Monday, October 4, 2010

Pass the veggies

Just thought I'd pass this on...
The photo above is a peak into the rarely-seen world of mechanically separated meat, or Advanced Meat Recovery (AMR).
Someone figured out in the 1960s that meat processors can eek out a few more percent of profit from chickens, turkeys, pigs, and cows by scraping the bones 100% clean of meat. This is done by machines, not humans, by passing bones leftover after the initial cutting through a high pressure sieve. The paste you see in the picture above is the result.
There's more: because it's crawling with bacteria, it will be washed with ammonia, soaked in it, actually. Then, because it tastes gross, it will be reflavored artificially. Then, because it is weirdly pink, it will be dyed with artificial color.

The resulting paste goes on to become the main ingredient in many of America's favorite mass-produced and processed meat-like foods and snacks: bologna, hot dogs, salami, pepperoni, Slim Jim-like jerkys, and of course the ever-polarizing Chicken McNugget, where the paste from the photo above was likely destined.  

Sorry if I ruined your dinner.


  1. Oh my god, that is disgusting, Lisa! Thank goodness I don't eat any of that stuff except the rare kosher all-beef hotdog (are those okay?) This reminds me of the show How It's Made. They did a segment on hotdogs and it was like, "You've got to be kidding." I guess I kind of thought they grew on trees or something. Yuck.

  2. You don't want to know how your laws or sausages are made.