In an upcoming episode of Top Chef Canada set to air May 16, the competitors have to create a classic French dish. Sounds like no big deal, except that one of the contestants has to use horse meat, one of the "most traditional French foods" according to Food Network Canada.
The news about the May 16 episode has been spreading "like cheese curds on a hot plate of poutine" and a lot of people are upset. There are hundreds of comments on Top Chef Canada's Facebook page and another Facebook page, "Boycott Top Chef—Protect the Horses" has over 1,000 members. Things have gotten vicious enough that the page administrators have jumped in to ask people to stop attacking each other.
Despite the fact that horse meat is not widely consumed in Canada, over 90,000 horses a year are slaughtered for food there. Its high-protein, low-fat meat is still consumed in many parts of the world, including Italy, Japan and Brazil.
The taboo of eating horse meat persists in most of North America, however, and the Canadian horse meat industry remains controversial. If horse meat isn't your thing, perhaps you would like camel (Egypt), whales (Norway) or monkeys (sub-Saharan Africa).