OH we're all very funny all the same, though, aren't we? "Getting the trots", "and they're off", "stable diets" and all that. Genuinely. The jokes were funny at first but after three days can we not admit that we are officially now flogging a dead one? Plus, isn't it about time we all got off the high one too?
I mean horse, of course. There, I've said it. The topic of discussion that's had a nation bridling with indignation. Horse. I ask you. In the burgers. The mate that we're giving the babbies and all. What's the world coming to?
Isn't it all a bit rich? No, not the flavour – the outrage. Claiming to be shocked and stunned at finding horse DNA in a packet of bargain burgers really beggars belief. All that lovely grey sponge and gristle? That delicate melt in the mouth consistency? For €1.25 what did you expect? That somewhere, cows were being hand-fed nectar while listening to Mozart before being gently euthanised for our dining pleasure? Kobe Beef? Quite frankly, I'm just glad that it was only a bit of pony they found.
Just because, culturally, we are not a nation of gelding-guzzlers doesn't mean that horse meat is inedible. I know a number of people who have consumed it and they seem fine. No whinnying or excessive sugar lump cravings – not even a tendency to stamp their feet while counting.
Instead, culturally, what do we find acceptable to consume? Sausages, for example, with their mysterious white rubbery surprises within? That most delectable of treats, black pudding? "Why yes, chef Gaston. One of our favourite national delicacies is a treat made out of cereals and blood – mon dieu, you eat Horse?"
What about the moment when you pierce that succulent roast chicken – a bargain at only €3.99 or so – and it bursts and oozes like a blister after a day in new sandals, filled with water and more hormones than the One Direction fan club? Yum yum, pig's bum. Possibly.
The really worrying thing about all this, however, is that, quite often, these instant fix freezer jobs are very, very handy to pop under the grill for our own little foals. Too handy, in fact. I mean, we'd all love our kids to beam at the sight of broccoli or to even just fall for a veggie ambush in the spag bol once in a while, but sometimes you just cave in to the relentless food defiance and grill a "finger" of some sort – just to get "something into them".
Seems a tad hypocritical then to get in a heap about the percentage of the food content that's equine when we've been plying them all along with salt, fat, additives and lord knows what else. After all, removing the horse is simply going to free up 29pc more space for the other stuff that's most likely gone in from the outset. Tail, for example. Eyelashes. Hooves. Who knows?
It might be a bit yucky but the horse meat we may have accidentally eaten will not kill us. It doesn't mean that it's okay that it got in there, however. Our reputation as food-producers – worldwide – is heading for the glue factory. That's no joke.
So who's going to sort all this then? The supermarkets? The meat manufacturers? How about we stop being disgusted for a moment and just stop buying the damn stuff? I'm no Fearnley-Whittingstall but you can make a stableful of homemade burgers from proper mince in a few minutes, filly-free.
Maybe all this should be an inspiration to start buying real food and applying effort – it doesn't have to cost much.
Maybe it's when we face up to the fact that it's probably the least of our worries when it comes to the composition of the junk we're feeding our kids and it's up to us to reduce demand for it?
Neigh-sayers could point out that what you don't know can't hurt you. But neither can what you don't consume. Maybe Horsegate will finally teach us for once and for all to stay away from the mystery meats and stick to Beef or Salmon instead.