Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Enough to Make You a Vegetarian

picture courtesy of

Is your steak fresh, or was it gassed?

WaPo: Studies Attest to Buyers' Focus on Color of Meat

[A] growing proportion of prepackaged meats in the United States are spiked with carbon monoxide -- a gas that keeps even rotten meat looking red and fresh.


On Monday, Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a senior Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said he would introduce legislation to ban carbon monoxide use in packaged meats if the FDA does not immediately revoke its earlier decision. Another Great Reason to Go Veg- They are Gassing the Meat

How do you tell if meat is fresh? Smell? Colour? Date stamp? You just lost one test- The Food and Drug Admin in the US allows supermarkets to pack red meat in carbon monoxide gas- just as your lips get a lovely shade of red when you leave the car running in the garage, the meat stays red and fresh looking for weeks. (the two pieces shown are both two weeks old, guess which one got the suicide treatment).

WaPo: Groups Protest Carbon Monoxide Use in Meat

WASHINGTON -- Shoppers who judge the freshness of meat by its pink color may be deceived by a relatively new industry practice of treating meat with carbon monoxide, critics say.

The meat industry defends the use of carbon monoxide to help meat retain its pink hue, saying large sums of money are wasted when sellers throw away meat that is still safe to eat but is not as attractive because it is slightly brown.

"Color is the number one indicator that's used" in selecting meat, said Don Berdahl, vice president of Kalsec Inc., a maker of natural food extracts in Kalamazoo, Mich. Last November Kalsec filed a petition with the Food and Drug Administration seeking a ban on the use of carbon monoxide in meat packaging.

Berdahl said Tuesday that carbon monoxide-treated meat could be left on the kitchen counter for five days and would still look bright red and fresh. Carbon monoxide "also suppresses bad odors and the presence of slime, other telltale signs that meat is spoiled," Kalsec's petition said.

The petition said treated meat could hide the growth of pathogens such as Clostridium botulinum, Salmonella and E. coli.

1 comment:

Big Daddy said...

Can you detect which Senator/Congressman has been gassed the most? If they don't derail this port sale they're all gonna look are they thinking? Let's keep the ports in the hands of the supporters of terrorism. Typical of this administration, keep business rolling along while we keep the individual's rights under the thumb.