Dear Foodie: Cheap, Stylish Furniture and Horsemeat

Dear Foodie,

I live in the Kentucky bluegrass where horses are treated like kings. The recent horse meat found in ground beef and IKEA Swedish meatballs really scared me. I can’t stand the thoughts of eating horses. I note that a horse slaughtering operation is being opened up in the U.S. How can I know?  – I’d Rather Eat Roadkill in Kentucky

Dear I’d Rather Eat Road Kill,

If you hover at 30,000 feet, it is hard to glean exactly why we sanction eating some animals but not others. Cultures around the world view this differently. Horse meat is a delicacy in Europe and Russia; dogs and cats are eaten in certain places, etc. What you point to is a labeling issue more than anything else. We don’t culturally sanction eating horse meat in this country and so we have to know how to protect ourselves against such an “ick” factor. The fact is that this is yet another reason to know from where your meat is sourced. That points to local producers in whom you can blindly place your trust because they are local or if you are a true locavore, actually visit the farm and see the operation and what goes into the meat. Local processing plants are desperately needed to close the loop. If nothing else, the local food movement provides one important aspect. If anything goes wrong and you know where the animal was raised and processed, you can take an old fashioned frying pan and bop the proprietor/ producer over the head. Now, that’s “tradition” for settling disputes in my neck of the woods and is better accomplished locally than say getting a plane ticket to China. One more thing: buy the furniture at IKEA because it is tantalizingly cheap but stay away from the meatballs.

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