Friday, March 8, 2013

Giraffe jerky

With Europeans in the midst of a scandal about horsemeat being found in processed foods, South Africans have issues with the air-dried meat snack they call biltong (pictured above). Biltong is made from game caught in the wild or raised on any of the more than 10,000 wildlife farms across the country. Researchers at the University of the Western Cape tested 146 biltong samples from major retailers and small butchers, with the following results:
  • Beef biltong was labeled correctly.
  • Antelope biltong was actually made of horse, pork, beef, giraffe, or kangaroo.
  • Zebra biltong contained meat from the mountain zebra, a species threatened with extinction.
"It started with curiosity and suspicion because one piece of dried meat looks like another," says Maria Eugenia D'Amato from the University's DNA Forensics Lab about the testing they did 4 years ago. Research conducted just last month determined that two thirds of hamburgers and sausage contained donkey, water buffalo, and other unconventional ingredients.

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