Sunday, March 10, 2013

Horse meat? Isn't culture peculiar?

And at a time of immense strains brought on by the euro crisis and Continentwide austerity — when new, anti-European political forces are rising in country after country — the horse meat scandal has brought into the open the deep divisions, cultural and otherwise, that bedevil the European Union. A meat that nearly all Britons consider revolting, for example, is cherished as a protein-rich delight by a small but loyal minority in places like Belgium, the home of the European Union’s Brussels bureaucracy and Europe’s biggest per capita consumer of horse meat. (Italy, with its larger population, eats the most horse over all.)

For a surging camp of so-called Euroskeptics in Britain, the fact that horse meat has entered the food chain through a host of middlemen and factories scattered across the Continent stands as proof of unbridgeable cultural chasms that, in their view, make the European Union unworkable.

1 comment:

  1. I never ate horse meat when I was brought up in Australia, it was considered a sign of extreme poverty as it was eaten during the post-war Depression. Also I think that horses are assimilated to pets in the collective imagination. Living in France now I have eaten it many times (not often as I don't eat all that much meat, but over thirty years that adds up). It is not at all unusual or stigmatised to eat horse meat here, even if not everyone does.