meat

Unraveling food industry lies - Your meat is held together by 'meat glue'

Tuesday, September 18, 2012 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: meat glue, food industry, deceptions

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(NaturalNews) If you have ever ordered filet mignon, New York strip, top sirloin, or some other prime cut of steak at your local steakhouse, chances are your waiter actually brought you several smaller cuts of inferior grade meat glued together in the shape of the cut you actually ordered. Utilizing a powdered enzyme known as transglutaminase, butchers and chefs have long been bonding meat scraps together to cut costs and boost profits, a dishonest and unethical practice that needs to be brought to light.

ABC 7 News in Los Angeles recently conducted an investigation into the meat gluing phenomenon and found that many restaurants and food service providers routinely glue meat together and serve it to unsuspecting patrons. Though the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that the use of transglutaminase be disclosed on ingredient labels, such information is not typically disclosed to individuals served glued meat at restaurants or gatherings, which makes the practice that much more deceptive

Originally derived from animal blood, transglutaminase is now typically produced by fermenting bacteria in such a way as to create a bonding agent for proteins. When rubbed on meat, transglutaminase, also known as thrombian, creates a uniquely strong bond between meat such that even the most scrutinizing of connoisseurs is unable to notice a difference.

Gluing random pieces of meat together poses a serious human health risk

Steak lovers know that some of the best cuts of meat are best enjoyed rare, or at least medium rare. And the reason conventional steak cuts can generally be safely enjoyed in this undercooked manner is because bacteria is unable to reach the inner muscle fibers. When various smaller cuts of meat are glued together; however, bacteria is persistent throughout the meat, which makes undercooking it a very risky practice.

"[T]he outside of a piece of meat comes in contact with a lot of bacteria making its way from slaughterhouse to table," reports ABC 7 News in Los Angeles. "Usually cooking a steak on the outside will kill all that off. The center of a single cut of steak is sterile, that's why you can eat it rare. But glued pieces of meat could contain bacteria like E. coli on the inside."

You can think of glued meat as the same thing as ground beef, for instance, which typically has to be cooked thoroughly in order to kill off potentially harmful bacteria, especially when it comes from conventional sources. Glued cuts of meat made to look like a steak are similar to ground beef in that much of the meat's surface area is exposed to the outside air before being cooked.

Always ask your butcher, server whether or not your meat has been formed, shaped, or otherwise glued together

Since they are typically not going to voluntarily disclose this information, it is important to always ask your server or butcher whether or not the meat cut you are purchasing has been formed, shaped, or otherwise glued together. In some cases, a restaurant will refuse to cook a steak rare or medium rare, which means that it has likely been treated and glued together with transglutaminase.

Meat cuts at the grocery store that have been glued together with transglutaminase are required to be labeled as such. However, glued meat is primarily used in the food service industry where consumers are unable to readily read ingredient labels.

To learn more about food secrets, be sure to check out the FREE NaturalNews report, 25 Amazing (and Weird) Facts About Food: http://www.naturalnews.com

Sources for this article include:

http://www.cracked.com

http://www.cookingissues.com/primers/transglutaminase-aka-meat-glue/

http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news/consumer&id=8642900

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