Seriously. This is was ONE FUN COLUMN to research and write.
So Zee Topic Du Jour - What’s in your mouth?
Do you really know what’s in the meat you eat?
No, you don’t. Some of you are gonna quit reading right here. Is OK. You can’t handle the truth I imagine.
[and my head threatens to split from the wide grin I’m sporting]
Provided you are still with me (Nick, Sue and others), I shall lead you on a journey of discovery to find out what you are eating.
Just like in the pending Taco Hell lawsuit, which states the “meat” in TH’s taco’s are not “meat” but a whole bunch of other stuff, you really have no idea what’s in the meat you eat.
|Smile when you eat that meat.|
Unless you are like me and eat organic meat. You just have to shoot it first. And it comes wrapped in fur, feathers and hide, not cling wrap.
What’s your meat?
Chicken (to include all manner of fowl sold at grocery stores)?
I leave out meats like rabbit, goat and other “speciality” meats.
First question: Do you trust the government? Ahahahahahaahahchokegaspwheeze. Sorry. Carried away there.
Anyway, the United States Department of Agriculture (IUSDA) is responsible for inspecting meat. Ripping straight from the USDA website, the same people who’ve let all manner of contaminated food come into the US such as cyanide-laced grapes, contaminated peppers, tomatoes, spinach and strawberries: “FSIS randomly samples cattle at slaughter and tests for residues.”
[oooooo I’m having face cramps now]
Get ahold of an “inspector” some day and get him smashed to the point where he will tell you the truth about what is going on.
Ahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Ooo Cracked a rib with one I’m afraid.
Anyway, BEEF is defined as “meat from full-grown cattle about 2 years old.” No surprise.
Ground beef (aka hamburger) is “a maximum of 30% fat is allowed in either hamburger or ground beef. Both hamburger and ground beef can have seasonings, but no water, phosphates, extenders, or binders added.”
Sounds OK? Chopped cow head anyone? “When beef cheek meat (trimmed beef cheeks) is used in the preparation of chopped or ground beef, the amount of such cheek meat shall be limited to 25 percent; and if in excess of natural proportions, its presence shall be declared on the label, in the ingredient statement required by Sec. 317.2 of this subchapter, if any, and otherwise contiguous to the name of the product.”
|And what's on your plate?|
“Beef cheek” is not defined by the USDA but it is meat carved off the head, cheeks, a bit of the throat, probably the tongue, although tongue is unlikely since it is considered a premium meat and si sold as beef tongue at prices similar to t-bone steak.
But as we saw in the TH lawsuit “according to USDA standards, a beef mixture served by businesses must contain at least 40% beef in ordered to be labeled as such, and the lawsuit alleges (with some evidence) that their taco mixture only contains 36% beef.” Regardless, if the McBurger you eat is supposed to be 40 percent beef, what’s the other 60 percent? Hrmmm? TH adds “silicon dioxide” to their mix. Silicon dioxide is probably better known as “sand.”
I guess they REALLY put the “sand” in “sandwich” MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHA
Go on? But of course.
What about those “meats” which contain beef byproduct.
USDA definition: “Meat Byproduct - Any part capable of use as human food, other than meat, which has been derived from one or more cattle, sheep, swine, or goats. This term, as applied to products of equines, shall have a meaning comparable to that provided in this paragraph with respect to cattle, sheep, swine, and goats.”
|OK. You tell me. What's in it? G'head. I'll wait.|
Brains anyone? Think not? Look at the picture at the top of this column. Pork Brains. It is a food item, sold in grocery stores and consumed by people. It can be added and is added. Betcha.
Equine, in case you are wondering, is a horse. [pounds on the desk laughing so hard I’m crying]
PORK - no surprise. Dead pig. Bacon, in case you are wondering, is made from the belly - not the stomach as that is tripe (see meat byproduct above) but the muscle.
Sausage? “Fresh sausages are a coarse or finely "comminuted" (reduced to minute particles) meat food product prepared from one or more kinds of meat, or meat and meat "byproducts" (heart, kidney, or liver, for example).”
And you DO know what “natural” sausage casing is? Right? Yes?
|Graphic aid to help you quit wondering.|
Let’s completely skip the idea of hotdogs eh?
CHICKEN? If you get it in recognizable parts, it’s chicken. What it was treated with before you got your hands on it…
If you get it in “nuggets” or other processed meat-like substances you get chicken by products. See above.
|This AIN'T bubble gum ... although that could be added to it.|
Ever been in a meat processing facility? I didn’t think so.
So what CAN be added to meat these days? http://www.foodnavigator-usa.com/Legislation/FDA-approves-more-meat-additives
Lemme break out a definition out for you:
Filmforming agent - “A food additive, which when applied to the external surface of a food, imparts a shiny appearance or provides a protective coating.” Where else do you find filmforming agents? Hair spray, skin lotion and nail polish.
Yes, yes, yes, if you follow the link you’ll find this disclaimer on things like “filmforming agent.”: “Although residuals might carry over to the final food, residuals must not have any health effect.” I ask again, do you trust the government?
What else? Pop an eyeball - http://www.foodnavigator-usa.com/Legislation/FDA-approves-more-meat-additives
Ah heck, how about we just FORGET all about this additive, derivative stuff, what is and what ain’t and get right down to it.
“Beef containing harmful pesticides, veterinary antibiotics and heavy metals is being sold to the public because federal agencies have failed to set limits for the contaminants or adequately test for them, a federal audit finds.” http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2010-04-12-tainted-meat_N.htm
Where do these “contaminants” come from? The feed lots and the folks raising and procession the critters.
|A typical cut of meat from a store.|
So feel free to be ill when I tell you I’m gonna chow some bison steak, some coon jerky or fried rattlesnake. At least I know exactly what I’m eating ‘cause I killed it, butchered it and cooked it.
|Unlike you, I know exactly what meat I eat.|
You have no idea what you are eating. You just think you do.
If you think your gastric system can handle it, try this.
Or this. http://www.slashfood.com/2010/12/15/whats-in-your-meat-fda-reveals-antibiotic-use-in-livestock/