Tuesday, February 21, 2006
As American as Red Meat and Carbon-Monoxide....
FDA Is Urged to Ban Carbon-Monoxide-Treated Meat
Picture two steaks on a grocer's shelf, each hermetically sealed in clear plastic wrap. One is bright pink, rimmed with a crescent of pearly white fat. The other is brown, its fat the color of a smoker's teeth.
The meat industry knows the answer, which is why it has quietly begun to spike meat packages with carbon monoxide.
But the growing use of carbon monoxide as a "pigment fixative" is alarming consumer advocates and others who say it deceives shoppers who depend on color to help them avoid spoiled meat. Those critics are challenging the Food and Drug Administration and the nation's powerful meat industry, saying the agency violated its own rules by allowing the practice without a formal evaluation of its impact on consumer safety.
Much is at stake. The U.S. market in "case ready" meats -- those packaged immediately after slaughter, eliminating the need for butchers at grocery stores -- is approaching $10 billion and growing, said Steve Kay of Cattle Buyers Weekly, which tracks the industry from Petaluma, Calif. Tyson Foods, for example -- one of three meat packagers that has received a green light from the FDA to use carbon monoxide -- just opened a $100 million plant in Texas to churn out more case-ready "modified atmosphere" packaged meats, Kay said.
No one knows how much carbon-monoxide-treated meat is being sold; the companies involved are privately held or keep that information secret. But the potential is seen as great. The new technology "will finally make this the case-ready revolution, rather than the case-ready evolution," said Mark Klein, director of communications for Cargill's meat business.from washington post [via david sirota]
This is right up there with food irradiation - no one knows what the long term effects of treating food with spent nuclear fuel will be either - but dammit we're gonna do it anyway.
I'm betting a certain vegetarian in Lancaster is feeling a little smug.
New studies show that too much soy is not good for you and Americans get way too much soy. The actual amount that Asian peoples eat of soy in their daily diets is very very small. Among the negative affects is suppressing the sex drive. Also it has been known to inhibits my absorption of Gin.