BOB EASTLEY: ‘Oh,Horseburgers,’ horse DNA found in hamburger

By Bob Eastley

Pioneer Columnist

Hey, stop making a pig of yourself. What’s your beef? Are you chicken or something? Okay, I suppose I otter stop horsing around and get on with this article.

One of Britain’s top supermarkets, Tesco, recently dropped a few notches on the popularity meter when horse DNA was found in hamburgers made with Tesco meat. Not only that, but they found pig DNA in some of the same samples. It sounds like one of those “Triple Treat” entrées you find in Chinese restaurants, except those are usually shrimp, pork and beef. Naturally, customers were horrified, and some were ground chucking their dinners when they heard the news.

Personally, I don’t see what all the fuss is about. By definition, hamburger isn’t made with ham, so it’s already false advertising. I can understand it from a religious standpoint.

Muslims don’t eat pork, so this news came as quite a shock. Likewise, Hindus don’t eat beef, believing the cow to be holy, so they weren’t touching the stuff, anyway. And yes, that’s the origin of the expression, “Holy Cow.”

I looked on the Internet to see if anyone worships mackerel, but had no luck. The part of this story that I find more surprising is that someone actually went to all the bother of performing DNA testing on samples of ground meat. Was this random testing or did they get a tip?

Did they send it to Abby Sciuto at NCIS for analysis? Were they actually searching for Jimmy Hoffa and found Trigger instead? Inquiring minds have too much free time. Personally, the thought of eating horse meat isn’t very appealing, but people in our neck of the woods eat almost any animal that they can drop with a high-powered rifle or run over with a pickup truck.

I’m not sure why a rib eye steak from a big, stupid cow is so appetizing, and the thought of a filet of horse is so revolting. Is it those big, brown eyes? Are they like one of the family? Ever since Mr. Ed started gabbing with Wilbur, horse has been out of the question.

While I’m not advocating turning horse into the other red meat, I have a theory on what makes it such a tough sell. It doesn’t have an appealing nickname. Dead cow is called beef. Dead pig is called pork. It sorta disguises what you’re really eating.

Therefore, I think we need to come up with a snappy new name for horse meat. The Dutch word for horse is “paard.” That has a certain rhythm to it. I can picture John Wayne saying, “Hold on, pard, is that your paard?”

It’s okay, but it doesn’t sound yummy. We need a more delectable (I like that word) descriptor.

The French and Italian versions are almost identical. One is “caballo” and the other “cavallo.”

Both sound more like the wine you might serve with it than the actual entrée. My favorite is the French word “cheval.” Top it with some wild mushrooms, and I believe I could enjoy a filet cheval. Just don’t tell me what it really is. And don’t say it tastes like chicken.

Contact Bob Eastley at eastleyr@ferris.edu.

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