Pass the donkey, I’m starvin’!

  • Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Michaele Duke

Iíve said it before; I love to eat. Eating food not only keeps you alive, it is the bond that brings family and friends together. What I donít love is finding out that the meat in my taco may have been old.

Recently, restaurant giants McDonaldís Corp. and Yum Brands, Inc., which owns KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut, made national headlines after having reportedly purchasing expired meat from their Chinese supplier.

The supplier, American-owned Shanghai Husi Food Co. located in China is accused of selling the outdated and tainted meat to many American clients. Since the story broke, both McDonaldís and Yum Brands say they have stopped buying meat from the plant, which is a subsidiary of Illinois-based OSU group.

I am not here to put down our local restaurants; I assume they had no way of knowing the meat was compromised and I will continue to patronize them. However, Iím willing to bet this safety issue has been known at the corporate level for quite some time.

According to reports, this isnít the first time China has been involved in food safety scandals that affected US restaurants. In 2012, authorities discovered chicken supplied by China contained excessive amounts of antibiotics and in 2008, an industrial chemical was found in dairy products, which allegedly killed babies and made 300,000 people ill.

I pride myself on being rather adventurous when it comes to testing new and exotic gastronomical delights but I believe I would have lost my lunch when in 2014, a China-based Wal-Mart had to recall donkey meat after it was found to be contaminated by other animal products. Donkey meat, you say? Iíve never seen ďrack of donkeyĒ at the local grocery store. And the other meat; That was fox.

Apparently donkey meat is A-Okay for communists but fox is a no-no. I bet even the Beverly Hillbillies, who considered stewed opossum a savory feast, didnít consume either of those animals.

I read a book about the culinary underbelly of the restaurant world. The author, a noted chef humorously exposed the truth about the business and how we can help guard ourselves against some of the potential problems, such as forgoing brunch (and its leftover Hollandaise sauce), Shepardís Pie and the likes (leftovers) or an establishment with nasty bathrooms.

Now that I think about it, maybe we should all learn to cook.

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