convictions.

    (Translation From The Original Weaselspeak: I took a call from FreedomWorks this morning.)

    These funding decisions should be left up to the state-based coalitions that understand local needs best, but instead this new legislation would put those decisions into the hands of distant Washington bureaucrats in the Department of Justice.

    (Translation From The Original Weaselspeak: As we all know, sexual assault and domestic violence are different in Mississippi than they are in New York. They are like local cuisine that way.)

    Additionally, I have concerns regarding the conferring of criminal jurisdiction to some Indian tribal governments over all persons in Indian country, including non-Indians.

    (Translation From The Original Weaselspeak: I’m with the white-eyes.)

    Somebody wake me when it’s over.

    Marco Rubio says nothing while explaining his vote against the VAWA?