back to article EU boffins in plan for 'more nutritious' horsemeat ice cream

Brussels-funded boffins say they have hit upon a brilliant method of creating "enriched" ice-cream, fortified with "disused" animal products which are normally thrown away by the meat industry as being unfit for human consumption. A press release issued by an EU-funded "research media centre" breaks the news of the stunning …

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  1. Lamont Cranston

    Using as much of the slaughtered animal as possible,

    is a truly laudable aim (and the reason we have black puddings and haggis - and who would want to go without them?). That said, and as much as I love offal, this really does sound disgusting.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: Using as much of the slaughtered animal as possible,

      That it sounds disgusting doesn't matter too much. People were happy with Findus products before they knew what they were eating, and sausage and haggis primarily exist to use things that otherwise wouldn't be sold.

      A bigger concern is that this has the hallmarks of BSE all over again. Maybe we now now enough about prions and the like to contain that. But when the objective is to force feed as much of the carcass as possible to the unsuspecting population, what's the chances that we won't find new and exciting side effects, both chemical and biological?

      <------------ That's not coffee on that keyboard, BTW.

      1. David Hicks

        Re: Using as much of the slaughtered animal as possible,

        People might still be happy enough if the Findus lasagne was labelled as horse, the taboo may well fail pretty fast.

        The fuss really is about not knowing what you're eating, and about the fact that unregulated and untraced meat could get into the food chain so easily. It's an issue of trust in rather than of some sort of bizarre hippophagophobia.

      2. Rampant Spaniel

        Re: Using as much of the slaughtered animal as possible,

        I thought BSE was not solely due to ingesting prions in marrow \ offal but due to farmers feeding cows on cows (ground up cow bones and everything they couldn't pass off as a burger and also in some cases cow excrement as food). Specifically that it is canabalism element that was generating the problem and that eating normal grass fed cow brains is fine. I could of course be going senile so please do correct me if I'm wrong.

        Edit: I'l correct myself :-) it was from cow meal contaminated by sheep infected with scrapie. So cow brain can be safe as long as mad sheep are kept away :-)

        I don't have a huge issue with eating more of an animal, it doesn't even have to be stuffed in icecream, but I think we do need to ensure it's safe before we start ramming cow tonka down invalids throats. People may flinch at roast cow cock, but do they flinch at kebabs (ok some people may :-)) on a good day a kebab is foreskins, lips and arseholes.

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
          Coat

          Re: Using as much of the slaughtered animal as possible,

          on a good day a kebab is foreskins, lips and arseholes

          I've heard that accusation. Personally I think it's just bollocks.

          [gets coat, makes run for it]

        2. Natalie Gritpants

          Re: Using as much of the slaughtered animal as possible,

          I would flinch at cow cock as it would imply the cow had been subject to massive hormone treatment or had gender reassignment surgery.

          1. Rampant Spaniel

            Re: Using as much of the slaughtered animal as possible,

            @Natalie

            Not really, the term 'cows' can be used to refer to male or female cattle.

            1. peyton?
              Devil

              Re: Using as much of the slaughtered animal as possible,

              "Not really, the term 'cows' can be used to refer to male or female cattle."

              psh. city folk.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Using as much of the slaughtered animal as possible,

              > Not really, the term 'cows' can be used to refer to male or female cattle.

              No. Just no.

              1. Rampant Spaniel

                Re: Using as much of the slaughtered animal as possible,

                25 years growing up on a farm, working on farms and the dictionary says that is indeed correct :-)

    2. peyton?

      Re: Using as much of the slaughtered animal as possible,

      Many of these parts are available as puppy treats. My dog loves "bully sticks" (bull penis), tendons, bladder, cartilage, trachea, ears, tripe, hearts, lung. They're all desiccated and only marginally smelly (but hey, if they didn't stink a little, he probably wouldn't touch them). I'm pretty sure they're a more wholesome option for him than dog biscuits.

      1. Dave 15
        Pint

        Re: Using as much of the slaughtered animal as possible,

        Indeed, some breeds of dogs (esp Bull terriers for some reason) are actually allergic to wheat and other fillers used in biscuits, tinned and dried commercial dog foods (they get major skin infections and problems especially around their feet) - the meat products - even from the less pleasant sounding bits - are far better for dogs than the commercial treats.

        As to eating all the unpleasant bits - 'beef' in 'burgers' normally comes from a cow/bull - but where from you really really don't want to know - but does it matter? Not once its been nicely cooked on the bbq and washed down with some decent beer.

    3. Euripides Pants Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: Using as much of the slaughtered animal as possible,

      This is a fscked up as anything Monsanto would invent. Which is particularly disturbing as you folks over in Europe seem to have government officials a little less stupid when it comes to food than the ones we are stuck with in the Land Of The Free (tm).

  2. ashdav

    Soylent Green anyone?

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Unhappy

      "Soylent Green anyone?"

      I think we've have quiteenough of that for 1 day thank you.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Yeah, won't somebody think of the Soya and Lentils, they died before their time, let us salute their memory! :)

  3. Ye Gads
    Joke

    I have no issue with this

    It's all horses for courses...

    1. GrumpyOldBloke

      Re: I have no issue with this

      It's horses for all courses...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But it must be served at the table in tamper-proof containers...

    ...and not just plopped on your plate - otherwise it could have been contaminated with all sorts of nasties.

    1. GitMeMyShootinIrons
      Joke

      Re: But it must be served at the table in tamper-proof containers...

      Just bring the horse (or other meat-sack) to the table. If it's been tampered with (or molested in any way...I feel queasy...), it'll either be dead or not looking too healthy/amused.

  5. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    Great idea

    but only if it's compulsory that the stuff be served at all board meetings of the company making the stuff, and at all official government functions (and no-one is allowed to leave the table until they've cleared their plates).

    Why should the benefits be restricted to the poor?

  6. Jemma Silver badge

    nvCJD & Alzheimers combined...

    What could *possibly* go wrong?

    There are so many ways this is a bad idea its scary. Just one bit of reclaimed meat product with dribbling bovine disease & a whole run is contaminated. Not to mention all the numerous zoonoses you can get from Gods dumbest animal, the Sheep..

    Then theres the whole 'named meat & I dont mean Rover' issue.

    And meaty goodness from latvian slaughter houses that had their last proper sluice down when the Berlin Wall came down..

    All in all this sounds like it belongs in a Monkey Dust episode - but after all alot of OAP homes seem to enjoy beating their residents like Chipperfield monkeys as a matter of policy, so it should fit perfectly...

    Come back Bayview, your sins are forgiven...!

  7. Great Bu

    mmmmmmmmm..........

    .......mechanically recovered ice cream.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: mmmmmmmmm..........

      Ben & Jerry 'Magic Mountain Oysters' flavoured ice-cream, I can't wait!

      1. Tel Starr

        Re: mmmmmmmmm..........

        And 'RedRum and Raisins'

        1. Anonymous Coward 15
          Coat

          Re: mmmmmmmmm..........

          The diet version, with no added Shergar.

  8. jr424242

    Instead, feed it to the rich

    And to the people who serve on committees that make such recommendations

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Instead, feed it to the rich

      Looking at the recommendations, it seems like they've already been fed a constant diet of it over the past few years.

      I, for one, don't welcome our CJD overlords.

      1. Jemma Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Instead, feed it to the rich

        Don't worry about welcoming them they're already here! It would explain the elderly drivers (note to bmw driving geriatric: it is not, repeat not, necessary to leave two car lengths to the car in front when you are sitting AT THE BLOODY TRAFFIC LIGHTS!)

    2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Instead, feed it to the rich

      Takes "eating your own dog food" to a whole new level

  9. Steve Williams
    Unhappy

    Is this the Euro-equivalent of the US 'Pink Slime'?

    If so, hasn't that already gathered enough bad press?

  10. wowfood
    IT Angle

    I don't mind the idea of eating some of these parts. I mean look at china, the sexual organs, eyes, guts, all of it used. Hell it wasn't that long ago everything was used over ehre too. But gradually EU regulation has blocked off these animal parts from human consumption even though they made a pretty good stew. Now they're trying to reintroduce it to us? Can't they just make up their minds?

  11. Anonymous Coward 15

    So now *we'll* have to ban *their* meat because it's full of mad cow disease?

  12. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    Marketing 'extra dangly bits' ice cream could be difficult ... A good slogan may make all the difference but the only one I could think of was 'Lick my Gonads' which doesn't seem to help my appetite

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
      Coat

      Gelato Fellatio ?

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
        Happy

        Re-labelling 99's as 69's.

        Slogan: This ice cream is the dog's bollocks.

        There's some horrible mental images spring into my brain when I try to come up with stuff for this. So I'm going to stop now, and sluice some mind bleach round my head.

      2. Dave 15

        Don't worry

        Don't worry dear, its only the same as an ice cream...

  13. Joe Harrison
    WTF?

    wtf wtf wtf

    I think I've slipped into a parallel universe where everyone is competing for the most repulsive idea imaginable

    1. Caesarius
      Paris Hilton

      Re: wtf wtf wtf

      everyone is competing for the most repulsive idea imaginable Quite.

      It makes me consider rejecting any food I didn't process myself. Sorry: that could have been worded better.

      But the issue is overriding the human instinct where we pick out the bits we don't like the look of. I expect that there is a lot of self preservation in this instinct, but it's not 100% reliable (examples, anyone?), and if we avoid Bad Science we should be able to improve our health.

      So now it all turns into trusting scientists, politicians and the food industry, because I haven't the stomach for butchering, or biology, or, on a bad day, even cutting out the squidgy bits from vegetables.

      I remember when our daughter was very young we had only just managed to coax her to start her dinner when our son said "She would have been all right, but she saw one of the carrots moving".

      Paris, because she knows about squidgy bits versus pleasure.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Dragon's Den?

      or Britain's got Talent?

  14. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    ...Seemingly the horsemeat ice-cream or other products would be ideal as a dietary supplement for those needing "specialised protein products", such as "sick people, the elderly and athletes"....

    Why does it only seem 'ideal' as a supplement for people who may not have much choice about what they are given to eat? They could have added baby food....

    I am looking for EU funding to make a nutritious gruel out of mud, to be served at orphanages...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Hopefully this horsemeat idea will be swiftly dismissed.

      But I do have a Modest Proposal for what to do with the orphans.

  15. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    Facepalm

    And yet this is from the same EU

    that only this week mandated that olive oil may not be delivered to the table in re-usable bottles, but must instead be prepackaged in 'convenient' sachets.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And yet this is from the same EU

      Why any surprise? Both measures are driven by vested interests. In the case of this meat slurry idea, the food processors are looking to make more money, and have realised that the gormless nerks of the EU will support anything that purports to "reduce waste". In the case of olive oil, it's to "prevent fraud", meaning that Southern European producers want to make sure that people are buying as much of their product as possible.

      As in Westminster, so it is in Brussels. Politicians work for whoever buys them lunch, and that's not the voters.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ice cream for starving millions

    We should not ridicule such a laudable idea, after all there are millions of people in poor areas in Africa where they don't even have clean water to drink (send only £3 per month etc.). Forget the water, what they are all really craving is ice cream. Just think of all those happy faces when the cheery jingle of the ice-cream vans ring through their primitive villages. Don't teach a man how to fish just send some organic ice-cream.

    1. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
      Childcatcher

      Re: Ice cream for starving millions

      Don't teach a man how to fish just send some organic ice-cream.

      Don't teach a man how to fish, just send some organ ice-cream.

      There, fixed it for you.

  17. Stevey
    Meh

    Yum Yum

    Is this really very different from using gelatin in ice cream?

    As wikipedia tells it, "Gelatin is derived from pork skins, pork, horses, and cattle bones, or split cattle hides"

    Or how about finings used to clear wine & beer - often ground up swim bladders from fish?

    1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

      Re: Yum Yum

      Just proves people will eat everything if it reminds them of boobs.

      More seriously, nail on the head.

  18. mantavani
    Pirate

    No prions

    To all those 'oh noes! Teh mad cows' commenters - there'll be little additional risk from rogue prion diseases (BSE/Scrapie => vCJD) - the relevant tissue is considered specified risk material (SRM) and has to be destroyed by incineration, the legislation covering all this is quite tough (and a good reason to be up in arms about the horse meat scandal even if you don't mind noshing on a bit of pony - where and how those animals were raised, slaughtered and butchered is anyone's guess, you have no idea what welfare issues, diseases and drug residues were present with no public health oversight).

    I agree we should practice old fashioned 'nose to tail eating'; no expensively produced protein should be lost form a carcass, but it should not be dressed up as something it's not ('chicken' nuggets etc.).

    1. Jemma Silver badge

      Re: No prions

      You'd be meaning the same 'tough' laws that had Dobbin burgers & Findus Crispy Seabiscuit on the school dinner menu? All they need to do is source it outside the EU and it could be Alawite Mince for all you know...

      1. mantavani
        Unhappy

        Re: No prions

        That would be precisely what I meant by 'no public health oversight'. Trading meat like any other commodity through an insanely long supply chain across national borders positively invites criminal intervention. Problem is, it's /not/ like any other commodity...

    2. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: No prions

      All well and good, but overlooks the real reason why that particular risk shouldn't worry anyone.

      After the dust had settled, it was proved that the whole thing was bugger all to do with anything endemic in cattle spinal tissue and was actually due to isolated incidents of cross contamination from scrapie afflicted sheep, as was originally suspected all along. This goes a long way toward explaining why the vast epidemic of vCJD predicted rather conspicuously failed to occur.

      DEFRA decided to keep that under wraps, for fear of being sued into the middle of next century for their hysterical overreaction and gratuitous, unfounded screwing over of the British beef industry.

      1. mantavani
        Coat

        Re: No prions

        That's not quite right, or at lease a misunderstanding. While we still don't know precisely what the origin of BSE was, it's a good working hypothesis that Scrapie from sheep was indeed the initial spark (but there are other ideas, such as the endogenous virus hypothesis).

        However, the species barrier in transmitting a TSE is immense - so there is very little chance of you receiving a dose of BSE prion that would cause you vCJD, or of a cow receiving a BSE-inducing inoculation from sheep meal - but once it has occurred, there is a much higher chance of then passing on that infectious prion through cannibalism (cf. kuru in man). The problem being that we fed ruminants other ruminants - so-called MBM (meat & bone meal). We only saw it here in the UK first because we changed the way we manufactured MBM at the end of the 70s and apparently the new method did not control the infectious vector.

        We KNOW this was an important infection route just from looking at the disease surveillance data - as soon as the feeding ban was brought in around '88 the incidence of BSE in cattle shot down from tens of thousands to almost nothing. In the UK - partially because of this whole sorry affair - we have tremendously active public health surveillance, and as a result of all this effort in 2010-11 there were NO cases of BSE in our national herd. That's quite an achievement.

        BUT!

        If you were unlucky enough to be infected with vCJD, the duration of the incubation period before the appearance of clinical symptoms would be strongly linked to your genotype: specifically, a methionine/valine polymorphism at codon 129 of the gene coding for the human prion protein.

        Human clinical vCJD disease seemed to peak in 2000*, but ALL of these cases were known MM homozygotes. The predction of a 'second vast epidemic' you allude to was because of the potential vulnerability of MV or VV homozygous humans, who were thought to be (and may still be) at risk of developing vCJD.

        As usual with these things, the truth is much stranger than fiction.

        I'll get my coat.

        --

        *Data from http://www.cjd.ed.ac.uk/documents/figs.pdf

  19. Mostly_Harmless Silver badge
    WTF?

    am I reading that right?

    "only 22 per cent is converted by the food industry into feed"

    So that means that 22% of animals are fed back to their fellow species?

    1. Dave 15

      Re: am I reading that right?

      I suspect its bull :)

      Of course some stuff like hide is used for shoes and so forth. Bones are used for whatever bones are used for (isn't it to help making bone china nice and thin and semi transparent) but I think the vast majority of the rest is fed to us one way or another.

      The interesting thing is that you aren't allowed to feed your left over dinner to pigs anymore (pigswill is banned) - probably because the stuff they feed us is so bloody bad we aren't allowed to be that cruel to pigs!

  20. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Joke

    "a Russian company specialised in production of protein-enriched food stuffs"

    Well lets face it that grass based porridge they developed for the gulags was a bit bland.

    Mind you I think (with a bit of clever marketing) it would have made an excellent slimming aid .

    "Developed by a top team of NKVD nutritionists this product will aid weight loss as part of a 10 year prison sentence."

    1. Kubla Cant Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: "a Russian company specialised in production of protein-enriched food stuffs"

      That's a phrase to inspire confidence, isn't it?

  21. batfastad
    WTF?

    hecatonne?

    What does mean?

    1. Don Jefe
      Happy

      Re: hecatonne?

      It is a family friendly superlative for extra special, aka: Hellatonne.

    2. Kubla Cant Silver badge

      Re: hecatonne?

      A hecatomb was an Ancient Greek sacrifice to the gods of 100 cattle. I suppose this is related.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    I see your EU

    And raise you a UN.

  23. cs94njw
    WTF?

    WTF!? What part of ice cream is currently lacking, without the addition of mechanically recovered meat?

    And... gelatine in ice cream?...

  24. Frederic Bloggs
    Thumb Down

    Pigs Blood

    I am old enough to think that I remember a big scandal thrown up 10s of years ago, because it was discovered that the "non-milk protein" and also some "non-milk fat" in ice cream was being derived from animal by products such as pig's blood.

    They do say that people that don't study history are destined to repeat it ...

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm snot having any of that.

    Lots of stuff is Protein; however a lot of it is low quality, indigestible, an allergen, or even harmful; so this is a lot worse than Nuts!

    As for Health/Fitness food, stupid greedy idea. I'll only buy top quality Protein with known safe ingredients, because only quality Protein produces results; so no rubbish or synthetic chemicals.

  26. Stoke the atom furnaces

    Sausage

    "meaty nourishment such as guts, eyes, tendons, cartilage, other connective tissue of various kinds, brains, hooves, genitals etc etc all tend to go to waste."

    I thought that this is what sausages are made of.

  27. Mephistro Silver badge
    Devil

    The Sopranos would love these projects.

    And we would have a chance to find gold rings and small jewellery in our ice creams. What's there not to like?

  28. fritsd
    Boffin

    protein hydrolysate

    Well, maybe the protein is properly hydrolysed first by applying sodium hydroxide and hydrochloric acid.

    That would give something with lots of glutamate (taste enhancer!) resembling soy sauce or Marmite or Maggi, not to mention the more extreme exotic variants of "garum" or Bovril.

  29. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge
    Trollface

    Percentages in the US?

    I wonder what the "disused" percentages are in the US? I mean, until late last year 70% of our ground beef had a filler of "lean finely textured beef" (basically the stuff that falls onto the floor, sterilized with ammonia and heat and blended, then stuck back into the ground beef.) There's "partially defatted beef fatty tissue" (don't know what this is.) I expect that we may use somewhat more of the animal here.

    On the other hand, we don't ordinarily eat black pudding or kidneys here.

  30. Martijn Otto
    Thumb Down

    Great, so as a vegetarian I now have to check before I can buy icecream as well?

    1. Mayor Boris

      Surely you realise why Walls make both ice-cream and sausages?

  31. supercalafragilisticxpalladocious

    Is this an option?

    supercalafragilisticxpalladocious

  32. This post has been deleted by its author

  33. Trustme
    Black Helicopters

    Let's get this right...

    We have 3D printed psuedo-food on the way that will at some point become an "order from the wall" food source (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/05/23/ctrl_p_for_pizza/)

    We have Soylent (insert colour of choice here) already with us http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/05/21/soylent_food_replacement/

    And now we are feeding the elderly with reconstituted "unfit for human consumption" leftovers in ice cream.

    Dystopian future not so much with the "future" any more it seems...

  34. Dadz
    Trollface

    Baby cow flavoured ice cream

    To make ice cream you need to impregnate cows, and the male babies are kept in plastic igloos (isolated from their mothers and each other) until a year of age to be sold as veal; the meat and milk industries are economically and hence ethically linked. So, I see no real ethical problem with adding meat to ice cream, other than forced pregnancy, imprisonment of babies, and eventual killing of said mothers and babies.

    1. cortland

      Re: Baby cow flavoured ice cream

      Well... it's not Kosher!

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