Like Your Meat-Glued Steak Rare? Not So Fast…

(A quick update for anyone who follows my personal weight loss story – I’m maintaining my weight loss at about 220 from my high of 237 from the fall of last year. There. Now you know.)

You learn something new every day.

These days, however, it seems what you learn is a bummer.

Next up on the bummer hit parade for me is ‘Meat Glue’.

Meat glue?

Let’s say you decide to follow a paleo diet, or primal, or low carb with an emphasis on minimally processed food. You go to the grocery store and pick up a nice boneless steak – or go to a fancy restaurant and order one. You say to yourself: “I’ll order it rare – why ruin a nice piece of meat by burning it to a crisp?”

Here’s a reason for well-done.

This video shows the clever trick that meat producers – at least the sleazy ones – do to take cuts of meat too small to sell and turn them into steaks you pay a lot more for.

In short, they use an  enzyme called transglutaminase to take small cuts of beef, pork, chicken or fish and glue them together. Sprinkle some on, and those itty-bitty bits of meat, after setting in the fridge, become a handsome steak.

Hey – wait a second – better living through chemistry – right? What’s the big deal?

The big deal is that you don’t know this. And because you don’t know this, you aren’t aware that all these little cuts of meat once had a lot more surface area where bacteria could land. Now this bacteria gets glued together on the inside surfaces of your glued meat, unlike a real steak, where the bacteria would only be on the outside.

So now you get your, ahem, ‘steak’ rare – and get yourself a mighty fine case of food poisoning.


What can you do?

Not much, unless you buy your meat from a local farm, which isn’t an option for a lot of us. Even if you ask, can you be sure the people selling you the meat are telling the truth – or even know  the truth?

This leaves only one recourse for meat-loving low-carb, paleo, and primal folks.

Memorize these three words.

Repeat after me: “Well-done, please.”