I agree a thousand percent with MSG. Really:
- It's physically harmless, even if it's contaminated with a little ammonia. It takes a comparatively huge amount of aqueous ammonia to harm a human.
- Both the human body, beef, and flesh decay organisms naturally produce ammonia - this is not some bogey-chemical, it's all around us and inside us. It's also used to treat "regular" ground beef. It's used in leavening agents. It's just fine to use it to directly decontaminate meat.
- It's still beef - it's not like we're talking about some kind of soy-derived filler.
- It's probably more respectful toward a meat animal to turn the scraps into something a human can eat versus dog food. Whatever happened to the "waste nothing" ethos?
- The Jamie Oliver video tries to make a case that these scraps come from less desirable parts of the cow - bits of meat near the body cavity or something like that. This is just a weird claim, given that tripe itself is legal to sell. Whole slabs of ribs are readily available, and encasing the body cavity is pretty much all they do.
- The process is quite effective at killing pathogenic bugs.
So what's the problem? It's "gross?" Well, I could give you that, as it's subjective. How about this: people are mad because it's perhaps a bit of false advertising? You've got a vision of a butcher slicing up a carcass and feeding the meat into a grinder and, well, that's what ground beef is, right? Any deviation is misleading, perhaps?
Well, I don't buy it, for the simple fact that its...beef. It's from the same grade of beef that's used to produce the bulk of the finished ground beef product.
This stuff is found in fast-food beef products, prepared frozen hamburger patties, and various other highly-processed beef-containing products. In other words, it's used in beef products that are prepared in centralized commissaries, then shipped to stores. A package like this
is very unlikely to contain this product. The articles linked above fully support that. I could go on and on about this - it's as asinine as the "no antibiotics in my beef!" argument.
There are plenty of things wrong with the American food landscape, but this really isn't one of them IMHO. Before you waste another ounce of energy worrying about this, you should consider the horrors of intensive pig farming, the depletion of the ocean's fisheries, the general lack of diet education in America, the unbelievably self-serving "government food pyramid", and, of course, America's ever-expanding waistline (closely linked to the food pyramid). Or how about this: you should get really
pissed off that the finished ground beef product may contain beef from not only several different states, but several different countries
! Talk about inefficiencies...
Okay, off the soap box now.
- I am an employee of a Portland-based firm that has business relationships with several local food-related businesses.