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