Europe’s horse meat scandal seems tame compared to the exotic meats South Africans have been ingesting. Maria Eugenia D’Amato of the University of the Western Cape’s DNA forensics lab says researchers were curious to know which animals laid down their lives for biltong, the famous dried meat jerky snack. “One piece of dried meat,” D’Amato told Reuters, “looks like another.” Curiosity, as they say, killed the cat. Fortunately not this time. But they found 90 per cent of “wild” biltong—usually labelled as being made from kudu, a large antelope—was actually made from horse, pork, beef, giraffe—even kangaroo.
Meanwhile tests at Stellenbosch University found that beef burgers and sausages were not quite as advertised. In addition to surreptitious pork and chicken they found goat, donkey and water buffalo. The mislabelling violates regulations, co-author Louwrens C. Hoffman told the AP, and “poses economic, religious, ethical and health impacts.”