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Want Some Ammonia with Your Big Mac???

 
 
Reply Fri 15 Jan, 2010 11:34 am
Quote:
Eight years ago, federal officials were struggling to remove potentially deadly E. coli from hamburgers when an entrepreneurial company from South Dakota came up with a novel idea: injecting beef with ammonia.

The company, Beef Products Inc., had been looking to expand into the hamburger business with a product made from beef that included fatty trimmings the industry once relegated to pet food and cooking oil. The trimmings were particularly susceptible to contamination, but a study commissioned by the company showed that the ammonia process would kill E. coli as well as salmonella.

Officials at the United States Department of Agriculture endorsed the company’s ammonia treatment, and have said it destroys E. coli “to an undetectable level.” They decided it was so effective that in 2007, when the department began routine testing of meat used in hamburger sold to the general public, they exempted Beef Products.
With the U.S.D.A.’s stamp of approval, the company’s processed beef has become a mainstay in America’s hamburgers. McDonald’s, Burger King and other fast-food giants use it as a component in ground beef, as do grocery chains. The federal school lunch program used an estimated 5.5 million pounds of the processed beef last year alone.


http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/31/us/31meat.html?_r=1


Apparently, there are companies, with the USDAs blessing, who are injecting ammonia into their beef. Supposedly, it will kill the e coli in the beef, but subsequent tests have shown that often there is still e coli in ammonia treated meat.

What pisses me off, is that the ammonia is considered a processing component, so it does not have to be listed as an ingredient. It also troubles me that kids are being offered this beef as part of school lunch programs.

Who knows what effect this poison will have to people in years to come?

What do you think? Were you aware of this?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 1,431 • Replies: 12
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Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Jan, 2010 11:45 am
@Phoenix32890,
I've been aware of this and worse for many years. I grew up in family that was very food oriented and my mother listened to nutritionists like Carlton Fredericks and Gary Null. Nowadays I think Michael Pollan is the prophet of healthy eating and clean food.

The documentary Food Inc. does a very good job of showing how so much of our food is being tainted by these practices. My response is "just say no" - there are perfectly good alternatives to factory farming and corporate processing methods. . If we stop buying it, they will stop doing it. By the way, it's not any better in the chicken industry and even worse in pork industry.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Jan, 2010 11:46 am
@Phoenix32890,
Yeah, I read it at the time. (Wasn't aware of it before that.) I'd been making more and more lunches for my daughter but she'd also been buying school lunches -- since I read that article I've made every single lunch for her. Sort of a last straw deal, I just keep seeing more about school lunches and after this one it was like, enough.

School lunches are a travesty these days, I really think there needs to be major overhaul. Michelle Obama has done some good stuff already and evidently is going to make childhood obesity her main issue as first lady, so I look forward to more from her. I'm also ready to do stuff on a more local level.
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Jan, 2010 11:52 am
@Green Witch,
Green Witch wrote:

I've been aware of this and worse for many years. I grew up in family that was very food oriented and my mother listened to nutritionists like Carlton Fredericks and Gary Null. Nowadays I think Michael Pollan is the prophet of healthy eating and clean food.

The documentary Food Inc. does a very good job of showing how so much of our food is being tainted by these practices. My response is "just say no" - there are perfectly good alternatives to factory farming and corporate processing methods. . If we stop buying it, they will stop doing it. By the way, it's not any better in the chicken industry and even worse in pork industry.


We try and buy the organic, free-range, minimally processed stuff out here. It's expensive but tastes pretty good.

I didn't realize how much my fast-food eating would go down when I moved to Berkeley... I rarely if ever have fast food.

I do recommend getting your beef from a butcher and having him grind up (brisket is the best!) on the spot. Actually a home grinder is best, but I don't have one right now...

Cycloptichorn
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Jan, 2010 11:53 am
@Cycloptichorn,
I have a Kitchen Aid mixer and was just looking at grinder attachments... not nearly as expensive as I expected!
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Jan, 2010 11:56 am
@sozobe,
sozobe wrote:

I have a Kitchen Aid mixer and was just looking at grinder attachments... not nearly as expensive as I expected!


Yah but you have the mixer! I need one of those bad, but I just can't stomach the 300 or so they cost.

Cycloptichorn
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Jan, 2010 11:56 am
@Green Witch,
My mother was a die hard fan of Adelle Davis. She never forgave her when the nutritionist died at 70 of bone cancer! Sad
Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Jan, 2010 11:57 am
@Cycloptichorn,
Organic doesn't mean much anymore. Try and look for locally grown or research a few companies to find one's you trust. The word "organic" was taken over by corporations during the last administration and it's hard to know what it even means anymore (Tyson Organic is an oxymoron to me). Berkeley should be a great place to find healthy, local food. And yes, find a good butcher and local baker for best the quality meat and grains.
Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Jan, 2010 11:59 am
@Phoenix32890,
Can't ignore the gene factor and we can't control everything we're exposed to. But something like 80% of poor health is caused by life style choices, so we actually have some control.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Jan, 2010 12:00 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Yeah I know. That was our best wedding gift probably. Missed your chance dude! Very Happy
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Jan, 2010 12:09 pm
@Green Witch,
Green Witch wrote:

Organic doesn't mean much anymore. Try and look for locally grown or research a few companies to find one's you trust. The word "organic" was taken over by corporations during the last administration and it's hard to know what it even means anymore (Tyson Organic is an oxymoron to me). Berkeley should be a great place to find healthy, local food. And yes, find a good butcher and local baker for best the quality meat and grains.


Yah I know. Our butcher is real good and we have a specialty butcher at our Farmer's market which is ultra-serious about this stuff.

I wish my CSA did meat! I can see how that would be tough to administer though.

Cycloptichorn
Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Jan, 2010 12:19 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
I've just started to see more CSA's offering meat and I think you will see the trend soon too. Part of the problem is the USDA and it's inspection rules, but states are making it easier for farmers to sell a certain amount of meat off the farm legally.

Do you just want to grind your own hamburger or make specialty sausage? This works fine and you can even find them for less on Ebay. Look for vintage ones, they are indestructable:

http://www.lehmans.com/store/Kitchen___Home_Butchering___Meat_Grinders___Stainless_Steel___x23_10_Meat_Grinder___37350?Args=
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Jan, 2010 12:29 pm
@Green Witch,
saw one at the thrift a while back.

$20.
0 Replies
 
 

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