From the Stupid Consumer Department.
The article is titled, "Which Cut Is Older? (It's a Trick Question)." Why is it if we give fancy names to a new process it makes it sound so much better than it actually is?
The article shows two nice boneless steaks. One is nice and red; the other has the more traditional mottled red brown look to it. The point is both steaks were purchased on the same day and the pictures were taken thirteen days later.
The redder steak was in a "modified atmosphere packaging" which according to the Times is, "a technique in which other gases replace oxygen." The need for this new type of packaging is the elimination of the local butcher at the supermarket and the need to keep the meat that comes from the packaging plants looking fresh.
The article states that other "treated" meat was purchased at the same time but was left on the counter for three days and it was still as red as the treated package in the refrigerator. There have been some tests that show meat treated in this new fashion and kept at just ten degrees over the recommended temperature showed salmonella grew more easily.
So just to recap: we eliminated some local jobs in the neighborhood, pay more for this fancy packaging, may get more, not less, bacteria, and this is progress? By the way Cargill, one of those great monolithic "agribusinesses," is said to have sold 100 million packages for meat to be put in last year.
The justification for this new process, according to a study conducted at Oklahoma State University for the Cattlemen's Beef Board in 2003, said retailers lost $1 billion dollars because otherwise perfectly edible beef was turned down by consumers just due to the color. Wait and we have hungry people in this county? I can assure you that none of that beef ended up in the prison system, but that is another story.
So why not just educate the consumer, bring back the local butcher who knows what a good cut of meat is supposed to look and taste like, and put some of these agribusinesses out of business. My apology to any readers that may be holding stock in these same agribusinesses, but not to worry, there are plenty of stupid consumers out there and they will buy the 'REDDER" meat that has been atmospherically modified.
End of rant.
I will now deposit the two clippings used in these post into a facility trash can and no, I do not mean my locker!