Horse meat as time-honored European cuisine, its detection when mixed into meatballs and other food and the angst over consumption of chevaline in the United States, is food for a thoughtful installment of the popular Newscripts column in the current edition of Chemical & Engineering News. C&EN is the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society.
Alexander H. Tullo, C&EN senior editor, uses the story to look behind the headlines earlier in 2013 reporting discovery of horse meat in meatballs and other beef burger products in Europe. Tullo, of Italian heritage, recalls consuming horse meat as a child in New York City as his dad carried on a family tradition. Horse long has been on menus in continental Europe, sold from shops that often advertise with a carved horse head on the store front.
The story explains that much of the recent horse meat fracas actually involved tiny amounts of horse meat that likely got into beef products inadvertently — from food processing equipment that previously handled horse meat. It explains testing for horse DNA in food products, and gets into the concerns about selling and eating horse meat in the United States.