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February 26, 2013
Horses: rather more wary than they used to be of strangers bearing carrots
Horses: rather more wary than they used to be of strangers bearing carrots

The stories about horse meat in the food supply continue to multiply but, while many people are outraged at being duped, it seems that a fair chunk of the population would be perfectly happy to eat clearly labelled horse meat from a reputable supplier.

Giving Dobbin the nod

Ipsos MORI released a survey today showing that 31 per cent of the people surveyed would be happy to eat horse meat that was correctly labelled and subject to stringent quality standards.

The survey also found that people aged 45-54 are the most likely to be willing horse meat consumers (38 per cent), while those aged 16-24 are the least likely (21 per cent).

Men are more likely than women to be happy to eat horse meat at 35 per cent versus 28 per cent.

Jockeying for last place

What people did not like at all was the response of Findus, Tesco, Aldi and the government to the crisis.

One in three (33 per cent) British people aged 16-75 say they will purchase less supermarket ready-meals in future, and 18 per cent say they will purchase fewer Findus products in particular.

A majority (59 per cent) believe that the British government should do more to regulate food safety.

First past the post

So would you eat horse meat? Edinburgh-based food writer Alex Renton has. In a Guardian piece, he relates how he visited L’escargot Bleu on Broughton Street, which has long championed horse meat, and thought it ‘undeniably delicious’.

According to Mr Renton, on a recent Wednesday, L’escargot Bleu had 65 customers and sold 28 horse steaks.

Horse also features on the menu, along with exotic meats such as zebra, camel and kangaroo, at the Khublai Khan restaurants in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

STV sent their intrepid reporter along to try the horse at the Edinburgh branch and her verdict was that she would happily eat it again.

Eating horse, it seems, is not the problem. Eating horse labelled as beef is.