Monday, February 20, 2006

In The Pink

Support your local butcher and this won't be an issue. Plus you get the added benefit of just the right size and cut for your dinner. You can control a lot of what goes into your body if pay attention. Shopping at Safeway can be expensive in more ways than one. You think you are saving money and time, without realizing that you are actually taking it off the end of your life.
FDA Is Urged to Ban Carbon-Monoxide-Treated Meat: "But the growing use of carbon monoxide as a 'pigment fixative' is alarming consumer advocates and others who say it deceives shoppers who depend on color to help them avoid spoiled meat. Those critics are challenging the Food and Drug Administration and the nation's powerful meat industry, saying the agency violated its own rules by allowing the practice without a formal evaluation of its impact on consumer safety.

'This meat stays red and stays red and stays red,' said Don Berdahl, vice president and laboratory director at Kalsec Foods in Kalamazoo, Mich., a maker of natural food extracts that has petitioned the FDA to ban the practice.

If nothing else, Berdahl and others say, carbon-monoxide-treated meat should be labeled so consumers will know not to trust their eyes.

The legal offensive has the meat industry seeing red. Officials deny their foes' claim that carbon monoxide is a 'colorant' -- a category that would require a full FDA review -- saying it helps meat retain its naturally red color.

Besides, industry representatives say, color is a poor indicator of freshness as meat turns brown from exposure to oxygen long before it goes bad.

'When a product reaches the point of spoilage, there will be other signs that will be evidenced -- for example odor, slime formation and a bulging package -- so the product will not smell or look right,' said Ann Boeckman, a lawyer with the Washington law firm Hogan & Hartson. It represents Precept Foods LLC, a joint venture between Cargill Meat Solutions Corp. and Hormel Foods Corp. that helped pioneer the technology.

Much is at stake. The U.S. market in 'case ready' meats -- those packaged immediately after slaughter, eliminating the need for butchers at grocery stores -- is approaching $10 billion and growing, said Steve Kay of Cattle Buyers Weekly, which tracks the industry from Petaluma, Calif. Tyson Foods, for example -- one of three meat packagers that has received a green light from the FDA to use carbon monoxide -- just opened a $100 million plant in Texas to churn out more case-ready 'modified atmosphere' packaged meats, Kay said."
Gross, just gross. You are what you eat and I guess America is just a fixative away from spoilage.

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