October 31, 2012

Natural Foodie: Grim reapings from the industrial food system

To really scare yourself this Halloween, consider the 'extras' that come with many foods: arsenic, pesticides and salmonella.

By Avery Yale Kamila akamila@mainetoday.com
Staff Writer

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Ready for the truly disturbing part? In the poultry industry, these chiller baths are known as "fecal soup" due to all the feces, pathogens and other nasties they contain. Because few consumers savor the taste of poop, many slaughterhouses routinely inject the chicken meat with salt and flavor enhancers to mask the fecal soup flavor before they sell it to you.


HAMBURGER – Near the feces-flavored chicken sit the blood-red packages of hamburger. This cheap and most American of meats also happens to be the stuff that gives microbiologists nightmares. Their science-based fright comes from the way ground beef is made and the fact that it is a favorite haunt for pathogens such as salmonella and E. coli.

The bugs originate in the feces, vomit and stomach contents of cattle. In the feedlot and during the slaughtering process, these body fluids frequently ooze and splatter onto the carcasses. When a steak or roast is carved from these contaminated carcasses, the bacteria remains on the outside of the flesh but is killed off when the meat hits the cooking surface. In contrast, when parts of the carcass are ground up, any bacteria on the outside is mixed into the interior. Then if the hamburger isn't cooked to well done, the bacteria remains alive and poisonous when the meat is consumed.


NOW THAT I'VE thoroughly ruined your appetite, let's dash for the checkout before the microbes and Frankenfood decide to follow us home. Happy Halloween.


Staff Writer Avery Yale Kamila can be contacted at 791-6297 or at: akamila@pressherald.com

Twitter: AveryYaleKamila


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