But I am getting ahead of myself here.
What do you look for in a pack of meat at the local supermarket? Well if your like me you like it nice and red, right? If it bleeds it’s for me.
Well the people who sell us our ground round have figured that one out. And they are losing an estimated one billion dollars a year because they can’t sell perfectly fine red meat that has turned a little brown. So with a little good old American ingenuity they have solved the problem of keeping red meat red.
Just add carbon monoxide. You remember Carbon Monoxide from chemistry class don’t you? Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that has the molecular formula CO. It also happens to have the endearing quality of being lethal.
Carbon Monoxide is produced by the incomplete combustion of the fossil fuels – gas, oil, coal and wood used in boilers, engines, oil burners, gas fires and so on. What happens is the meat is packed in airtight containers with just a touch of the poison gas which will keep it red, but not necessarily fresh for a long time.
And the label does not have to say that what you hope is going to be the star of your next bar b q has been so treated.
It gets worse. There is a food additive that does the same thing but supercharged. You just dip the steak in this stuff and it’ll be rosy red for a long time, even if you leave it on the counter. For a few days. Can you say salmonella? No? How about botulism?
So what’s the lesson we can derive from all this? That the best way to tell if that rump roast is fresh is by looking at the “sell by date.” And hope that they guys who printed that date are honest.
But that’s another story. For more research try reading “The Jungle” by Upton Sinclair. Or “Fast food nation” by Eric Schlosser.
But don’t do it while your eating an exhaust fume flavored steak.