The horse meat scandal is the center of the global culinary conversation these days, gaining so much coverage that even Saturday Night Live parodied it this weekend. The crisis in Europe has been so incessantly covered by every major news source that it seems almost impossible to keep up on who’s eating equines where. Don’t worry: if you don’t want to seem uninformed by the office water cooler when the topic comes up, here are six handy facts you can contribute to any horse meat discussion:
- According to Time magazine, Napoleon encouraged his starving army to eat battlefield horse carcasses for sustenance in the battle of Eylau in 1807.
- Horse fat has been used in skin products. Japanese company Magoroku claims that “Horse oil leaves the skin supple, radiant and naturally beautiful.”
- China is the world’s leading producer and consumer of horse meat, says the website, eathorse.com
- Though there is actually no horsemeat in it, the Snickers candy bar was named after the Mars family’s favorite horse.
- Horses haven’t been slaughtered or sold for meat in the US since 2006, even though a Congressional ban on slaughtering was lifted in 2011.
- French sexpot Brigitte Bardot is a leading neigh-sayer against horsemeat consumption.