London mayor Boris Johnson wonders why the British don't like horse meat, which the French eat loads of.
Amazing! Here are two nations, with roughly the same level of civilisation, with a densely interwoven history, a cognate language – but who have entered the internet age with radically different ideas about eating humanity’s eternal helpmeet. In fact, the further you whizz around the world, the more unusual the British scruple seems to be. From Mexico to Kazakhstan, you find people eating horse flesh – and the Chinese manage to chomp through an astonishing 1.7 million gee-gees every year.
This is in reference to last week's revelation that the "beef" in British microwave meal manufacturer Findus's "Beef Lasagne" was in fact 100% horse meat, supplied by the French.
Now, farbeit from me to argue with Boris's well-taken point about delicious horse. The fact remains, however, that the problem here is not horse meat. The problem is mystery horse beef. Put simply, people in Britain eating processed food cannot be certain they know what they are eating, and a degree of anxiety about this situation is quite reasonable.