Steak anyone? Are you sure?? My favorite cut of beef, succulent, juicy, tender Filet Mignon, will never be the same again and here is why….
On the rare occasion I am craving a steak I will always get a filet mignon. My reasoning behind this is simply that the filet mignon is the leanest and most tender cut of beef. It is also typically the most expensive and for that reason alone it is a treat I enjoy on rare occasion. But it was a treat that I cherished, until now. I recently heard of a food additive called Transglutaminase. Transglutaminase, AKA meat glue, is designed soley to bind pieces of meat, fish and poultry together to form a single piece. Today it is mostly made through the fermentation of bacteria. Simply put this is a glue that allows food suppliers to gather scraps of meat and bind them together in order to imitate one larger piece of meat.
This video shows the process exactly as it occurs and is a must see to believe. Be prepared to be scared.
Transglutaminase (TG) is USDA approved and considered “Generally Recognized as Safe” by the FDA. So why the concern? Well, Transglutaminase historically is an enzyme that occurs naturally in the human body, animals and plants. The problem today is that scientists have discovered how to produce large amounts of TG through the fermentation of bacteria. This Transglutaminase is the exact same enzyme that occurs in nature. However, the difference between a natural cut of meat and a piece made using TG is the internal exposure to bacteria. The inside of the natural piece of meat remains “clean” free from exposure. As a general rule the outer surfaces of meat, fish and poultry are likely to come in contact with some bacteria or another during processing, but the interior meat does not. This external bacteria is removed during the cleaning and cooking stages and is why food safety standards recommend cooking to specific internal temperatures. When dealing with products treated with transglutaminase the problem lies in that any bacteria attached to the outer surfaces of these smaller pieces of meat could potentially be trapped inside the larger reformed piece of meat and if a person requests a nice rare filet mignon, they could be exposing themselves to a varied number of food born illnesses.
Finally, I will say this: Although currently Generally Recognized as Safe, things are not always what they seem. Yesterday, eggs were your worst nightmare, and today they are nutritional powerhouses. Coffee was considered a huge taboo, but today 2 cups per day is highly recommended. The moral of my story is use your own judgement. What are you happy to put in your body? Personally, from this point forward, I will be very vigilant about my meat.