If you enjoy your piece of meat, let’s say a large, savoury rib grilled amazingly or a deliciously made hamburger makes your stomach growl and your mouth water. Even though we know greasy food is not the healthiest meal we never thought this was also a threat, the last thing we think of is what is actually put inside our meat– meat glue.
If you’ve never heard of ‘meat glue’ before, the mere mention of this term is probably making you scratch your head and second guess that steak you were planning on cooking for dinner tonight.
If you’re astounded by this term and you want to learn more about what it is that you could possibly be consuming when you eat a piece of meat, keep on reading to learn more about this possible and alarming dirty little secret that the meat industry may be keeping from you.
In a news story that was broadcast on the Australian ‘Today Tonight’ show, meat glue was introduced to the mainstream. The term itself sounds shocking, but when you learn what meat glue is, you’ll be even more shocked.
So, what is it? ‘Meat glue’ is a type of enzyme known as transglutaminase. It is used to ‘glue’ together pieces of meat in order to create what seems like any other piece of meat.
There are two types of ‘meat glue’:
- One type is created via the cultivation of bacteria.
- The other type is created from the plasma of cows and pigs, or more specifically, the coagulant that causes the blood to clot.
When this glue-like substance is applied to a protein, like beef, it generates protein polymers that are insoluble. In other words, when this substance is placed on meat, it acts very similar to a heavy-duty super glue that binds the pieces of meat together, forming seams that are virtually invisible to the naked eye.
Once the ‘glue’ has been applied to the meat, the meat is tightly rolled up in a plastic film and refrigerated and the end result is a piece of meat that looks as authentic as a cut of prime cut of beef. That’s right; it’s not just low-quality meat that ‘meat glue’ is used to create; it is also used to create prime cuts of meat that appear to be so perfect that even an experienced butcher isn’t able to distinguish.
The Problem with ‘Meat Glue’
Of course, the mere mention of the term ‘meat glue’ bears negative connotations and immediately puts up red flags for consumers. However, it’s not just the ‘secret’ of the substance that is alarming and problematic; consuming these mutated ‘meats’ can lead to a greater risk of contracting a serious case of food poisoning. Those who cook their meat to rare or medium-rare are at the greatest risk for becoming ill since the contaminants aren’t fully cooked off of the fake meat.
A one-word summary of meat glue: YUCK!