The mane reason to be kosher

By Cari Rosen, February 16, 2013
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Doctor doctor, I’m a little hoarse…

True as it happens — with a nasty case of the throat, chest and general malaise lurgy that seems to be doing the rounds at the moment. And yet somehow delightfully topical too.

Only this week, the health minister warned the public to “prepare for more cases” in the contaminated meat scandal, which began with revelations about horsemeat being found in Tesco burgers. And with new stories breaking daily it does indeed seem that the horsemeat saga is set to run and run (yes, yes, in the 2.30 at Uttoxeter)

For those of us who have not consumed a Tesco Value burger or an Aldi frozen spaghetti meal (should that be Bolog-neighs?), or sampled the delights of a Findus “beef” lasagne, it’s easy enough to see the funny side…

It is revealed that not even vegetarians are safe

Had some mince the other day — and now I’ve got the trots… Just checked my burgers — and they’re off… Off to the shops for a saddle of lamb and some filly steak… but I’ve heard parking at Tesco is a mare (and so on and so forth).

And as it is revealed that not even vegetarians are safe (supermarkets have pulled veggie burgers off the shelves after they were found to contain traces of uni-quorn…) surely the question must be, has there ever been a better time to keep kosher?

In an age when other animals appear to be
making unscheduled guest appearances on the humble cow’s turf — as it were — it’s really rather nice to know that, when it comes to kashrut, there is someone keeping watch on our behalf to stop equine interlopers moo-ving in (sorry).

As more and more skulduggery (for this is what it appears to be) comes to light, the safety net of supervision feels ever more comforting. How long before there are queues round the block at every kosher butcher in the land?

But what of those who did unwittingly scoff Dobbin for their dinner? From what I’ve read online, it seems many don’t mind the fact that they’ve eaten horse as much as they mind the fact that it said beef on the label. And they have a point.

Most of us look at those lists of ingredients to make decisions about what we choose to put it our mouths — or not. Most of us carefully check the labels of the foods we buy, whether it’s for reasons of kashrut, allergy or health (how many calories? How much saturated fat? Carbs? Sugar?).

But, then, most of us never dreamed of a context in which “beef” could instead mean “horse” — and are now left wondering what else might come out in the wash.

Of course, there’s a lot to be said for avoiding processed foods in the first place (high in salt and Shergar…) But, boy, it’s good to know that if you do fancy a pre-packed burger, sausage or bolognaise sauce you can pull one off the shelf in any kosher butcher knowing it’s been chewing the cud in a former life — and not running in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Last updated: 6:45pm, February 16 2013