They were tested and you won’t believe what was in them. Just about everything but the beef you would expect, that’s what.
31% of the content was meat-based. Doesn’t sound too bad for modern convenience food, eh? Well of that, less than 10% was meat from a cow and you don’t really want to know which bits of a cow it was. Over half was a mix of old sheep, podgy pig and possibly chicken. There was a good dollop of deer of some sort, probably not a kind native to this country. There were small amounts of badger, cat, rabbit and pigeon. Some elements could not be conclusively identified but were believed to have been members of the reptile family.
Almost half came from bulking matter, the sort of stuff that makes you think you’ve eaten a good, hearty meal. Some of it came from rusk – a bit like all the hard bits you leave from a crust of bread – but most of it was water. Yep, when you think you’re eating, you might be drinking instead. With all the water pumped into these beauties they might look tempting and succulent, but if you find them mouth-watering, are you sure it’s your mouth?
And there was quite a bit of fat and gristle too. That means they could say there was more ‘meat’ in them, so what we think of as bad on a person must be good on an animal, right?
Of course there were various tasty spices and flavourings so they tasted like the sort of meal Mom would make. Some had Es in front of them and others were just unusual herbs of the sort you can buy on holiday from a stall, herbs that often taste like sawdust when you use them back at home.
So the remaining portion, what was that made up of? You really want to know, don’t you? The amounts varied you understand, but they had a selection of the following. There were bones and skin, but not always from the same types of animals that made up the meat content. There was a bit of vegetable matter, including potato peelings, sprouts, twice-boiled cabbage and some turnip.
There were four whiskers, two from a cat, one from a rat and one of undetermined breed. One contained a false tooth originating in Jamaica and another may have contained a human heart valve.
By the way most of the meat content, regardless of animal of origin, came from organs like intestines, lungs, spleen and liver not the high quality muscle you were probably imagining. That’s why they often taste so offal.