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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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  • [January 15, 2016] - It's National Soup Month so this month's posts will focus on soups. Yum!
  • [February 1, 2016] - An interesting report on why you should always choose organic tea verses non-organic: Toxic Tea (pdf format)
  • Sticky Post - Warning: 4ever Recap reusable canning lids. The reports are growing daily of these lids losing their seal during storage. Some have lost their entire season's worth of canning to these seal failures!

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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Meat Glue - Oh My!

How would you feel if you paid a premium price for a prime cut of beef only to find out it had been manufactured to appear like a prime cut from scrap meat?  Well, if it were me I would be very angry!  I have moved beyond feeling betrayed by the food industry.  For the most part, a very large portion of the food industry lies, cheats, misleads and manipulates consumers into believing the food they produce is safe and good for us.  What they omit is the fact that food additives are not only tricking us into believing we are buying a healthy product, they are actually making us sick.  So what if the food we eat causes allergies, asthma, ADD/ADHD, leaky gut, IBS, diabetes and the list goes on increasing daily, as long as the shareholders of the huge companies behind the food industry line their greedy little pockets?

Well, now the food industry has added an enzyme called transglutaminase that binds protein together.  The manufacturer can add this enzyme to scrap meat to form what appears to whole pieces of meat that are then cut into steaks.  These factory formed eye filets sell for a premium price and you wouldn't even know they were not the real McCoy!  Even experts can't tell the difference between a real eye filet when cooked and a factory formed one.  And, it is not just beef!  Pork, lamb and chicken pieces are all stuck back together using meat glue.  Transglutaminase aka meat glue is banned in the European Union but not in North America.

The use of transgluatminase is misleading consumers causing them to spend top dollar for scrap meat.  That is bad enough.  Of more concern is the microbial issues with transgluaminase.  This meat is sold as a whole piece of meat when in fact it is not, it only appears to be whole.  That means an increased surface area much the same as with ground meats which gives a larger surface for microbes (eg. E. coli) to grow as well as providing more nooks and crannies for the microbes to hide and grow.  Each piece of the meat scrap has microbes that when stuck together makes the resulting glued meat have a higher initial microbe content, hundreds of times higher than a regular whole piece of meat.  The use of meat glue is more widespread than you would think especially in restaurants. 

The only way you can lessen the chance of paying premium dollars for glued meat is to know your meat source.  If at all possible buy directly from the farmer and have the meat processed yourself at an abattoir like we do for beef and pork.  Alternately, buy meat from a reputable butcher shop where there is considerably less or no risk of buying glued meat.  Avoid buying cryovac steaks and even larger pieces of meat unless you are sure of the source.  Avoid buying shaped meats like bacon wrapped steaks or poultry toronados, fish sticks and chicken nuggets.  While it may be a bit more difficult avoiding glued meat in restaurants, a restaurant that prides itself in its quality of food and reputation is not going to be serving glued meat.  If in doubt ask and definitely check out reviews for any new restaurant prior to visiting them.

1 food lovers commented:

ozzibeth said...

+Hi Garden gnome,
Thankyou so much for doing this blog on the huge sneaky industry that is meat glueing. I am From Australia and missed that episode on "Today Tonight"about that shocking practice.
I had been following your comments on a canning site with interest for a long time and then you just seemed to disappear, and then suddenly you popped up again the other day, and today with this link to your blog.
I will never personally have to worry about it, as we produce our own meat,albeit on a small scale, but it worries me greatly that this practice is commonplace.
I have only recently started a small blog of my own and you can see a little about us on it. It is called " Our Aussie off grid heaven" Hope to see you there sometime.