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Thread: Meat Glue!

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* EZO's Avatar
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    Default Meat Glue!

    As if Pink Slime wasn't enough, get ready for Meat Glue!

    That expensive filet mignon you may be dining on may be actually be pieces of cheaper cuts glued together!
    Not only are consumers regularly being deceived but this technique tends to embed potentially harmful bacteria deep inside the steaks where heat will not kill them if you eat it on the rare side.

    It is astonishing how much industry is willing to deceive and abuse consumers for profit.
    What's next? Solylent Green?

    http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/video?id=8642915

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transglutaminase

    http://www.amazon.com/Ajinomoto-Acti.../dp/B003EX2ECM
    Last edited by EZO; 05-02-2012 at 09:04 AM.

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    Flashaholic Dr Jekell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Meat Glue!

    **********
    Last edited by Dr Jekell; 05-03-2012 at 06:55 AM.
    There are no foolish questions and no man becomes a fool until he has stopped asking questions

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* EZO's Avatar
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    Default Re: Meat Glue!

    Dr Jekell, I'm sorry, friend, but I don't find your post very amusing.

    These kind of industry practices are no joke and my intention in posting about the subject was to increase awareness and perhaps generate some interesting, thoughtful and mature discussion.
    Last edited by EZO; 05-02-2012 at 09:39 AM.

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    Flashaholic* Steve K's Avatar
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    Default Re: Meat Glue!

    this may be a good reason to patronize the local butcher shop instead of buying at the chain grocery store. The prices are going to be higher, but there's probably less chance of getting weird stuff in the product.
    ..or.. go vegan. Not my choice at this time, though.

    regards,
    Steve K.

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    Flashaholic* EZO's Avatar
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    Default Re: Meat Glue!

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve K View Post
    this may be a good reason to patronize the local butcher shop instead of buying at the chain grocery store. The prices are going to be higher, but there's probably less chance of getting weird stuff in the product.
    ..or.. go vegan. Not my choice at this time, though.

    regards,
    Steve K.
    You bring up a good point Steve. I'm very fortunate living here in Vermont where we have many local producers and suppliers of grass fed beef, natural lamb, pork and free range chicken (and eggs). In fact, I sometimes buy organically raised beef and eggs from a farmer just two miles up the road from where I live. After many years of watching the Vermont dairy industry and agriculture in decline there has been a fantastic resurgence in small scale farming and food production. There is a whole artisan cheese industry that didn't exist here 20 years ago and local schools, restaurants and grocery stores are featuring locally grown and produced organic produce, meats, dairy products, breads, and other foodstuffs. There is a very interesting and successful program called The Vermont Fresh Network (Farm and Chef Partnership). Perhaps public awareness of things like meat glue, pink slime, genetically engineered plants and what author Michael Pollan refers to as "food-like substances" is a good thing that will change the way things work in this country to some degree. The more people get "fed up" (hmmm...that makes for an interesting and unexpected pun) with large scale agribusiness and "frankenfoods" the more people will demand "real" foods. Indeed, these things do cost more but I've noticed that as organic foods become more mainstream, some of the prices are coming down as they become available in greater volumes.
    Last edited by EZO; 05-02-2012 at 07:02 PM. Reason: the usual

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    Flashaholic* Sub_Umbra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Meat Glue!

    Thanks EZO.

    Certainly all is not well with Western food. From prophylactic antibiotics for healthy farm animals to salmonella it could arguably be said that food is out of control. We give animals chemicals to fatten them up more quickly and at the same time we wonder about the causes of our obesity epidemic.

    Many examples.

    I also agree that butcher shops are looking better and better.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Meat Glue!

    Where will it all end? It seems as soon as one bad food ingredient is discovered and mitigated (i.e. transfats), the food producers will sneak in five more. It's interesting when you consider some of the same megacorporations produce both foods and pharmaceuticals. Very convenient actually to add ingredients to foods which cause issues, and then you conveniently come out with a magic pill to fix these issues.

    I've wondered why I've had less energy in the last ten or so years compared to earlier. I wouldn't doubt some of the things put into foods are responsible. While on the subject of things I wish would disappear from the food chain, high fructose corn syrup has to be number one. Here's an ingredient whose only advantage is it's cheaper than sugar. From everything I've read about it, it's just awful stuff in every way imaginable, yet it's in seemingly everything these days.

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* EZO's Avatar
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    Default Re: Meat Glue!

    Some good posts...thanks guys!

    The posts about butcher shops are right on the money. Over the last several decades in my little corner of Vermont I've watched as each and every small butcher shop we used to have has disappeared only to be replaced by large supermarkets. One or two of them has what amounts to a real butcher shop where you can talk to the butcher, ask for recommendations and have your meat custom cut but it's just not quite the same. Even the local food co-op gave up on personal butchering. They prepare ready made steaks, ground meats and other products and put them out in packages even though the meat they sell is natural and organic.

    This is changing though. Small shops are finally beginning to re-appear. For example, awhile ago two local chefs who are also trained butchers opened up a complete old fashioned butcher shop offering only local (regional) natural and organic meats and poultry. They not only do old fashioned butchering but as chefs they started to offer ready made dishes and even complete meals made fresh daily. Gourmet fare to go! It's a great concept and they've shown that the demand is there to support it.

    I spoke in a previous post about the local food movement here in Vermont. This kind of thing is happening all over the country, not just here in rural Vermont but even in urban areas as well and happily there is more and more demand for it. Some refer to this as the "slow food movement" and locavore movement and it is well worth exploring. Check out http://www.slowfood.com/

    And, jtr1962, your comment about the connection between foods and pharmaceuticals is also right on the money. Why do you think we have the FDA?.......The Food AND Drug Administration. Who the hell came up with the idea of regulating food production and pharmaceutical production in one agency? That bureaucracy was not established by accident. This subject definitely invites further discussion and could almost be a whole thread to itself.
    Last edited by EZO; 05-03-2012 at 07:29 AM.

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    Flashaholic* Sub_Umbra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Meat Glue!

    Where will it all end?...
    IF it is going to end IMO it has to be the consumer voting with his wallet.

    In the last sixty years science has very finely determined what the most beneficial parts of all of our old-fashioned whole foods are. For the most part much of that now goes to animal feed and a whole new science has grown up based on techniques to make the leftover dross taste acceptable to humans.

    I'm not at all saying that you can't buy good food out there. I'm saying that if you don't pay attention you may get burned...
    Last edited by Sub_Umbra; 05-02-2012 at 07:10 PM.

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    Retired Administrator Norm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Meat Glue!

    Same here in Australia A Current Affair , must have been a slow news night, I'm sure I've seen the exact same content on the same show in the past.

    Norm

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    Flashaholic* EZO's Avatar
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    Default Re: Meat Glue!

    Quote Originally Posted by Norm View Post
    Same here in Australia A Current Affair , must have been a slow news night, I'm sure I've seen the exact same content on the same show in the past.

    Norm
    Hi Norm,

    Apparently, this story has been kicking around for at least two years now but as is often the case with certain news items it took all this time to work its way up to the MSM (Main Stream Media). So you may indeed have seen this story somewhere in the past; perhaps on a different show?

    BTW, I've done a little more research about this stuff (transglutaminase) and it has been used in many other food items for a long time. I had never been aware of it before but it is the stuff that holds chicken nuggets together as well as imitation crab meat and fish sticks. Ever wonder why the ham or turkey breast you see in the deli case at the supermarket is alway in such a perfectly "formed" rounded shape?
    Last edited by EZO; 05-02-2012 at 11:30 PM.

  12. #12
    Retired Administrator Norm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Meat Glue!

    Quote Originally Posted by EZO View Post
    Hi Norm,

    Apparently, this story has been kicking around for at least two years now but as is often the case with certain news items it took all this time to work its way up to the MSM (Main Stream Media). So you may indeed have seen this story somewhere in the past; perhaps on a different show?
    This was the exact same vision, it seems to happen on current affairs program's here, they seem to be full of fluff, thinly disguised advertising, and very little real content.

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    Default Re: Meat Glue!

    No worries for us vegetarians. Between the piunk slime, meat glue and prions, I'm guessing this will drive more people away from red meat, if not at least a decline in consumption.

  14. #14
    Retired Administrator Norm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Meat Glue!

    Quote Originally Posted by PhotonWrangler View Post
    No worries for us vegetarians. Between the piunk slime, meat glue and prions, I'm guessing this will drive more people away from red meat, if not at least a decline in consumption.
    Veg Heads are not immune.

    Australia in this instance but I'm sure that it is happening elsewhere.

    Aussie Google
    U.S. Google

    Norm
    Last edited by Norm; 05-09-2012 at 06:49 PM.

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    *Flashaholic* PhotonWrangler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Meat Glue!

    Quote Originally Posted by Norm View Post
    Veg Heads are not immune.

    Australia in this instance but I'm sure that it is happening elsewhere.

    Aussie Google
    U.S. Google

    Norm
    I agree Norm. It's just that vegetables pose less of a threat, especially when chosen wisely. Veggies can carry salmonella and all sorts of other nasty things; fortunately mad cow disease isn't one of them.

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    *Flashaholic* fyrstormer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Meat Glue!

    If you think "glued meat" is bad, just wait 'til you discover sausage.

    Honestly, I have little sympathy for people who worry about stuff like this. Every other species of meat-eating animal gnaws down to the bones, then cracks the bones open and sucks out the marrow. Meanwhile we get our panties in a twist because our hamburgers aren't entirely made with premium cuts of meat. Talk about First World Problems.

    Bacterial infection is at least a legitimate concern, I agree. Humans are self-domesticated and have relatively weak immune systems compared to most meat-eating animals that have to deal with the real world every day. The solution is to cook your food properly. Don't eat red meat if it's still red and squishy in the middle -- even if you like it that way -- and don't eat white meat unless it's white and firm all the way through. If you eat undercooked meat, expect to get sick from time to time, just like every other carnivore on earth. Remember, that which doesn't kill you delays the inevitable.
    Last edited by fyrstormer; 05-10-2012 at 02:41 AM.

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    *Flashaholic* fyrstormer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Meat Glue!

    Quote Originally Posted by PhotonWrangler View Post
    I agree Norm. It's just that vegetables pose less of a threat, especially when chosen wisely. Veggies can carry salmonella and all sorts of other nasty things; fortunately mad cow disease isn't one of them.
    First link when I searched for "vegetable prions":

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/...ow-prions.html

    Mad Cow prions are so chemically stable that the required treatment for skin exposure is bathing the exposed skin in sulfuric acid. No, I'm not kidding. So if that's the only way to destroy Mad Cow prions, it's a safe bet they can survive trickling through groundwater from one farm to the next.

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    Flashaholic* orbital's Avatar
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    Default Re: Meat Glue!

    +

    There is no meat glue, it's simply a binder.

    It would be impossible to number all the foods that have had a thickener/binder through time.
    Not just talking about the last hundred years either,,,

    "There's always room for Jello"
    Last edited by orbital; 05-10-2012 at 10:06 AM. Reason: add

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    *Flashaholic* fyrstormer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Meat Glue!

    Quote Originally Posted by orbital View Post
    +

    There is no meat glue, it's simply a binder.

    It would be impossible to number all the foods that have had a thickener/binder through time.
    Not just taking about the last hundred years either,,,

    Go have some Jell-o
    Or egg noodles. Or sausage. Or paté. Or cake.
    Last edited by fyrstormer; 05-10-2012 at 10:01 AM.

  20. #20
    Flashaholic* orbital's Avatar
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    Default Re: Meat Glue!

    +

    I'll add,
    during the time I was graduating with honors from Culinary School,
    I read cover to cover 'On Food and Cooking' by Harold McGee
    Last edited by orbital; 05-10-2012 at 10:11 AM.

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    Default Re: Meat Glue!

    the point is, if someone is sticking meat chunks together with a binder, and not clearly stating
    that fact when sold to the consumer, and that consumer likes red meat, there is a huge risk for intestinal distress
    up to and including death due to undercooking, whereas with solid chunks of meat, the risk is infinitesimally lower

    some of the other points in this thread are laughable...people complain and campaign 'we need to feed the world and
    solve food problems'...so universities and companies do that, and create robust grains and pesticides and invent new ways to get caloric
    content into people at affordable costs...and now the same ones who want to 'feed the world' now they complain 'oh geez look at the frankenfoods they are developing'....


    all these food issues and problems are tough to solve and there is no way to 'fix' it, or describe
    a fix for it...it is a living, breathing, moving target that all people and governments need to continually
    deal with, and improve... as new methods are invented, and old methods are dropped after proven 'bad'
    Last edited by 127.0.0.1; 05-10-2012 at 10:52 AM.
    posted by jh333233
    Dont cheat me, im expert in using crap light

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    *Flashaholic* fyrstormer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Meat Glue!

    I agree, "composite meat" needs to be labeled so people know what they are buying. But the solution is still to cook the meat properly instead of "showing it a picture of a candle" before putting it on a plate.

    "Feeding the world and solving food problems" can be done without genetic engineering. Most of the food-shortage problems in the world are caused by trade agreements that cause local farmers to be unable to compete on price with imported food, resulting in the collapse of local farming and a subsequent dependence on imported food. There are some problems caused by pestilence, but that is to be expected when single crops are grown across huge areas of land with no buffers to prevent the spread of pests and diseases. Plants don't grow in large uniform groups naturally, because it's unsafe for them, and our farming methods should mimic this. Genetically-engineered crops that constantly produce their own pesticides (which we then eat) are not at all necessary, though I admit they do create a lot of jobs in the biotech and medical industries.

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    Flashaholic* orbital's Avatar
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    Default Re: Meat Glue!

    +

    Documentary must see:

    The World According to Monsanto

    ....it should be rated R as it really is a Horror flick

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    *Flashaholic* fyrstormer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Meat Glue!

    Also good is Food Inc. Seeing chickens fall over and die of exhaustion trying to support overgrown artificially-enhanced breast muscles inspired me to try cooking with thigh meat instead. Less guilt and more flavor too. Another good scene involves someone sticking their arm inside a cow to remove the remains of corn meal, which cows are physically incapable of digesting properly. Needless to say, the permanently-installed porthole on the side of the cow's abdomen requires continuous antibiotics to keep it from becoming infected.

  25. #25
    Flashaholic* EZO's Avatar
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    Default Re: Meat Glue!

    Quote Originally Posted by orbital View Post
    +

    There is no meat glue, it's simply a binder.
    Apparently, technically speaking, transglutaminase is in fact a "glue". It differs from traditional "binders" such as gelatin. Transglutaminase bonds protein molecules together with a very strong (covalent) bond by linking two amino acids: glutamine and lysine. Two pieces of meat "glued" together with TG will be very hard, if not impossible to separate, whereas, two pieces of meat attached together with a "binder" such as gelatin (there are others, of course) would be easy to separate. Workers in the meat processing industry are required to wear dust protective masks or respirators when handling transglutaminase because if it is inhaled in the powdered form it is sold in, it can "glue" one's lungs together. The French Culinary Institute refers to transglutaminase as "meat glue".

    For the purposes of this thread the substance transglutaminase and any discussion of it is probably more relevant to the meat processing industry than the culinary profession, although some chefs make use of this stuff to good effect and with good reason.

    While 'On Food and Cooking' by Harold McGee is a highly regarded "bible" of the culinary profession, the "Handbook of Meat Processing" By Fidel Toldrá may be more of a technical reference ("bible") on this subject. In any case, you can read it's chapter all about "restructured meat" online, HERE, if anyone is of a mind to.

    Transglutaminase has been in widespread use for over thirty years in a great many products including sausages, chicken nuggets, deli meats, fish sticks, imitation crabmeat and lower priced meat cuts that have traditionally been used by the military and elsewhere. While there are a few speculative health concerns, particularly about the safety of the novel protein compounds that are formed when it is used to "restructure" meats and questions about its digestibility, it is GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) by the FDA.

    But anyway, none of this really matters!

    I feel as if the original points made and referenced in Post #1 have be ignored for the most part or perhaps missed altogether, so let me make those points again.

    (1) The reason "meat glue" has filtered its way into the news recently is because it is being used to make cheap cuts of meat appear to be choice cuts and prime cuts, which is deceptive and unethical to the thinking of many, particularly to consumers who are paying top dollar believing they are purchasing and consuming high grade steaks. Using "meat glue" to create 25 dollar per pound "filet mignon" out of 4 dollar per pound chuck from several different animals is a new phenomenon in the world of "restructured steaks".

    (2) These cuts of meat, unlike many lower priced chuck steaks and roasts are traditionally consumed "rare" by many who prefer it this way and this unwittingly subjects those consumers to bacterial contamination and potential illness.

    Although many other ancillary topics have entered this discussion, the above two points are what the original post was about.

    These days the industrialization of food production has become of concern to many as awareness has increased and this is leading to changes in food production and consumption that many are embracing, such as the locavore movement and organic farming. This is a good thing as I see it. You can talk about trying to come up with cheap ways to feed large populations all you want but people are not blind. When corporations are more interested in maximizing profits than in offering wholesome foods, it is plain for everyone to see.
    Last edited by EZO; 05-10-2012 at 05:08 PM.

  26. #26
    Flashaholic* EZO's Avatar
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    Default Re: Meat Glue!

    BTW, + 1 on Food. Inc. Haven't seen The World According to Monsanto yet but I plan to.

  27. #27
    Flashaholic* orbital's Avatar
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    Default Re: Meat Glue!

    +

    TG occurs naturally & digested normally in the body.

    The term glue is verrrry loose, likely said jokingly for a quick nickname.."wow, that works like glue"
    Its protein reaction was discovered and isolated. Its bond is not unlike a protein fusion, but to call it that would be silly.

    To think there would be no regulation whatsoever at your meat counter would be nieve.
    There are other items sold in enormous quantities, that have huge health concerns >>>>>High Fructose Corn Syrup

    TG has been used for decades, although I'v never used it personally.
    Last edited by orbital; 05-10-2012 at 06:24 PM. Reason: add

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Meat Glue!

    Most meat (and all processed meat, as far as I know) is bathed in antiseptic salts before being packaged (or "glued together" and then packaged), so the risk of live infections persisting in the spaces between meat-chunks is minimal. I'm not going to say I particularly like the idea of buying what I think is top-quality meat which turns out to be little above-average chunks of lower-quality meat stuck together, but the people who come up with these processes do it for a living and most of them eat their own work, so they have a vested interest in developing processes that are safe.

    Btw, real glue works by hardening and then contracting unevenly, creating microscopic vacuum-bubbles at the interface between the glue and the surface being glued. What you describe, chemically bonding two amino acids already present on the surfaces of the meat-chunks by applying an enzyme to the meat, is different. Not sure that makes any difference as regards microbe contamination, but it's still not really "gluing" the meat together.

  29. #29
    Flashaholic* EZO's Avatar
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    Default Re: Meat Glue!

    Quote Originally Posted by fyrstormer View Post

    Btw, real glue works by hardening and then contracting unevenly, creating microscopic vacuum-bubbles at the interface between the glue and the surface being glued. What you describe, chemically bonding two amino acids already present on the surfaces of the meat-chunks by applying an enzyme to the meat, is different. Not sure that makes any difference as regards microbe contamination, but it's still not really "gluing" the meat together.
    Quote Originally Posted by orbital View Post

    The term glue is verrrry loose, likely said jokingly for a quick nickname.."wow, that works like glue"
    Its protein reaction was discovered and isolated. Its bond is not unlike a protein fusion, but to call it that would be silly.
    This seems so typical of the level of discussion on CPF these days. A technical, but erroneous digression into the definition of the term glue, rather than a discussion of the actual topic at hand.

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    Default

    If I'm understanding correctly, the qualm is with the producers decieving consumers in regards to what exactly they are buying, not necessarily whether or not the product is legal or safe. Correct?

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