Have you ever found rib eye on the menu of a restaurant for an unusually low price that seemed too good to be true? Could it be because it was made from scraps of meat served the day before that were formed together with “meat glue” to look like the perfect steak?
“Meat glue” is also used as a binder to thicken and/or improve the texture of some meats. For instance, it’s often used to give uniform texture to sausages, hot dogs, and other processed meats, and to make flourless noodles out of seafood. It may also be used to improve the texture of some foods, like fat-free yogurts and cheese.
“Meat glue” or transglutaminase (TG enzyme) is an additive that interacts with protein to create a tight bond to hold food together. It’s sprinkled on beef, chicken, turkey, pork, or seafood, bound tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerated for several hours to create perfectly formed, cost-effective products.
TG enzyme is typically made from bacteria, and most of it is supplied by the same company that introduced MSG (monosodium glutamate) to America. Sometimes, it’s made from the blood plasma of pigs and cows.
The Center for Disease Control has reported that one in six Americans (around 48,000,000) get food poisoning every year. Could “meat glue” be a contributor?
E. coli, listeria, and salmonella are found mostly on the surfaces of meats, which is killed when cooked. That’s why it’s generally safe to eat a steak rare or medium rare. If “meat glue” is used to reform pieces of meat together, bacteria is now introduced throughout the meat.
A study in 2015, published by researchers from Israel and Germany, named transglutaminase as one of the contributors to “leaky gut.” This was part of their research on the relationship between industrial food additives and the rise of autoimmune disease. There has been a steady rise in Western cultures over the last 30 years in these diseases, including celiac, Crohn’s, type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus.
If you are avoiding gluten because of an autoimmune disease (especially celiac), pay attention to how you feel when consuming meat products that may use “meat glue” to hold them together. It can irritate the gut and contribute to inflammation
When dining out, beware of prices that seem too good to be true. The item served could be scraps of meat that were served the day before.
Sushi found on buffets and in supermarkets may also be suspect for being pieced, or “glued,” together. Quality sushi will cost a little more.
When buying prepared beef, chicken, turkey, pork, or seafood in the supermarket (usually frozen or served as an entree), check the ingredients for the words “transglutaminase,” “TG enzyme,” “formed,” or “reformed”.
Choose fresh cuts of meat with no additives, and cook them yourself.
Studies continue to show that eating processed meats, especially sausage, bacon, hot dogs, salami, and lunch meats, increases the risk for cancer.
Keep learning to be healthy!
Lisa Hernandez, Certified Nutritionist & Health Coach
1 Corinthians 10:31–“Whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for God’s glory!”
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. It does not take the place of any medical care that you may need. Consult your health care provider about making dietary and lifestyle changes that are right for you.