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Horse Meat

Been advised by a naturopath to eat some to improve my health. I am wondering if anyone has ever eaten any and what does it taste like? Buffalo? Beef? How do you cook it?
Treat the cuts like beef?

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  1. Good luck finding any horse meat in the US. AFAIK, it's not available.

    Do a search, there's been a number of threads on it.

    1. check the canadian side for h meat,buffalo meat check your internet

      1. Horse meat is good.
        I ate it (in Paris), to challenge my preconceptions a little.
        It is similar to beef but sweeter, leaner and tenderer. It responds similarly to beef, too, but I would not overcook it. It makes a good steak, but I am not sure it would braise particularly well, as it has a fairly pronounced grain.

        I am curious to know how horse meat would convey particular health benefits, however.

        Surely there are lots of lean red meats (venison, buffalo etc) that are easier to obtain and not so culturally... sensitive...?

        5 Replies
        1. re: AnotherMother

          I've only cooked and eaten steaks but prep and cook is identical to the analagous cut of beef. I don't get the opportunity often because its near enough unobtainable in the UK. If you like grass fed beef, you will appreciate horse. Tis just a tad gamier but most folk's perceptions are clouded by their cultural baggage.

          The health thing is, as I understand it, that it is low in chloresterol. I've never understood why. A grass fed cow and a grass fed horse are similar creatures in many respects. Can anybody explain?

          1. re: alexjames

            Ostrich is pretty low in fat and cholesterol, too.

            1. re: alexjames

              Pure conjecture but I would say Horses are more active creatures that rely more upon speed than domestic cattle. More activity would lead to less fat. Many domestic cattle breeds have been bred to be fatter, some older breeds are more muscular and have less fat.

              1. re: alexjames

                except that a grass fed horse doesn't fart methane as a part of its digestion... or have four stomachs... or chew its cud



                Humans are more closely related to horses than cows are to horses.

                1. re: Chowrin

                  Cows belch methane rather than expelling it from the other end.

            2. FYI - Increase red blood count. Makes me cringe a little, but I am desperate and willing to try pretty much anything at this pt.

              7 Replies
              1. re: itryalot

                Consult a tegistered dietician or a real physician. Surely there are other ways to treat anemia, like iron-rich vegetables and readily available meats like liver.

                1. re: greygarious

                  Been there, done that. Of course, I would have not gone to this extreme if I had not tried all the more traditional methods.

                2. re: itryalot

                  Not that I have anything against eating horse meat particularly, but am I correct in assuming that it was only recommended to you for its iron content?

                  If so, cooked beef (3-4 mg/100 g) has almost as much iron as horse meat (~5 mg/100g). Raw beef (as in carpaccio) has just as much, as do oysters. Soy beans and lentils have more iron/serving than horse, and other beans (kidney, black, navy) are on par with beef. And most types of liver generally have a good deal more iron than all of the above - almost twice as much as horse meat.

                  Also, things like fortified cereals (Total raisin bran and such) have far more iron per serving than horse meat does. And that's not even getting into pills or prescriptions.

                  I am unaware of any other health/nutrition claims about horse meat, but it's not the only good way to get more iron into your diet. And any of the stuff above should be easier to find.

                  1. re: cowboyardee

                    Thanks; very knowledgeable. Seems there are studies (read a few) to say the iron is sometimes more easily absorbed than other foods - one of my issues too. I do eat legumes and liver regularly (as well as leafy greens and occasionally indulge in raw oysters when they are in season).

                  2. re: itryalot

                    I think you've found yourself a snake oil salesman. There's nothing special about horse meat.

                    1. re: itryalot

                      Animal sources of iron are best absorbed by the body, and liver is much higher in iron than meat - including horse meat, as others have pointed out. If you don't like to eat liver (I sure don't!), you can get easy-to-take tablets of desicated liver from Argentina cattle either at your local heath food store or online. (It's commonly made from Argentina beef because they raise their beef naturally without chemical drugs, which are mostly metabolized in the liver [yes, in people too] and they build up there.)

                      Other good foods, plant sources, are stinging nettles (have been used for a very long time to treat anemia due to it's high iron content), pumpkin seeds, and blackstrap molasses.

                      Cooking in cast iron pans adds a small amount of iron to your diet also.

                      Extremely important: if you're trying to increase iron in your body through your diet, it is essential that you don't eat things that can inhibit it's absorption:
                      red wine, black tea, coffee, spinach, chard, beet greens, rhubarb, sweet potatoes, whole grains and bran, and soy products

                      1. re: intp4yhwh

                        Oxalic acid inhibits iron absorption.
                        (google if you're a white male -- there's something I don't remember that particularly affects iron absorption in white males).

                        Also, look up grapefruit juice and iron absorption. Grapefruit does a number on so many medicines... might on this as well.

                    2. You can have horse meat in Europe - it's really delicious! I agree with AnotherMother's comments in that it is sweeter and leaner than beef. I used to make really tasty hamburgers with it.

                      1. Decades ago a buddy in Westchester County NY made horse kabobs from an old family nag for a big cookout. I recall large chunks of tender lean with no fat or marbleing, tasted pretty good.
                        NOT sold in the states, IS sold in Canada.

                        1. There used to be 3 horse slaughtering facilities in the U.S. The last one in Illinois closed in 2007. Most of the meat was shipped to Europe or Japan or to zoos in the U.S. Various state legislatures have passed laws banning the sale of horse meat. The laws didn't really save any horses however, most of them now go to rendering plants, the proverbial 'glue factory'.

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: John E.

                            Too bad...horse meat is delicious.....very rich and sweet flavored. They sell it in Montreal supermarkets.

                            1. re: John E.

                              John they do not make Glue out of horse's. Myth. They are shipped to Canada and Mexico to slaugher. Which is then shipped to Europe or Japan. Issue is there is no regulations. Horses aren't raised to be eaten by humans, with cattle raised to eat they are careful not to give them drugs or things that could poision the meat. WIth horses this is not true. Canada is being forced by the Europeans to set up regulations in an effort to prevent horses who have been given wormer, or Bute (commonly given like asprin) as it is toxic to humans and studies say it stays in the meat for long long time. Since just about every horse from the age of 3 months is given wormer, most Bute (which is really dangerous to humans)
                              -The largest amount of horses slaughered are race horses, they either didn't do well to begin with or couldn't race any more these horse's have all over long periods of time been given Bute and many other things that should not be given and animal if a human is going to eat it.
                              Currently no regulations exsist. They do for cows pigs or other animals but not Horses.
                              So whether you think it right to eat them or not. IT is Not safe.

                              1. re: lasmem

                                Did you see the little quote marks around my 'glue factory' comment? That means I was using the term loosely. But yes, when horses get old and sick instead of being processed into meat to go to zoos to feed the lions and other big cats they go to the rendering plants and are turned into glue. " A hundred years ago, many old horses were killed and sent to the glue factory. But today, most glue is made from the bones and hooves of cattle." Those bones and hooves of cattle are cooked at the rendering plant, so your old wives tale isn't so old after all.

                                There are no hose processing facilities in the U.S. that ship horse meat to Europe or Canada. The last one closed in Illinois in 2007.

                                I'm not advocating the consumption of horse meat, I just think it's a little disingenuous to be against it on grounds that horses are too pretty to eat or because they are pets.

                                1. re: John E.

                                  Not sure disingenous is the word you're looking for. I believe people who say they have an aversion to eating horse meat are telling the truth.

                                  And no idea whether you're pretty or not, John, but I wouldn't eat you ... just so you know.

                                  1. re: foiegras

                                    You are correct. I misused that word. I was trying not to use the word hypocritical. I also agree that many horses, especially racehorses might not be safe to eat with all the drugs, antibiotics, etc. that they are administered. My point really is that not eating horses, rabbits, etc., because they are the 'cute' animals does not make sense. Just ask the steers, pigs and chickens.

                            2. Horsemeat, "Cavallo" is a specialty meat now, in Italy. There are special butcher shops where it is sold. All the prior comments are correct; it is tender, mild and a slight beef like taste. There is no production or sale at all in the U.S. of inspected horsemeat.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: ospreycove

                                It's readily available in Quebec, available in may grocery stores and restaurants aswell.
                                Also a few places in Toronto. I'd say it's sililar to a venison, enjoyed a few carpaccios.

                                1. re: ospreycove

                                  I can report that has a fixed -if v. small- section in my local big supermarket meat cases in central Italy. It costs more than beef, so that in itself causes the market to be diminished, but it is available, I think more so as you go north.

                                  I have only eaten it as a 'stufato'' (long-cooked stew) at a restaurant in Modena, It was ok, slighty stringy, the overall success of the dish due to the chef rather than the ingredients...

                                  1. re: ospreycove

                                    When I visited Verona, Italy, last year, I saw a renovating Cavallo butcher shop. I wanted to take a picture of their sign, because I thought the idea of a horse butcher would be interesting to my American friends. (I already knew that horse flesh was a Veronese speciality.) A fellow came out from the storefront and seemed annoyed at my photography, leading me to think that even in Italy, it might be a "touchy" topic. Any ideas?

                                    I was, I should add, completely respectful of the fellow.

                                    1. re: Bada Bing

                                      "Touchy" in the sense of being judged by outsiders as peculiar or freakish, perhaps. Bresaola was traditionally made from horsemeat. Mortadella was traditionally made from donkey meat. Italians eat plenty of other types of meats that most Americans would turn their noses up at: tripe, kidneys, brains, lungs, head cheese, lamb's heads (the eye is supposed to be tasty)...

                                      To me it seems to make sense to make use of all parts of the animals and make use of animals that have been used commercially for racing or transport but are now past their prime. The only issue I see with it is whether they have been treated decently and can be killed humanely.

                                      If someone wants to rescue them and keep them for the next 20 years as pets, great, they should be allowed that opportunity.. but I don't think there are that many people with the resources to keep thousands and thousands of older horses as pets. So what will happen to them?? Will they just get turned into pet food instead of human food.. is that supposed to be more civilized? It's odd that all the references only seem to center around the "for human consumption" part?


                                      At the same time, Italians in the aggregate have a more callous streak towards animals, not out of sadism per se, but out of ignorance and just not considering them sentient creatures. Hundreds of thousands of dogs and cats are unceremoniously dumped off on the side of the road to fend for themselves each year in August (when most families go on vacation to places where pets are not allowed), despite seasonal public awareness campaigns on TV and the annual op-eds in the papers.

                                      My husband recently felt the need to physically restrain a woman who was pummeling away on her dog in a local park..(the dog's "crime" was having run away from this psycho!). There are a lot of very backward folks here who have never in their lives thought of animals in any aspect other than utilitarian -- many haven't made the complete leap to the idea of "pets" even today (which, to be sure, is an idea borne of luxury, along with grass lawns and similar tokens of wealth that Americans take for granted). They've hence avoided much of the pet-fetishim that has a milder sort of negative outcome (I'm talking about the aisles of "pet Halloween costumes" at Target, having pets eat from the table or sleep in the owner's bed.. all the problems that the "Dog Whisperer" has to solve).

                                      There isn't even a word in Italian that is an analogue for "pet"; they are called "domestic animals". [This is not to say that most Italians who have pets are cruel to them.. most are certainly not.


                                      Americans can be squeamish about eating animals they have now decided are pets, like horses (and rabbits! yum!)... but they don't seem perturbed to the same degree by the 4 MILLION pet cats and dogs actually euthanized every year in the US. How 'bout getting those numbers down first, and then worrying about whether US horse meat might be shipped to Belgium...

                                      What's also weird is the assertion (in the above article) that horses can't be slaughtered humanely (but pigs and cows can????). I chalk it up purely to cultural bias, seeing as some of these "rescue" organizations are trying to put the kibosh on goat meat as well.

                                  2. People ate it in World War 2 and the french have been eating it for years. I would think it might be difficult to find though.

                                    I guess you could have some fun calling people on craigslist selling their pet horse.

                                    Maybe not.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Hank Hanover

                                      Oh no.....bad enough I'd have the visual while eating it.

                                    2. Sweet meat.
                                      Go north, young man, go north.
                                      Mr. Ed

                                      1. It seems curious that your naturopath (I don't know what that is) would tease you with a recommendation that he/she should know is not available to you in the midwest.

                                        1. I had it sashimi style in Japan and it tasted just like beef.

                                          1. Had it in Korea (marinated and grilled, similar to galbi). It was quite delicious. I understand that most horses that are raised for consumption are a different breed than what we normally think of when we think of horses - they're much bulkier, dumber and more cattle-like.

                                            Koreans also claim that eating horse meat makes you run faster. Maybe it's the extra iron. :)

                                            1. I was in the service stationed in Frankfurt, Germany, There was a Yugoslavian bar that served open faced, raw horsemeat sandwiches with onions and capers. They were really quite good. (And most of the Pomme Frites stands in the area cooked their fries in horse fat. The very best fries I've ever had.)

                                              1. I was once given a prescription for 'herbs' by a TCM doctor, and I asked for an explanation of all the ingredients. He wrote down everything but two, claiming he couldn't find the information ... so I immediately got on the 'net to find out what he wouldn't tell me. One of the two turned out to be powdered white cockroaches (not an herb ...), and I drew the line.

                                                If you check out the Humane Farming Association's website, they have information about recent laws passed in the US re horse meat. I believe it is illegal for human consumption in this country. Still legal for animal consumption I think ...

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: foiegras

                                                  While there are various state laws banning the consumption of horse meat, there is no such federal law. The law in Texas was written so that horse meat could not be passed off as beef. It was written more to protect beef producers than it was written to protect horses. I don't see why so many people are against the eating of horsemeat anyway.

                                                2. You'll be better off eating vegetables that were grown with compost sprinkled with yarrow that was buried at the full moon in a deer's bladder stuffed in a cow's skull and dug up on the vernal equinox.

                                                  Seriously, horse meat is just meat. If you want to give it a try, go just about anywhere but the US. But if you're trying to improve your health, look elsewhere - it doesn't have any magical properties.

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: alanbarnes

                                                    Although it propelled Secretariat to a 1:59.4 in the Derby, as I recall....

                                                    1. re: Veggo

                                                      Actually, Secretariat was oat-groat-propelled. The addition of a little pelletized alfalfa to the feed bag produced a mix that maximized flatulence, accounting for Secretariat's signature "spurt to the finish line" in the final straightaway.

                                                      Horsemeat is incredibly tasty as a sashimi (basashi) in Japan. Yet Japan is a land with few horses. Here in the horse country of Oklahoma, I can't legally buy it.

                                                      We prurient national selves allow the Bambi complex and the protection of the beef industry to keep it unavailable. I say bring on the basashi.

                                                      1. re: FoodFuser

                                                        Most folks don't eat family members and many people consider horses in that role. They'd no sooner eat Mr. Ed than Fido, Mittens, Polly..... or Uncle Ted.

                                                  2. In addition to searching for horse meat, you may want to consult a hematologist.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. you have touched on a significant point that most people just don't know about. Horses sent to slaughter come from a variety of situations, not a farm where they are bred & raised for meat like cattle. As such, they have been fed various feeds and medications, treated for aches and ailments. My own horse gets supplements for joint health, is wormed regularly, and gets sprayed for bug relief. Even though I tend to use natural or "green" items where I can, I wouldn't want to ingest any of them. Having spent some time earlier in my life in bigger barns and show rings, I have seen all manner of items given to horses, none of which I'd want in my food. I know cattle are treated with medications, but their use is regulated in livestock, and they are not the same as equine medications.

                                                      If you want to eat horse meat, I'd suggest trying to find a supplier that can tell you about their source so that you don't create more problems for your health than you solve.

                                                      1. I won't go into a long drawn out explanation of how I personally feel about eating horse meat as I realize that it won't have an effect on most people who are enjoyers of the same. However, as a person who has over 40 years of experience in the care of horses I can tell you that the great majority of horses who are sent to slaughter have been treated with many medications beforehand that would not make the meat safe (in my opinion and in many others) to consume. Horses are annually treated with innoculations for rabies, tetanus, flu, and other geographically relevant contagious diseases. In addition, many are treated with anti-inflammatories, thyroid medications, antibiotics, etc. and most people nowadays would avoid eating beef, chicken, etc. when treated with these medications. It's not safe and can have lasting effects on humans (especially children) who consume them. If that doesn't change your mind... I would recommend sticking to meat that has been raised for human consumption from day 1 and even then, there are some products to avoid.

                                                        4 Replies
                                                        1. re: mrs_t

                                                          Most if not all "Equina Machellatori" are Biologica, (Organic production) These are seperate shops or departments in the larger stores and markets. So, it seems that the Italians are aware of where their horsemeat comes from, and how it is raised.

                                                          1. re: ospreycove

                                                            Another reason to move to Italy. (Let's not have a long, drawn out debate on that; just my personal opinion.).

                                                            Thanks all for your comments.

                                                            1. re: itryalot

                                                              And the gelato... don't forget the gelato.