Tag Archives | Meat Industry

Burger King Admits To Serving Horse Meat

Photo: Chrisloader (CC)

Now that Burger King has fessed up to serving horse meat in its burger patties, one wonders what other animals made it into its not so delicious offerings. Gawker sums up the scandal:

Though it initially made “absolute assurances” that all of its burgers were 100% beef, Burger King has been forced to admit that some of its patties may have contained horse meat, after traces of equine DNA were found at one of their processing plants.

The scandal started two weeks ago, when supermarket chains in the UK and Ireland began pulling certain beefburger products off the shelf after test concluded that they contained varying amounts of horse meat.

The tainted product was traced back to three processing plants, one of which — Silvercreft Foods — supplies Burger King restaurants in both the UK and Ireland with some of their patties.

“Our independent DNA test results on product taken from restaurants were negative for any equine DNA,” the company said in a statement.

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World Must Be About To End: USDA Promotes Meatless Mondays

A searingly hot summer that’s affecting 88% of the United States’ corn crop has the government forecasting meat prices up to 5% higher next year. Perhaps that what caused the USDA, normally a staunch meat booster, to promote Meatless Mondays. This seemingly sage advice (vegetables are farm crops too, remember) to take a weekly day off from meat has many Americans even more hot and bothered. Amy Harmon reports for the New York Times:

The message seemed innocuous enough, coming as it did from the federal agency tasked with promoting sustainable agriculture and dietary health: “One simple way to reduce your environmental impact while dining at our cafeterias,” read a United States Department of Agriculture interoffice newsletter published on its Web site this week, “is to participate in the ‘Meatless Monday’ initiative.”

Thousands of corporate cafeterias, restaurants and schools have embraced the idea of skipping meat on Mondays in favor of vegetarian options, an initiative of the nonprofit Monday Campaign Inc.

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Vast Majority of Americans Want Meat Raised Without Antibiotics

Consumer Reports has created a campaign, Meat Without Drugs, and a promo video narrated by Bill Paxton and directed by Robbie Kenner (Food, Inc. and the disinformation doc When Strangers Click):

We typically don’t like to regurgitate press releases, but the following statistics from Consumer Reports show Americans to be so overwhelmingly in favor of eliminating the use of antibiotics in factory food animals that it seemed worth sharing:

A majority of Americans want meat raised without antibiotics to be sold in their local supermarket, according to a new national poll conducted by Consumer Reports. The poll is part of a report released today, “Meat On Drugs: The Overuse of Antibiotics in Food Animals and What Supermarkets and Consumers Can Do to Stop It,” available online at www.ConsumerReports.org.

Consumers Union, the public policy and advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, has simultaneously launched a new marketplace campaign, urging supermarkets to sell only meat raised without antibiotics─starting with Trader Joe’s, one of the leading national chains best poised to make this commitment.

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McDonald’s Discontinues Use Of ‘Pink Slime’ In Burgers

slimeburgerNo more slimeburgers? Until recently, 70 percent of burgers in the United States contained “pink slime”, also known as ammoniated boneless lean beef trimmings, a cheap beef filling unfit for consumption until it is gassed with ammonia. Now McDonald’s, Taco Bell, and Burger King are dropping the magic additive following a campaign of withering criticism from celebrity chef Jamie Oliver. Via the Argus Leader:

McDonald’s and two other fast-food chains have stopped using an ammonia-treated burger ingredient that meat industry critics deride as “pink slime.” The product remains widely used as beef filling in burger meat, including in school meals.

The beef is processed by Beef Products Inc. in Iowa and in three other states. One of the company’s chief innovations is to cleanse the beef of E. coli bacteria and other dangerous microbes by treating it with ammonium hydroxide.

“Basically, we’re taking a product that would be sold at the cheapest form for dogs, and after this process we can give it to humans,” food activist Jamie Oliver said in a segment of his ABC television show, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, that aired last spring.

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Mexican Meat So Full Of Steroids That Athletes Fail Drug Tests

MeatWow – think twice before you eat that delicious taco/burrito/quesadilla south of the border. And one has to wonder if steroid and other drug use in farm animals is much better in the U.S. Tim Johnson reveals the ugly truth about the meat we eat, for McLatchy News via The Miami Herald:

CELAYA, Mexico — Positive drug tests for five standout members of Mexico’s national soccer team have forced Mexican officials to acknowledge a problem that goes far beyond sports: Much of Mexico’s beef is so tainted with the steroid clenbuterol that it sickens hundreds of people each year.

Use of the steroid is illegal. But it’s found a niche among ranchers, who marvel at the way it helps cattle build muscle mass before going to the slaughterhouse. The beef is pink and largely free of layers of fat, winning over unwitting consumers.

Ranchers call the powdery substance “miracle salts.” A few call it “cattle cocaine.”

Whatever name is used, the substance has unpleasant side effects for human beings.

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Half Of Supermarket Meat Contains Drug-Resistant Bacteria

MeatWebMD‘s Brenda Goodman reports on this shocking new study:

There’s a new reason to be careful when handling raw meat at mealtimes.

Researchers testing raw turkey, pork, beef, and chicken purchased at grocery stores in five different cities across the U.S. say that roughly one in four of those samples tested positive for a multidrug antibiotic-resistant “superbug” bacterium.

“The findings were pretty shocking,” says study researcher Lance B. Price, PhD, director of the Center of Food Microbiology and Environmental Health at the Translational Genomics Research Institute in Flagstaff, Ariz. “We found that 47% of the samples were contaminated with Staph aureus, and more than half of those strains were multidrug resistant, or resistant to three or more antibiotics.”

The presence of drug-resistant staph bacteria, a category that includes methicillin-resistant Staphylococccus aureus (MRSA), in farm animals and food has been a closely watched problem in Europe, where it has been traced to outbreaks of human disease.

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Outrage Over South Korea’s Mass Live Burial Of Pigs

Factory farming practices are always bloody and cruel, but this seems to go above and beyond. Following an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease, since December South Korea has killed 20% of its domestic livestock -- 3 million animals have been exterminated, mostly pigs, who are being buried alive by the thousands in gigantic pits. The practice is traumatizing workers (who hear the pigs' screams in their sleep) and provoking outrage around the world. Video footage is difficult to sit through:
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Fake Steak, Not-Much-Meat Tacos, And More On Chain Food Menus

The lawsuit against Taco Bell for selling meat tacos that contain only 35% beef has opened up, excuse the expression, a can of worms in the kitchens of chain restaurants. ABC News‘s Alan Farnham finds that’s only the beginning of the deceptions being perpetrated by corporate purveyors of “meat”:

beef products

…Kantha Shelke, chief science officer of Corvus Blue LLC, a Chicago food science and nutrition research firm, says it’s frankly impossible for a consumer to know how much meat is in a food item at Taco Bell, McDonalds, Burger King or any other fast food restaurant. That’s because such disclosure is not required. Even when an item is touted as being “all-beef,” it may be only 70 percent meat and not run afoul of regulations.

Non-meat ingredients in meat items include ones that add flavor or promote consistency, and binders. “American consumers think they’re being cheated out of their money when they hear that term,” says Shelke.

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Eat Meat From Cloned Cattle

If you really enjoyed a steak from one cow, now you can have the exact same cow again! It’s like a Twilight Zone episode where your plate keeps refilling with the same piece of meat. In an attempt to increase production rate of quality meat, the US has been mass producing meat from cloned cattle. BBC has the report:

Some of the cattle cloned to boost food production in the US have been created from the cells of dead animals, according to a US cloning company.

Farmers say it is being done because it is only possible to tell that the animal’s meat is of exceptionally high quality by inspecting its carcass.

US scientists are using a variety of techniques to assess which animals have exceptional qualities.

These attributes include meat quality, productivity or longevity.

There is a long tradition of resurrecting dead animals for cloning – Dolly the sheep being a case in point.

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