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Letters to the Editor

Sun., April 1, 2012

Pink slime and meat glue

The public is being duped by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and labeling laws. One doesn’t know what they are being sold (except perhaps a bill of goods), as disclosing meat glue and pink slime isn’t required.

The USDA and the meat industry are pulling the wool over our eyes with pink slime (lean finely textured beef) in order to use scraps that normally would be discarded or sold to producers of meat meal.

The USDA also approves “meat glue,” or transglutaminase, which is an enzyme derived from beef and pork blood plasma. In commercial food-processing it is used to bond proteins together and can be used in these applications:

1. Improving texture of emulsified meat products, such as sausages and hot dogs.

2. Binding different meat parts into a larger one, such as steaks and loins.

3. Improving the texture of low-grade meat such as so-called “PSE meat” (pale, soft, and exudative).

4. Making milk and yogurt creamier.

5. Making noodles firmer.

Meat glue makes scraps of beef, lamb, chicken and fish stick together so closely that it looks like a solid piece of meat; once cooked it is hard to tell the difference, and labeling disclosure isn’t required.

Lloyd Zimmerman


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