“Offal” Foodies Wear Badge of Shame

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French Horse EaterWritten By:  Heather Clemenceau

Foodies,  food groupies,  or foodniks.  Quelle horreur!  When I hear these terms, it makes me cringe.  I’ve come to be repulsed by it,  because nowadays it’s associated with “gourmand” or “epicure,”  and while these are not negative terms,  most actual foodies are now clearly associated with foie gras,  pigs feet,  octopus,  sweetbreads (or offal), and of course,  horsemeat.

There’s nothing wrong with enjoying luxurious items or tasteful food.  But people who tend to describe themselves as foodies are usually those same people who label themselves as members of a caste of society that is superior to the others.  “I’m better than you because I’m more open-minded towards my food.  I would never eat instant ramen like you.”

The more lives sacrificed for a dinner, the more impressive the eater. Aside from horsemeat,  some of the cruelest meals consist of thirty duck hearts in curry, or ortolan, endangered songbirds fattened up, in pitch-dark cages, who by tradition, have their eyes put out before being force-fed for weeks and finally drowned in a snifter of brandy. The eating of these animals as well as non-food horses is amoral, callous, and profoundly self-absorbed.  Such machismo coming out of an evening spent sitting in a goddamn chair….

People Magazine 2007 sexiest man alive

Chef Tom Colicchio is one of People’s 2007 “Sexiest Men Alive?”  Why does he deserve this title? Why do chefs in general receive such an unwarranted amount of attention?

The term foodie also implies that you’re dealing with a person who knows a lot about food in general.  And if you’re a chef with a following of chef groupies, you’re going to look extra stupid when it becomes public knowledge that you really don’t know much about food after all.  The attention lavished upon some chefs is unseemly.  It sure doesn’t explain why People magazine dubbed Tom Colicchio one of 2007’s Sexiest Men Alive. (Sorry, but I just don’t see it.)

Chef Danny Mongeon,  of the new horsemeat-serving resto “Hooch,”  shall wear the badge of shame in this blog post.  Mongeon became somewhat infamous (although his groupies claim he was already famous!) by declaring that he was introducing horse tartare at Hooch in an interview with the Ottawa Citizen.

“I did a lot of research on the farm where I’m sourcing from, La Petite Nation. I’ve been there. I’ve seen the horses. A lot of these people are telling me that we’re serving old race horses and all of this bad stuff, but I just ignored it because a lot of their sources were incorrect.” ~ Danny Mongeon

Here’s your meat still on the hoof at LPN,  Chef Mongeon (Caution – Disturbing):

Operating under the assumption that LPN is a “farm” that apparently produces purpose-bred horses has just become problematic for Chef Mongeon.  He  just ran head first into the Canadian and American taboo against hippophagy.  Secondly,  Les Viandes de la Petite Nation is not a “farm,” it is a slaughterhouse which has been cited numerous times for cruelty and not following CFIA mandated slaughter methods. It is also the slaughterhouse that killed Frank Stronach’s racehorse, Backstreet Bully, despite the fact that his vet records were faxed to La Viandes de la Petite Nations showing he had illegal drugs in his system and that his previous owners and Stronach Racing were all willing to take him back. He ended up at LPN courtesy of a kill buyer falsifying his EID (Equine Information Document).

Hooch - Danny Mongeon

Mongeon prepares the awful offal.  And I really hope that’s some kind of food stain rather than dirt on your fingernails, Chef.

Mongeon, despite being informed to the contrary, absolutely refuses to acknowledge that these horses are mostly cast-off pets, discarded standardbred or thoroughbred race horses, mares in foal, summer camp horses, trail horses, Amish/Mennonite work/cart horses that have been worked into the ground.  When facts from independent sources such as the Toronto Star and Latitude News were posted on the restaurant’s Facebook page, he and his indie followers simply repeated the same derp over and over again.  This discussion also moved to an Ottawa Foodie forum where horse advocates were harassed for promoting truthful dialogue.  I wonder how many people would eat horsemeat if they were not lied to about its true origin and the veterinary residues it often contains?

This comment was one of many posted on an Ottawa Foodie forum.  It received no condemnation whatsoever from the group,  yet the horse welfare posters were harassed when we became embracing the meme of "let's censor anyone who is killing our horsemeat-eatin' mood," why they didn't kill the real downer that occurred when someone mentioned cannibalism? Surely the dry-heave factor on that particular post should have prompted some objection, certainly over anything we had posted?

This comment was one of many posted on an Ottawa Foodie forum. It received no condemnation whatsoever from the group, yet the horse welfare posters were harassed because we killed the horsemeat-eatin’ mood. Surely the dry-heave factor on that particular post should have prompted some objection, certainly over anything we had posted?

Yes,  it's true - the Zombie Apocalypse is real.

Yes, it’s true – the Zombie Apocalypse is real.

Mongeon will NOT tell his patrons the truth about the horsemeat he serves.  He and his groupies only respect those customs, traditions, beliefs, cultures—old and new, domestic and foreign—that call on them to eat more, not less, and without regard for where it is sourced.  Mongeon’s claims about the happy LPN “farm” are meaningless. All that’s required to perpetuate his stupid unenlightened remarks are dull-headed food freaks to circulate the dogma.  It’s time to hold chefs accountable for the misinformation they perpetuate about their food sources.

Apparently,  this is the cooked version of the pig's foot shown to the left.  Apparently they use every part of a pig except the oink.

This is the pretty unrecognizable cooked version of the pig’s foot shown to the left.

Part of what makes Mongeon’s claims about horses and LPN so obnoxious is that the Federal Health of Animals Act is not enforced, which would protect sick, pregnant and unfit horses, and prohibit overcrowding; the Recommended Code of Practice for Care and Handling of Farm Animals: Transportation of Horses, is not enforced. The CFIA does not enforce their own weak rules that slaughter bound horses must not be transported for longer than 36 hours straight and must be provided with feed, water and rest at required intervals. Double-decker trailers are still allowed in Canada. Horses are shipped in crowded trailers over long distances, and often arrive injured, sometimes fatally. Horses, unlike most livestock, do not travel well. So, suffice it to say, they don’t always respond well when being transported from kill auctions in the U.S. to federally licensed slaughterhouses in Quebec and Alberta.

Since 2007, inspectors have been banned from the kill floor for their own safety, since the adoption of firearms has been implemented to stun animals, so their role is basically an administrative one now. So how could inspectors intervene when humane incidents have occurred, as revealed by a CBC probe and in undercover video by the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition?  I guess Danny Mongeon’s “research” just never uncovered any of these uncomfortable truths……

Apparently, there’s really no civilized value left that foodies or chefs cannot destroy.

horse burger

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About heatherclemenceau

Hopefully as I've grown older I've also grown wiser, but one thing I've definitely become cognizant of is the difference between making a living and making a life. Frequently outraged by some of life's cruelties, and respect diversity. But.....I don't suffer fools gladly, and occasionally, this does get me into some trouble! I have the distinction of being the world's worst golfer - no wait, I do believe that there is a gypsy in Moldavia who is a worse golfer than I. Nor am I much of a dancer - you won't see a booty-shakin' flygirl routine from me! I'm also not the kind of cook who can whip up a five-course meal on a radiator either! And I've never figured out how to get an orchid to bloom a second time. I love to discuss literature, science, philosophy, and sci-fi , or even why Seinfeld is funny on so many levels. Words move me. I'm very soft-hearted about most things, especially animals, but I have a stoicism about me that is sometimes interpreted incorrectly. I do have a definite edge and an often "retro-adolescent" sense of humour at times. I'm a big advocate of distributed computing projects to advance science. Check out http://boinc.berkeley.edu/ if you want to find out more. I'm an eclectic (but not crazy) vegetarian, and as such, it's a personal practice of mine to seduce innocent meat-eaters into cruising the (salad) bars at every opportunity. You would be powerless to resist. I was recently surprised to find that a computer algorithm concluded that I write like Dan Brown, which is funny because I didn't think Dan Brown could actually write. Check out your own style - http://iwl.me/ Oh, and I love impractical shoes and funky hats.

14 responses »

  1. Pingback: “Offal” Foodies Wear Badge of Shame | Canadian Horse Defence Coalition's Blog

  2. LPN a ‘farm’? really??? since when are abattoirs farms? thats news to the people who protest at the downtown pig ‘farm’ called quality meat packers. actually, dont think farms are allowed in the city. since foodie chefs know everything, we should inform the government asap.

    • Don’t know how you possibly have arrived at that conclusion after reading the blog post Linda. I’m opposed to eating horsemeat from any and all origins. Vegetarians don’t promote the eating of any meat.

      • Paragraph three seems to suggest that the eating of “food” horses would be ok (horses bred solely for their meat). My comment should have said “food” horses. I see now what you meant, but the comment was ambiguous.

    • Linda, Heather is a staunch Anti-horse slaughter advocate, period. How you came to your conclusion is unfathomable.

      • There are no “food” horses. Too expensive to raise so the killers just go steal them from owners like me and the VAST majority who would NEVER knowingly send their horses to slaughter.

  3. My sense is that foodies are just people desperate for attention. They have few personable skills and need to find outrageous ways to draw attention to themselves, so they eat weird things and make sure everbody knows about it. They know it stirs the pot (sorry about the pun) and that’s partly why they do it. If there was a foodie get-together featuring lizard liver foi gras and pickled vampire bats’ feet, and no one wrote them up in the local newspaper, I really wonder how many of them would actually go.

    • That’s a good description Karen. I have to agree! I wish we’d see more movement towards ethically obtained food. I think a lot of people think they’re eating ethically when they see “free range,” which unfortunately just means that thousands of birds are housed in a dank building on the ground rather than in cages. I tend to avoid these types of trendy restaurants. A few months back the M. Wells Restaurant in MoMa PS1 had Ecuadorian guinea pig on the menu, and the comments in food blogs were sad and ridiculous. No one objected, or even seemed to think about how they got here. Pretty sure they weren’t USDA inspected!

  4. I LOVE to prepare and eat good food, I think it comes from leaving home at a young age, and going hungry a LOT while trying to finish my education. I am not a Chef by trade, but can cook like one.
    That being said, I would never eat horsemeat, or foie gras, or any of the many trendy things that we obtain by cruel methods. It is easy enough to make an amazing homemade mushroom ravioli with a white wine cream sauce, or a spinach lasagna that is filling enough that the meat eaters don’t even whine about the lack of meat! Roasted red pepper quiche with goats cheese….oh my now I am hungry 😉

    I truly don’t know if that makes me a “foodie”…I would rather jazz stuff up than throw a prefab meal on a plate and enjoy cooking/eating, and will try different things.

    But you see my point-one can be a food lover and be anti cruelty at the same time.

    • I would say that the foodie culture in general is what’s annoying to me – a lot of what is said by the “celebrity chefs” is really offensive. I mean, Anthony Bourdain ripped the viscera out of an animal on his TV show – that’s just gratuitous. I wonder how we ever managed to get through meals in the past without posting pics of them online everywhere? I tend to eat to survive, rather than glorify eating, and I’ve gotten used to simple meals. Nobody will ever see a pic of my dinner on Facebook or elsewhere…..lol

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