Health Benefit of Grass Fed Beef
Are You Unknowingly Eating Meat Glue?
Although you’re long past the grade school days of willingly eating glue, paste and other pseudo-edible adhesives, there’s a decent chance you’re still eating an entirely different kind of glue unknowingly. Maybe even on a regular basis. Meat glue also known as transglutaminase is used by restaurants and food producers to create “steaks” out of “glued-together” disparate chunks of meat. To most consumers, the resultant reconstituted “steak” is indistinguishable from a real slab of meat once it’s cooked.1
Some meat glues are produced through the cultivation of bacteria, while others are made from the blood plasma of pigs and cows, specifically the coagulant that makes blood clot.
How Meat Glue Works
When sprinkled on a protein, such as beef, it forms cross-linked, insoluble protein polymers that essentially acts like a super-glue, binding the pieces together with near invisible seams. The glue-covered meat is rolled up in plastic film, followed by refrigeration. Some manufacturers have gotten so proficient in the practice that even an expert butcher can’t tell the difference between a piece of prime beef and one that’s been glued together with bits and pieces of scraps!
Meat glue is also used for pork/ham, lamb, fish products such as fish balls, chicken, imitation crab meat and processed meats.
Interestingly enough, Ajinomoto is one of the leaders in transglutaminase. You may recognize that name as they are also one of the leaders in aspartame. According to their website, transglutaminase is also used to “improve the general texture” of a variety of foods aside from meat, such as fat-free yoghurt and cheese.
Why Meat Glue is not a “Good Thing”
First, there’s the obvious issue of misleading consumers. Since food manufacturers are not required to disclose what they’ve done, you think you’re buying a prime cut when in fact you’re paying top dollar for glued-together bits and pieces that would otherwise have been discarded or sold for a fraction of the cost.
But aside from the fact that it’s a pure scam, there’s the increased possibility of contracting food poisoning from these meats.
According to reports, the bacterial contamination of meat glued steak is hundreds of times higher than a solid piece of steak! Hence, if you cook your steak rare, which is the healthiest way to cook your meat, you’re at a much greater risk of contracting food poisoning.
Additionally, when an outbreak does occur, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to discern the source of the contamination, as chunks of meat from multiple cows have now been combined.2
Food poisoning is a serious problem in the US. According to US CDC estimates, anywhere between 6 to 81 million Americans contract food borne illnesses each year, and food poisoning claims up to 9,000 lives annually. Considering the fact that our current food system encourages pathogens and contaminations of all kinds, it’s not all that surprising that as many as one in four people get sickened each year.1
1. Mark’s Daily Apple “Meat Glue: Separating Fact from Fiction.” May 25 2011
2. Dr. Mercola; mercola.com “The Meat You Should Never, Ever Eat.” May 4 2011
Learn More About the Health and Environmental Benefits of Grass Fed Beef
Check out other health and environmental benefits of grass fed beef. Weatherbury’s grass fed beef is not only healthy, it is tasty too!
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