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After Horsemeat Scandal, Study Finds That People Buy Less Processed Meat

Well, here’s one positive outcome of the horse meat scandal that plagued Europe months ago: food safety officials in Ireland are reporting that almost half of the country’s consumers have cut processed and frozen meat products from their diets after the discovery of tainted beef in frozen lasagna.

The Belfast Telegraph reports that after consumers learned that horse meat had been sneaking its way into the nation’s food supply, 51 percent of shoppers had stopped purchasing frozen burger patties, and — most importantly — 42 percent of shoppers had ceased purchasing processed, ready-made, frozen meals. (Sorry, television dinners.)

Not only is this one of those obvious “consumer demand influenced by the news cycle” moments, it’s also a (somewhat Pyrrhic) victory for public health advocates, who get to celebrate people being more conscious about food safety issues and not eating processed meals, which are Just So Bad For You.

However, public trust in processed foods remains high: two-thirds of consumers say that they weren’t concerned with the fraud itself, and only 13 percent of consumers say they’ve lost confidence in Ireland’s food safety.

[Belfast Telegraph]

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