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Jul 2nd 2007 11:07AM Just a little bit of background regarding horse meat consumption:
According to Bessie Berry, Manager, USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline ,Horse was commonly eaten in many countries in pre-Christian Europe, but not in Islamic or Jewish countries, since under Mosaic Law horse meat is considered unclean because it conformed to the formula of an animal that was not at the same time cloven-hoofed and cud-chewing. In pre-Christian times horse meat eating in northern Europe figured prominently in Teutonic religious ceremonies, particularly those associated with the worship of the god Odin.
In 732 A.D. Pope Gregory III began a concerted effort to stop this pagan practice, and it has been said that the people of Iceland were reluctant to embrace Christianity for some time largely over the issue of giving up horse meat. In some countries the effects of this prohibition by the Catholic Church have lingered, and horse meat prejudices have progressed from taboos to avoidance to abhorrence. Today, however, horse meat is commonly consumed in many European countries.
Although many Americans have an aversion to eating horse meat, the horse meat industry in the U.S. is now rivaling the beef and pork industries in the amounts of fresh meat shipped abroad. In Sweden horse meat outsells lamb and mutton combined. It is also commonly consumed in Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, and the Netherlands, but it is most popular in Belgium and France.
Jul 2nd 2007 10:38AM Most upscale grocery stores do acknowledge country of origin for produce (Mom & Pop stores do not). It is still better to buy local produce when you can - those garlic bulbs will have travelled only a short distance to market (lowering oil requirements) and will have been grown under conditions that result in the finest harvest. This works during the summer. Sadly, those of us in the Northeast cannot buy locally grown garlic in February.