"Meat Glue" Gives Consumers Yet Another Reason to Ditch Meat

263VuM.jpgIn the wake of "pink slime," millions of people around the country are now learning about another unappetizing practice within the meat industry: meat glue. Commonly used by the foodservice industry in preparing filet mignon, the glue is made from a powdered form of fermented bacteria called transglutaminase, and then dusted over two pieces of meat in order to stick them together and create the illusion of a larger cut of meat.

Besides the gross-out factor, meat glue poses a potential health risk, according to ABC7 in San Francisco. This stems from the fact that the outside of a piece of meat comes into contact with a lot of bacteria as it goes from the slaughterhouse to the consumer. While cooking a steak usually kills the bacteria on the outside, the center of the steak does not cook to the same level of heat. This is typically not a problem because the center of the meat is not exposed to bacteria. When two pieces of meat are glued together, however, portions of their bacteria-laden exteriors become the center of the new piece of meat, and will not be cooked sufficiently, increasing the risk of food-borne illness.

Though nothing new, meat glue has recently garnered consumer scrutiny and media attention in light of growing awareness of the meat industry's dubious practices. Whether it is pink slime, Mad Cow Disease in California, undercover investigations revealing horrific cruelty, the reduction in USDA inspections and permitting the chicken industry to inspect itself, or ag-gag laws, there is no shortage of reasons to reconsider the standard American diet and to keep meat off our plates.

For more information about a healthy and humane vegetarian diet, and to order a free Vegetarian Starter Kit, please visit ChooseVeg.com.