Let Them Eat Horse

Via the BBC:  Give horsemeat-tainted food to poor – German minister

Germany’s development minister has suggested food tainted with horsemeat should be distributed to the poor.

Dirk Niebel said he supported the proposal by a member of the governing CDU party, and concluded: "We can’t just throw away good food."

On the one hand, if it is edible and safe, then throwing it away when the poor have insufficient food would be problematic.  On the other, if it is good enough for poor humans, why is it not good enough for humans in general?

Makes me think back to my youth: give it to Mikey, he’ll eat anything!

FILED UNDER: Europe, World Politics, ,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. This reminds me of the hunters groups in New Jersey and Pennsylvania (and probably elsewhere) that regularly give excess Venison to charity.

    Of course, although eating deer meat is not common, we don’t have the same cultural taboos against it that we do with regard to horses.

  2. tps says:

    If the meat is safe to eat, give it away or resell it. Just make sure you label it correctly is all I would ask.

  3. Ever since the whole thing around California Prop 6 back in 1998, I’ve wanted to try horse meat to see what it’s like. Given how popular exotic ingredients have become in the restaurant industry, you’d think there’d be some place to get it, but sadly no.

  4. Tony W says:
  5. @Stormy Dragon:

    I seem to remember that there were some states where you could buy horse meat back in the 1970s, but that seems to have faded away.

  6. legion says:

    It’s not that the food isn’t “good enough” – it’s that the food is mislabeled. It can’t be sold unless it gets repackaged, and I don’t think the manufacturers care quite that much. Distributing it as the US did with the old “government cheese” might actually be a reasonable idea, if there are no other concerns about its safety beyond the type of meat used.

  7. Mikey says:

    give it to Mikey, he’ll eat anything!

    Hey, now…

  8. al-Ameda says:

    Seriously, could it be any worse than Spam?

  9. Mikey says:
  10. Tano says:

    Horsemeat is very common in France … wherever you find a baker, a bread shop, a regular butcher, you also find a horsemeat shop. Its perfectly good food, and rather tasty. The odd custom is to shun it for some reason…

  11. Philip K Dick was so poor in the 50s that he used to go to a pet food store and buy horsemeat. The store owner confronted him one day and asked if he was eating it himself. He admitted he was.

  12. PJ says:

    The reason why this should not be given to the poor is that you don’t know what the horses were fed, what kind of drugs that they might have been given, or if they had any diseases.

    They didn’t replace meat from inspected cattle with meat from inspected horses…

  13. John Burgess says:
  14. M. Bouffant says:

    I hate to be pedantic about this (heh) but it never fails to amaze me that virtually all of America got this wrong, & still does. Commercial Mikey will not “eat anything!”

    Exact transcription:
    “Let’s get Mikey!”
    “He won’t eat it, he hates everything.”

    Think about it: Why would they give suspiciously “good for you” cereal to indiscriminate eater Mikey for testing if he’ll indeed “eat anything?”

  15. @M. Bouffant: You are correct, sir!

  16. Franklin says:

    Horses for main courses?