May 9, 2007

Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay has raised the ire of horse lovers, dealing with the consumption of the meat in the first episode of a new series of his television show, The F-word, to be aired in Britain this week.

However, people may well have to wait for the show to air to find out how far Ramsay goes, with conflicting reports over exactly what he says about horse meat.

In the show, co-presenter Janet Street-Porter travels to France and returns with horse meat, which is barbecued and reportedly offered to the public at Cheltenham racecourse.

Some reports say Ramsay describes horse meat as tasty and nutritious in the programme and urges Britons to try it.

"It's quite gamey and packed with protein," he is reported as saying.

But a spokeswoman for the show was quoted in the media as saying: "Gordon is talking about the actual flavour, but not actually endorsing it. It is Janet who urges people to try it."

Animal rights groups and vegetarians have condemned the theme.

A spokesman for the International League for the Protection of Horses said anything that promoted horse-meat consumption was irresponsible.