In the wake of the supermarket meat scandal it has emerged that there's a good chance that most of us have already eaten horse meat. But while many people felt repulsed by the idea, Princess Anne has said that more of us ought to consider it as a dietary option.
It could save us a fortune, and she says it will help horses too.
Let them eat horseIt seems counter-intuitive, but Princess Anne has said that horse owners would be more likely to take better care of their animals if they knew they could get a better price when they eventually sell them on for meat. She was speaking as thousands of horses in the UK are said to face neglect and abandonment.
She told the World Horse Welfare charity: "Our attitudes to the horse meat trade and the value of horse meat may have to change." She added that the reaction to the horse meat scandal wasn't necessarily the horror of eating horse meat, but that people felt they had been misled. She said: "If you had put the correct label on it and put it back on the shelves, that would have been the correct answer for everybody."
ShockThere have been some shocked reactions to the statement, especially as Anne is a medal-winning horsewoman and owns her own rescue horses. As someone so closely associated with horses, there are those who are shocked that she is suggesting we consider them as potential food.
Cheaper?However, it would have its benefits for all of us. At the moment horsemeat could help us spend less on the weekly shop. One of the reasons why it found its way into supermarkets in the first place was because in the UK it costs roughly a fifth of the price of beef.
Of course, if it was eaten more widely, the price would go up (which is what Princess Anne is arguing for), but it would increase the overall supply of meat in this country, and would help reduce the price of meat overall.
It would be health boon too, because in cheaper ready-meals, burgers and pies producers would able to legitimately use better cuts of horse rather than the scraps of other animals.
There's plenty of evidence that it tastes good too. It's a delicacy in France, Italy and China.
It's only tradition and culture that puts us off. But what do you think? Would you eat horse meat.