Monday, October 5, 2009
The New York Times had a shocking report on what's in the typical hamburger patty yesterday. You go through life thinking the government and the meat industry must be doing the necessary things to insure food safety--they just must. But no. It turns out that's naive. The article makes that clear in a very scary way--by telling the story of a 22 year old woman who was paralyzed by eating an e. coli tainted hamburger. The last highly publicized e. coli outbreak in the US involved spinach, not meat, but the most common source of e. coli is meat. That makes sense--it comes from animal feces. And meat is the food that's in closest proximity. The feces is on cattle as they come into a slaughter house and in their intestines as they're "disassembled." Now feces getting into meat might seem like just a natural risk, but what the article reveals is how the bizarre process of concocting ground beef, plus lax regulations, heighten the risk. A hamburger, it turns out, isn't a hunk of meat that went through a meat-grinder. What's in the typical burger is "product" from many sources around the US and even elsewhere. What's in there? I'll just say: the article is a must-read. I can't imagine putting down the paper and biting into a hamburger.