Trust, that confidence in the truth of a person or thing, is a wonderful commodity. It can be, quite literally as it turns out, gut-wrenching when we find that our trust has been abused. The European food scandal, where food suppliers have been masquerading horses as cattle, is a case in point. Someone somewhere along the food chain has been telling porkies. Not for the first time either; I remember when sales of beef products were suspended in England, and consequently supermarkets stopped stocking venison pate.
In case you’re slow out of the gates, DNA tests in Europe have shown that what many thought was Daisy may well have been Mr Ed. Not surprisingly they found this news hard to swallow. However the inhabitants of many countries in the world do eat horse meat – an astonishing 4.7 million horses are consumed every year! Like they say it’s “horses for courses”; only I didn’t envisage that those courses were main and entrée.
All things being equal I’m not concerned if someone prefers Ginger to Ermintrude. However I imagine that if one of your staples comes from the stables then you too would want to know that you were actually eating horse, and not inadvertently sitting down to a smorgasbord from other portions of ‘Old MacDonald’s Farm’.
I’m tempted to go on a crusade for better food labelling, but that would be getting ahead of myself, putting the horse before the a la carte if you like. This is not an issue of food labelling but one of greed and abused trust. For this heads should roll. I only hope that the heads that roll are the correct ones, and not some convenient scapegoat.