Horse meat? Meh…how about Giraffe

With all the fuss in Europe over a bit of tasty horse meat you could forgiven for thinking this is a problem.

In South Africa they have found out that they have been eating donkey and water buffalo burgers instead of beef.

Research released this week found that donkey, water buffalo and other unconventional ingredients had been found in almost two-thirds of hamburgers and sausages tested in Africa’s largest economy.

But 4 years ago it wasn’t just donkey and buffalo. 

Acting on a hunch – and four years before Europe’s horse meat scandal broke – researchers at the University of the Western Cape tested 146 biltong samples from major retailers and small butchers from across South Africa.

All packets labeled ‘beef’ were found to be correct but 90 percent of biltong sticks supposedly made of kudu – a large, curly-horned antelope – were actually horse, pork, beef, giraffe or even kangaroo.

“It started with curiosity and suspicion because one piece of dried meat looks like another,” researcher Maria Eugenia D’Amato from the university’s DNA Forensics Lab told Reuters.

“We initially tested a few samples and the results were shocking so we decided to formalize the research.”

Furthermore, zebra biltong was found to contain meat from the mountain zebra, a species threatened with extinction.

Biltong, air-dried strips of meat made from wild game or animals reared on the country’s 10,000-plus wildlife farms, is staple fare for South Africans, who regard it as a healthy, low-fat snack.

All this talk of meat hasn’t made me outraged at all it has made me hungry.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.