Turns out it's 100% cultural. Consider the following cut and paste:
According to NutritionData, the strip steak has slightly fewer calories than horse (117 vs 133 calories per 100 grams), though this is obviously not be true for all cuts of beef. Sirloin, for example, contains 142 calories. The meats also have very similar amounts of fat, cholesterol and protein when lean cuts are compared.
Where the meats really differ is iron concentration, with horse meat having double the iron (21% vs 10% DV) that beef contains. It is not surprising that a more athletic animal has more iron, but the magnitude of the difference is striking. Horse meat also contains substantially more vitamin B12 (50% vs 21% DV), but less B6, niacin and folate.
But what's truly impressive is the omega-3 fatty acid concentration in horse meat, which contains 360 mg (per 100 grams) compared to just 21 mg in strip steak. Omega-3s are essential fatty acids that need to be obtained from your diet. They are thought to be helpful in fighting against heart disease, stroke and neurodegeneration.
Compared to lean beef, horse meat appears to have some nutritional advantages. If we do ever manage to get past the taboo, at least we know there's good nutrition on the other side.
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