Much Ado About Meat Glue

The Swedish food industry recently won permission to use a new kind of “meat glue”, an enzyme called thrombin that, to put it simply, will allow you to stick scrap pieces of animal flesh together to “build” a larger and more expensive-looking chunk of meat.

The concept of meat glue is hardly a new one: another enzyme, transglutaminase, has been used for years to stick together imitation crabmeat, fish balls, Chicken McNuggets, sausages and hot-dogs, meatballs and even to thicken that healthy low-fat milk and yoghurt (and yes I am basically quoting the Wikipedia article here).

And very probably your Saturday night post-pub kebab too.

So now another glue has come on the market and we have more options for making clumps of cheap protein. And strangely consumers and consumer organisations are now flipping out, even though they have been happily consuming meat glues for years.

Um, why, dare I ask? Don’t those aforementioned groups all go on about getting meat for less? And if you demand low meat prices, and low prices in general, isn’t this sort of thing bound to happen eventually?

It’s amazing too how everybody gets so upset when some factory farm is discovered where animals are being misstreated. As if people didn’t realise this was happening, as if it’s some sort of news to them.

It’s a simple equation folks – if something is extremely cheap for you, then somebody or something else is paying for it in some nasty way, be it clothes, coffee, chemicals or food.

And why is this new meat glue worse than eating any of the processed meat we eat today? I’ll tell you why – because it’s being highlighted by the media this week and people are trained to get excited and upset by what the press tells them to get excited and upset about.

In a month this “scare” will have joined the glass in chicken scandal, the acrylamide in crisps scandal, the trans fats scandal and all the other “scares” that the public has forgotten about because the media has stopped going on about them.

If you want good quality meat, then read the fucking label, or find a supplier that you trust, or hunt it yourself. And stop going on about being “deceived” when you demand cheap meat and then get just that – cheap meat.

And one more thing: the Swedish word for “meat glue” is “köttklister”, pronounced “shutt-klis-ter”, and I think it’s just such a fat and delicious word and I had to mention it.

And, oh yeah – new layout! Well it’s been like 3 years, so I figure why not. Just bear with me while I poke around and get it all the way I like it. Getting the damn column to be wider, for one thing. And if you have any suggestions, or hate something immensely, please let me know.

/ paddy

17 thoughts on “Much Ado About Meat Glue

  1. Paddy, just now, why I am here, your layout changed again!

    Paddy, this is *much* better than the version you hade just now, a minute ago!

    All the best,

    • I also like it a lot. And to respond to your comment about Paddy’s pictures (in the other post), the reason they look very different is because the old one didn’t look much like him. It was a mugshot in weird lighting, and those are never representative!

  2. Your blackandgray top is a lot of things s – sober, sable, suave… But it will take some time getting used to. My initial reaction to both the layouts was help, I just lost my navigation! I guess I’m a bit old fashioned. I want everything to be as when I was a little child. But wait, isn’t that what I just got? Black and white, just as the images in our telly, when I was a little kid. Hmm…

    Anyway, the top is great style. I guess I just have to get used to the rest. :-)


  3. Bang on about the meat glue. Fascinating how people will eat entirely carnivorous diets so long as the meat is coated in breadcrumbs or sold on a polystyrene tray, but go all squeamish at the sight of carcasses hung up on hooks.

    The butcher I used to go to in Cirencester would buy prize animals from shows. There’d be a photo of the animal, all proud with a rosette and the farmer standing buy it, and another of its carcass hung up and with the rosette pinned to it and a beaming butcher.

    Boy was that meat good. These days I am more vegetarian for all the most sanctimonious of reasons, but I can still fall for a bacon sarnie, so I never ever sniff at anyone else’s eating habits.

    I like this layout – you can see really quickly who’s been commenting and on what.



    • People who can’t bear to look at a hanging carcass should be disallowed from eating any meat products. I don’t like this whole thing with pretending that meat doesn’t come from dead animals. Death = food!

  4. Being a carnivore on a par with Tyrannosaurus Rex and hardly even aware of those green things whatever they are called (vege something – I believe cows and other critters munch them, whereupon I munch the cows and other critters) I’ve never known of this meat glue, since I never give any particular thought to what the meat I eat might or might not contain. I’m actually quite fascinated, but won’t give the matter a second thought when eating meat.

    As for the scandals fabricated by tabloids, that’s what I meant when I said in my comment to an earlier post that I didn’t believe the winter puke sickness to begin with. I thought it was just another one of those fads.

    Basic rule: never ever trust the life-threatening scandals propagated by shit rags like Expressen and Aftonbladet or their equivalents in other countries, like The Sun in England. If there is anything at all to them (the scandals, I mean), they’ll survive on their own accord and turn out to be true.

    Which is exceedingly rare.

    All the best,

    • Oh, shucks. It sometimes bothers me when I write too fast and don’t proofread properly. What I meant to say is that I didn’t believe *in* the winter puke sickness. Of course. I didn’t exactly have a conversation with it, which the above comment would seem to suggest.

      All the best,

    • Right Bellis, I’m going to go after you here. “I never give any particular thought to what the meat I eat might or might not contain” – this seems to me a particularly dumb approach to eating anything! So you, as a meat eater, will eat anything as long as somebody tells you it is okay? And don’t worry about where the animal came from, how it was treated, what chemicals were applied to it before and after death? You just don’t care? Or about the damage done by the raising of meat animals? Or the vast amount of meat that is dumped? This is not of any concern?

      And personally I don’t believe ANY newspapers, even the “quality” ones. They are all out to sell me things, therefore they can’t be trusted.

      • Paddy, in this case I’m dumber than you think. Nobody even has to tell me that what I eat is ok, because I never ask. (And besides, to be a bit more truthful – I do eat a few veggies as well, since I naturally eat Greek salads, for example.) Anyway, I have always been quite unconcerned about what I eat, nutritionwise or otherwise. And basically, I actually prefer beer and cigarettes. Given a choice.

        I have also found it hard to be all upset about the meat industry, because it is quite self-evident – if lamentable – that some (a vast number, probably) of animals will be ill-treated. This is patently not a good thing, no – but I must admit to being far more concerned about other matters. Like animals on the verge of extinction, hunted for stupid reasons like making mumbo jumbo aphrodisiacs out of their horns or tusks, or carpets out of their hides.

        Having been a member of the WWF for all of my adult life, I tend to focus on matters such as these and happily munch away on my Big Mac (or, even better, the kalamákia we have here in Greece).

        All of this is self-contradictory, of course – but hey, nobody’s perfect!

        (Although looking at myself in the mirror this morning I got the impression that I am… What! :-) )

        All the best,

  5. Bellis: Good answer. I admire people who can say: “but I must admit to being far more concerned about other matters.” People who get all PC on my ass for every issue in the world are not fun company. And I also eat meat, despite realising that generally it isn’t good for the world. But it’s tasty and if life is boring, what’s the fucking point, eh? Here’s to beer!

  6. Well said Paddy! If people really are upset about eating crap meat, then they should be making a fuss about sausages, processed ham and the hundreds of other awful meats that are cheap and nasty on the market…

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