Fun Facts

You don’t know if that’s beef: The animals mixed into your meat might shock you

Beef or chicken?

In 2006, a group of Turkish researchers used immunoassays to test processed meat products such as fermented sausages, salami, frankfurters, pastrami, bacon and canned goods. They found 22 percent were adulterated; 11 of the 28 sausages that were labelled as beef contained only chicken.


…has been riddled with meat substitution scandals. There have been reports of rat, mink and fox meat being transformed into mutton slices. Twenty thousand tons of meat were seized and more than 900 people were detained in association with the scandal. In early 2014, Walmart’s operations in China were recalling donkey meat because it had been adulterated with fox meat. Donkey is a very expensive meat and highly sought after for its tenderness and sweetness; fox, not so much.

What are the true Ingredients?

Pork is swapped for beef, beef is swapped for buffalo, fat trimmings and offal (internal organs) are added to minced beef, chicken is sold as lamb, pork is sold as chicken, and beef and pork gristle and bones are injected into chicken. The list is long, and this is just substitutions between animal species. We haven’t yet mentioned the undeclared ingredients – such as added water, chickpea flour, rice flour and soy – that are added to meat to bulk it up.

Look at the visuals

We can judge its animal origins based on its shade of red – ranging from pale poultry pink to vibrant Venetian red venison. The fat content can be estimated based on the relative proportion of red bits and white bits. Freshness is assessed by the saturation of the colour – is it a dull grey colour or bright red?

It’s not a lot to go on and even these attributes can be manipulated. While it’s easy to distinguish some turkey mince from beef, things can get more difficult between the red meats such as horse and beef.

South African Meat

In 2012, researchers in South Africa examined a total of 139 processed meat products – from minced meat to deli meat – to look at what ingredients were not being declared on the label.8 They used the ELISA method to detect undeclared plant proteins, but also used DNA-based methods to look for a total of 14 animal species. They found undeclared plant and/or animal species in 95 (68 percent) of the samples. The highest rates of adulteration were in sausages; nearly half of the sausages contained undeclared pork. All together, the meat products tested contained undeclared soy, gluten, beef, water buffalo, sheep, goat, donkey and chicken.


Meat consumption raises mortality rates…

…analysis of more than 1. 5 million people finds. Death rates higher when red and processed meats are eaten daily, according to reviewers

read full article

Foster Farms…

…is recalling more than 220,000 pounds of its cooked frozen chicken nuggets distributed throughout the Western United States. USDA released this image of a package of chicken nuggets being recalled by Foster Farms. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the chicken “may be contaminated with extraneous blue plastic and black rubber materials.” read full Article


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