Tag Archives | meat

On the Menu in California: Lion Burgers, Beaver Curry and More

If it moves, Anshu Pathak has probably sold it, writes Elina Shatkin for the California Sunday Magazine. She’s not kidding, he even boasts of selling a lion’s penis for $5,000:

When Anshu Pathak welcomes you into his kingdom, you can count on food being served. It might be wedges of peppery cheddar cheese with romanesco florets and black tahini. It might be beaver curry, barbecued guinea pig, or a wagyu steak as thick as an encyclopedia. The first time I visited his office, in a drab corner of a squat, sunbaked business park 70 miles east of Los Angeles, it was lion burgers.

Promotional t-shirt sold by Exotic Meat Market

Promotional t-shirt sold by Exotic Meat Market

 

Beef patties shrink as they sizzle on the grill, losing up to a quarter of their weight. Lion meat, pale pink and dotted with little white globules of fat, fluffs up when you cook it. I had expected a bold flavor and a tough texture, but it was mild, not at all gamy.

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Vegan diet best for planet

Mikhail Esteves (CC BY 2.0)

Mikhail Esteves (CC BY 2.0)

Lydia Wheeler Via The Hill:

A federal panel that helps set federal dietary guidelines is recommending Americans eat less meat because it’s better for the environment, sparking outrage from industry groups representing the nation’s purveyors of beef, pork and poultry.

The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, a federally appointed panel of nutritionists created in 1983, decided for the first time this year to factor in environmental sustainability in its recommendations. They include a finding that a diet lower in animal-based foods is not only healthier, but has less of an environmental impact.

The meat industry is lashing back, contending the panel has neither the authority nor the expertise to make such a judgment.

“When you talk about the lens of the dietary guidelines it’s just not appropriate for the advisory committee to enter that conversation when they were asked to look at nutrition and health science,” said Kristina Butts, executive director of legislative affairs for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.

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The Top-Secret Food That Will Change the Way You Eat

Welcome to Planeat, where your meat comes from plants. Outside‘s Rowan Jacobsen tells the story of Beyond Meat’s burgers, “More protein than beef. More omegas than salmon. Tons of calcium, antioxidants, and vitamin B… the juicy flavor and texture of the real thing with none of the dietary and environmental downsides”:

I dumped meat a few weeks ago, and it was not an easy breakup. Some of my most treasured moments have involved a deck, a beer, and a cheeseburger. But the more I learned, the more I understood that the relationship wasn’t good for either of us. A few things you should never do if you want to eat factory meat in unconflicted bliss: write a story on water scarcity in the American Southwest; Google “How much shit is in my hamburger?”; watch an undercover video of a slaughterhouse in action; and read the 2009 Worldwatch Institute report “Livestock and Climate Change.”

beast burger

I did them all.

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TB Bacteria May Have Once Helped Break Down Nutrients Needed For Bigger Brains

Sputum sample containing Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Sputum sample containing Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Talk about unforeseen consequences: A group of scientists think that tuberculosis started out as a symbiotic bacteria that extracted food nutrients  needed to grow bigger, more powerful brains. Scientific American has an article on the study, but it’s behind a pay wall. I’ve just pulled the abstract from the study they cited, and can remember just enough from my neurological psychology classes to sort of piece it together. Interesting stuff. (Note: The paragraph breaks are my own. I have trouble absorbing information what I read when it’s presented in a giant block of text.)

Meat eating has been an important trigger for human evolution however the responsible component in meat has not been clearly identified. Here we propose that the limiting factors for expanding brains and increasing longevity were the micronutrient nicotinamide (vitamin B3) and the metabolically related essential amino-acid, tryptophan.

Meat offers significant sourcing challenges and lack causes a deficiency of nicotinamide and tryptophan and consequently the energy carrier nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) that gets consumed in regulatory circuits important for survival, resulting in premature ageing, poor cognition and brain atrophy.

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The American Meat Industry Does Some Very Impressive and Terrifying Things

MeatDo you eat meat every day? Then you’re part of the problem. Cyrus Nemati explains at the Chicago Sun Times:

In the past 60 years, the United States has fallen deeply in love with meat. What was once a treat is now expected at every meal to the point where we can get it in a tube. The demand for meat has increased dramatically, and the largest meat companies have found ways to fulfill that demand cheaply. It’s not a surprise that the path to the six cent Chicken McNugget was built at the expense of not only the chickens themselves, but farmers and smaller meat plants. The quest for cheap meat has resulted in a ruthless market that has left 85 percent of supply in the hands of five companies.

This oligopoly has driven the meat industry to do some very impressive and terrifying things. We raise nine billion animals for the slaughter a year.

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Nicholas Kristof’s ‘Mass Meat’ Scandal Story

Lots of meatNicholas Kristof, New York Times columnist, has discovered something that many of us have known for years: Tyson Foods and other agribusiness giants are doing some very, very bad things involving animal husbandry and meat production:

Where does our food come from? Often the answer is Tyson Foods, America’s meat factory.

Tyson, one of the nation’s 100 biggest companiesslaughters 135,000 head of cattle a week, along with 391,000 hogs and an astonishing 41 million chickens. Nearly all Americans regularly eat Tyson meat — at home, at McDonalds, at a cafeteria, at a nursing home.

“Even if Tyson did not produce a given piece of meat, the consumer is really only picking between different versions of the same commoditized beef, chicken, and pork that is produced through a system Tyson pioneered,” says Christopher Leonard, a longtime agribusiness journalist, in his new book about Tyson called “The Meat Racket.”…

…This industrial agriculture system also has imposed enormous costs of three kinds.

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#EatCelebrityMeat (Made from Jennifer Lawrence, Kanye West, James Franco and Ellen DeGeneres)

Salami akaAssuming it’s not an elaborate hoax, would you eat a salami made from lab-grown meat grown from tissue from the likes of Jennifer Lawrence, Kanye West, James Franco and Ellen DeGeneres? Apparently there are people clamoring for this dubious sounding product from BiteLabs, which says of itself:

BiteLabs produces fine artisanal salami from meat that has been lab-grown from celebrity tissue samples.

In 1931, Winston Churchill predicted a future in which all the world’s meat would be grown in labs; what, he asked, was the sense in raising a whole chicken merely for the sake of its wings or breast meat?

Today, In-Vitro meat production is close to becoming a reality, offering highly controllable meat production without the animal cruelty, waste, and environmental impacts of industrial farming. But this process can offer so much more than replicas of beef and pork.

Imagine meat like never before.

The process begins with myosatellite cells, which are obtained via biopsy.

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The High Price of Cheap Meat: Shocking Animal Cruelty

Rolling Stone.

Rolling Stone.

Jann Wenner’s Rolling Stone occasionally delves deep into issues that most major publications would rather leave well alone. Case in point, its report on what it takes to provide America with cheap meat. Not for the faint of heart…

Sarah – let’s call her that for this story, though it’s neither the name her parents gave her nor the one she currently uses undercover – is a tall, fair woman in her midtwenties who’s pretty in a stock, anonymous way, as if she’d purposely scrubbed her face and frame of distinguishing characteristics. Like anyone who’s spent much time working farms, she’s functionally built through the thighs and trunk, herding pregnant hogs who weigh triple what she does into chutes to birth their litters and hefting buckets of dead piglets down quarter-mile alleys to where they’re later processed. It’s backbreaking labor, nine-hour days in stifling barns in Wyoming, and no training could prepare her for the sensory assault of 10,000 pigs in close quarters: the stench of their shit, piled three feet high in the slanted trenches below; the blood on sows’ snouts cut by cages so tight they can’t turn around or lie sideways; the racking cries of broken-legged pigs, hauled into alleys by dead-eyed workers and left there to die of exposure.

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Life On A Diet Of Nothing But Raw Meat

raw meatShould we go back to the wild? Via Vice, Derek Nance has eaten nothing but raw, often rotting meat for six years. He claims he has never felt better:

[The raw meat diet] was started by a dentist named Weston Price who in the 1930s studied the health benefits of eating more raw foods, including meats. He studied the Native Americans and a few of them who lived on a guts-and-grease diet. He found people in primitive communities were much healthier than we are today.

I had a couple of goats in my yard, so I slaughtered them. I ate both of those goats, all raw, and just switched over like that. After the first week, I felt absolutely great, and I never went back.

The organ meat of the animal actually contains vitamin C. So I just eat the organ meat and the connective tissue and everything else. [I] also eat rotten meat.

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Meat Industry Refuses To Say What Country Meat Comes From

meat

Must the food we eat be so mysterious? Grist writes:

Enjoy knowing where your grocery-store beef comes from, while you can: industry groups are suing the U.S. government because they don’t want to have to tell you the origins of your meat.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture implemented new rules in May that require packages of meat to be sold with labels that identify the country in which the animal was born, raised, and slaughtered. The rules also outlaw the mixing of cuts of meat from different countries in the same package. That pleased food-safety advocates, environmentalists, and some farmers.

But it angered large meat producers and grocery chains. “The result will serve only to confuse consumers, raise prices, and put companies out of business in the process,” Mark Dopp, of the American Meat Institute, a trade group, said in a statement. On Tuesday, the AMI and other groups announced they were suing to have the rules overturned.

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