Food Media 3

Great New York Times article on ground beef

karykat | Oct 4, 200902:19 PM

A great piece of reporting in today's New York Times.

It's about a young woman who was paralyzed from the waist down from e coli from a hamburger.

The article was able to trace the exact sources of the "meat" used in the hamburger.

The hamburger came from Cargill.

It surprised me to find that the meat was a combination of a number of different sources, including fat from trimmings and meat that was made by heating trimmings, using a centrofuge to separate the fat and then treating the remaining meat with ammonia, and then using it. It's cheaper to do it this way. Saves a few cents a pound.

I was also surpised to find out that the large slaughterhouses prohibit processors from testing their meat. The concern is that large quantities of product would have to be recalled or wasted if e coli was found because it is processed in such large streams.

And the federal government does not require it.

One large producer does test its incoming beef and requires that its suppliers do as well. That's Costco.

I will still have an occasional burger out.

But, at home, I will definitely be buying meat ground from whole cuts. (Looking for that on a label or asking the butcher to do it for me.)

Or buying from very small producers that raise their own, like a place in our state that sells beef it raises on grass and then finishes on grain.

In a pinch I will be buying from Costco. But noone else.

Here's the article:


And here's a good video that illustrates it:


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