When you walk into conventional grocery stores or restaurants, don’t you want to trust that the meat is safe and of the highest quality? Of course you do. But, when was the last time you questioned where your ground beef came from? Most people would like to believe it came from a happy cow that walked several meters into the grocery store’s pristine refrigerator after freely roaming on grass. Unfortunately, this is not the case in most instances…
This past fall and winter, there were several ground beef recalls due to E. Coli infections. Food recalls bring to light the precarious nature of our food’s safety and one can only hope that they are getting contaminated meat out of the food system…Wait, not so fast…Once the source of contamination is discovered (at a meat packing company or farm), this meat is NOT always discarded! Sometimes, the unsafe meat is sent back to a meat packing plant where it is cooked and sold as pre-packaged meat in canned meals like ravioli or chili! In 2002, ConAgra Beef Co. used as much as 70,000 lbs of contaminated meat in its pre-packaged meals. ConAgra called this “standard practice.” Don’t believe it? Check it out here.
What?! Gross! Even if the meat is cooked at high enough temperatures to kill bacteria, don’t you want to at least know the meat was at some point in time contaminated? But, did you know that companies are not required to disclose this information!
Worse still, hamburger meat is often a mixture of varying grades of meat (including slaughterhouse trimmings or scrap) from different parts of the cow and different slaughterhouses! This means that the next drive-thru burger you eat could have meat from Nebraska, Texas, Uruguay, Montana, South Dakota and even China all in one bite. So much for that one happy cow image. Also, the meat used in most fast food, lower grade hamburger meats is not the best quality cuts. Instead, it is low-grade quality from areas of the cow that could have been exposed to feces. Using scraps from various sources like this saves big meat packing companies money. Oh, and the federal government does not require grinders to test their ingredients.
Since contaminated meat is kept in the food system and regulating safety at grinders is loose, food safety experts say that ground beef is not an entirely safe product to eat.
So, maybe our desire to have happy cows walking into a grocery store refrigerator is far-fetched, but don’t we all have the right to know where our meat came from? Don’t we all have the right to know if the meat was contaminated before we eat it? Tomato Talk wants to know, what’s in your ground beef?
Where does Earth Fare beef come from? Watch the video to find out: