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    Debate of the day: Is it wrong to eat horsemeat?
Here in the UK, horse DNA has been found in burgers sold by four major supermarket chains, forcing stores to withdraw them from sale. In one sample, the Guardian reports, horsemeat accounted for 29% relative to the beef content. Despite the Food Safety Authority of Ireland, which made the discovery, saying that the findings posed no health risk and consumers should not be worried, it is urging people to return any implicated products to their retailers.
The Guardian has rounded up “the best and worst jokes” on Twitter following the revelations but the reaction from the supermarket chains, the authorities and the media suggests we are incredibly squeamish about eating horsemeat. Why? Is it more immoral to dine on a horse than a cow? The Telegraph’s James Kirkup thinks not: “there’s nothing wrong with eating horse, or any other meat, just as long as we’re honest about it. And that means everyone, producer and consumer alike.”

Food blogger Lagusta Yearwood, commenting on the student who recently discovered a “brain” in his Kentucky Fried Chicken meal, wrote on Comment is free:

"We continually draw distinctions between what’s dinner and what’s trash, who our pets are and who our meals are. We live with cats and dogs we smother with love and affection, yet other animals live miserable lives and endure horrific deaths because we’ve decided their lives are only worth the price of a fast food meal… The fast food system – cheap food prepared quickly, eaten quickly, forgotten quickly – hinges on one slim peg: wilful ignorance. When incidences like this crop up, they slam right into what we don’t want to know. So we get outraged. But obviously the real scandal is that we’re allowing ourselves to fall for this great lie in the first place: that what we eat doesn’t matter, that it arrived in our hands magically, and that there are no consequences to our diets."

What do you think? Is it wrong to eat horsemeat?
Photograph: Robb Kendrick/Getty Images/Aurora Creative

    Debate of the day: Is it wrong to eat horsemeat?

    Here in the UK, horse DNA has been found in burgers sold by four major supermarket chains, forcing stores to withdraw them from sale. In one sample, the Guardian reports, horsemeat accounted for 29% relative to the beef content. Despite the Food Safety Authority of Ireland, which made the discovery, saying that the findings posed no health risk and consumers should not be worried, it is urging people to return any implicated products to their retailers.

    The Guardian has rounded up “the best and worst jokes” on Twitter following the revelations but the reaction from the supermarket chains, the authorities and the media suggests we are incredibly squeamish about eating horsemeat. Why? Is it more immoral to dine on a horse than a cow? The Telegraph’s James Kirkup thinks not: “there’s nothing wrong with eating horse, or any other meat, just as long as we’re honest about it. And that means everyone, producer and consumer alike.”

    Food blogger Lagusta Yearwood, commenting on the student who recently discovered a “brain” in his Kentucky Fried Chicken meal, wrote on Comment is free:

    "We continually draw distinctions between what’s dinner and what’s trash, who our pets are and who our meals are. We live with cats and dogs we smother with love and affection, yet other animals live miserable lives and endure horrific deaths because we’ve decided their lives are only worth the price of a fast food meal… The fast food system – cheap food prepared quickly, eaten quickly, forgotten quickly – hinges on one slim peg: wilful ignorance. When incidences like this crop up, they slam right into what we don’t want to know. So we get outraged. But obviously the real scandal is that we’re allowing ourselves to fall for this great lie in the first place: that what we eat doesn’t matter, that it arrived in our hands magically, and that there are no consequences to our diets."

    What do you think? Is it wrong to eat horsemeat?

    Photograph: Robb Kendrick/Getty Images/Aurora Creative

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    Too feeble for unisex? Try a lady product
You’ve read this right: Cadbury have created a “lady chocolate bar”. Kate Murray-Browne rolls her eyes: 

We all know that being a woman requires specialist material. For instance, your vagina needs its own deodorant, stylist, and stick-on jewels just to get it through the day. We need hundreds of things men don’t, like lipgloss and Veet, and we’re used to that now. But recently, there seems to have been some quite amazing ingenuity in producing special lady products where we all thought a unisex one would do.
Victoria Pendleton has created “the first all-female bike range" for Halfords; Cadbury have just released Crispello, a chocolate bar specifically for women; Bic recently launched a range of pens “for her" (provoking some very scathing, very funny comments on its Amazon page), and London Transport produced (and then swiftly revoked) a leaflet called Tube Tips for Women.
Nowadays, you can go on women-only bike rides or to women-only gyms, and, if you can’t control your alcohol intake all by yourself, there are women-only drinks available. How far can it go? How many more things can be ladyfied?

    Too feeble for unisex? Try a lady product

    You’ve read this right: Cadbury have created a “lady chocolate bar”. Kate Murray-Browne rolls her eyes:

    We all know that being a woman requires specialist material. For instance, your vagina needs its own deodorant, stylist, and stick-on jewels just to get it through the day. We need hundreds of things men don’t, like lipgloss and Veet, and we’re used to that now. But recently, there seems to have been some quite amazing ingenuity in producing special lady products where we all thought a unisex one would do.

    Victoria Pendleton has created “the first all-female bike range" for Halfords; Cadbury have just released Crispello, a chocolate bar specifically for women; Bic recently launched a range of pens “for her" (provoking some very scathing, very funny comments on its Amazon page), and London Transport produced (and then swiftly revoked) a leaflet called Tube Tips for Women.

    Nowadays, you can go on women-only bike rides or to women-only gyms, and, if you can’t control your alcohol intake all by yourself, there are women-only drinks available. How far can it go? How many more things can be ladyfied?


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    The infamous Pumpkin Spice Latte is finally available in the UK. And Lagusta Yearwood says that Britain should resist the US pumpkin invasion

That’s where my real annoyance with products like the Pumpkin Spice Latte comes from: they reduce seasonality to an artificial flavour. As a person with tastebuds, I’m offended by the fact that summertime means artificial lemon flavour in our powdered lemonade mix, winter is fake peppermint candies dyed with cancer-causing dye, and fall is pumpkin flavour from a bottle. American people want the idea of pumpkin, and we’ve decided that the word “squash” doesn’t sound quite right. So we synthesize what fall should taste like in a lab, and that’s what our taste buds become accustomed to. And when we go into the kitchen to make a fall dinner after drinking our PSL on our commute home, we can’t quite get the squash risotto or pumpkin soup to taste like it seems it should.

Photograph: Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

    The infamous Pumpkin Spice Latte is finally available in the UK. And Lagusta Yearwood says that Britain should resist the US pumpkin invasion

    That’s where my real annoyance with products like the Pumpkin Spice Latte comes from: they reduce seasonality to an artificial flavour. As a person with tastebuds, I’m offended by the fact that summertime means artificial lemon flavour in our powdered lemonade mix, winter is fake peppermint candies dyed with cancer-causing dye, and fall is pumpkin flavour from a bottle. American people want the idea of pumpkin, and we’ve decided that the word “squash” doesn’t sound quite right. So we synthesize what fall should taste like in a lab, and that’s what our taste buds become accustomed to. And when we go into the kitchen to make a fall dinner after drinking our PSL on our commute home, we can’t quite get the squash risotto or pumpkin soup to taste like it seems it should.

    Photograph: Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

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    A report by the Pesticide Residues Committee states that wholemeal loaves contain significantly more toxic residues in them than white loaves due to the milling process. Yet nutritionally, brown loaves are much better for you. Less toxic, or less nutritious: how are we supposed to make that choice? We shouldn’t even have to. Matthew Herbet: We must take back control of our food, before it’s too late
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    In praise of … Kimchi

If the thought of eating fermented cabbage makes you squirm, then perhaps you’re not ready for it – but plenty of others are. Kimchi, a staple of Korean cuisine which marries raw vegetables with spices, is enjoying growing popularity far west of Seoul or Pyongyang. A spicier, more colourful, cousin of Germany’s sauerkraut, it can lighten up a number of meals: simply eaten with rice, added to stews for depth of flavour, slathered on a fried egg sitting on top of a bed of wilted spring greens, or replacing onions in a hot dog. Variations are almost infinite, but a good start would be to bring together shredded Napa cabbage, daikon radish, garlic, ginger, fish paste and sugar, along with a generous helping of chilli powder. A few days fermenting in a glass jar does the trick – it is ready when the concoction starts bubbling. The result is pungent, but don’t let the strange smell put you off: it’s part of the experience. Best of all, it keeps for weeks.

    In praise of … Kimchi

    If the thought of eating fermented cabbage makes you squirm, then perhaps you’re not ready for it – but plenty of others are. Kimchi, a staple of Korean cuisine which marries raw vegetables with spices, is enjoying growing popularity far west of Seoul or Pyongyang. A spicier, more colourful, cousin of Germany’s sauerkraut, it can lighten up a number of meals: simply eaten with rice, added to stews for depth of flavour, slathered on a fried egg sitting on top of a bed of wilted spring greens, or replacing onions in a hot dog. Variations are almost infinite, but a good start would be to bring together shredded Napa cabbage, daikon radish, garlic, ginger, fish paste and sugar, along with a generous helping of chilli powder. A few days fermenting in a glass jar does the trick – it is ready when the concoction starts bubbling. The result is pungent, but don’t let the strange smell put you off: it’s part of the experience. Best of all, it keeps for weeks.

  6. What’s so wrong with eating alone?

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    Earlier this week, CNN reported on a new social networking site called Invite for a Bite. The concept is to match women with platonic lunch or dinner partners so that we can avoid the shame and loneliness of eating alone. Except, some of us love eating alone. My preference is to bring along a book or an iPhone’s worth of Instapapered articles, but even when eavesdropping is the only entertainment on offer, I still consider eating alone to be one of life’s greatest pleasures (topped only by solitary cinema visits).

    For an introvert like me, the site promotes the idea that hanging out with a random stranger (or several) is fun. It’s not that I’m against making friends, but compulsory small talk is torturous. And I’ve been cornered by enough strangers in cafes, shops and on public transport to get an idea of how the British public thinks.

    Diane Shipley on eating alone: nuthin’ wrong with that! Is this something you enjoy?

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    Synthetic biology: the best hope for mankind’s future?

    The UK government has just declared that synthetic biology – the science of making novel living organisms – could lead to a new industrial revolution and should be a research priority. Many environmentalists argue instead that creating new life forms could endanger the existing ones. But, argues Johnjoe McFadden, it may be that synthetic biology is our best hope of preserving life on our planet.

    Photographs: Alamy; Gianluigi Guercia/AFP/Getty Images

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