Thursday, August 9, 2012

Dude, It’s Glued Food!

Conventional food has a host of problems, but don’t forget about “meat glue.” For years, the meat industry has been using this concoction to fuse scraps of meat together for appearance purposes, but it’s time to take a closer look at it.  

You already know that conventional meat is full of hormones, antibiotics and pesticides. Likewise, animals are often raised in dirty, cramped settings and eat an unnatural diet—including genetically modified corn instead of grass.

Additionally, a recent study indicated that about half of the meat in the U.S. is tainted with drug-resistant bacteria. The Translational Genomics Research Institute found that Staphylococcus aureus— the bacteria responsible for most Staph infections such as blood poisoning, skin infections and pneumonia—was present in meat and poultry from U.S. grocery stores at “unexpectedly high rates.” The researchers determined that nearly half—47 percent—of the 80 brands of meat and poultry sampled were contaminated with S. aureus. Likewise, 52 percent of those bacteria were resistant to three classes of antibiotics.

Dr. Lance Price, the senior author of the study, said, “For the first time, we know how much of our meat and poultry is contaminated with antibiotic-resistant Staph, and it is substantial. The fact that drug-resistant S. aureus was so prevalent, and likely came from food animals themselves, is troubling, and demands attention to how antibiotics are used in food-animal production today.” Findings published in the journal Clinical Infectious Disease indicated that industrial farms where food animals are fed low doses of antibiotics “are ideal breeding grounds for drug-resistant bacteria that move from animals to humans.”

In short, conventional meat is a mess of harmful elements, including antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Speaking of bacteria. . . that brings us back to meat glue. Meat glue is an enzyme known as tranglutaminase and is produced by the bacteria Streptoverticillium mobaraense fermentation in commercial quantities or is extracted from animal blood—mainly cow or pig plasma, which makes the blood clot. Interestingly, people who work with transglutaminase wear masks so they won’t breathe it in. It’s a coagulant, so it could really cause problems if inhaled, although it can be problematic in glued food.

Transglutaminase is used in a variety of ways—to bind meat scraps into a larger piece of meat, to fuse chicken nuggets, to improve the texture of emulsified meat products or low-grade meats, and to make conventional milk and yogurt “creamier.”

Furthermore, you may not know you’re eating transglutaminase, but it is readily used in the U.S.  The FDA classifies transglutaminase as GRAS, or generally recognized as safe. Its safety, however, is questionable since the bacterial contamination of glued meat is much higher than meat that isn’t glued together.

Glued meat is also more difficult to cook thoroughly—making it harder to kill the bacteria. Plus, you really can’t tell which conventional meat is glued together and which is not—and it may have come from multiple sources if it’s glued meat.

Check out this video on how “meat glue” can put your health at risk.



Avoid being a “glued food dude.”  Stick with organic, grassfed meat and other organic foods.