Meet Mark

Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

Tell Me More
Stay Connected
May 25 2011

Meat Glue: Separating Fact from Fiction

By Mark Sisson
170 Comments

If you’re a fitness and nutrition nerd, you’re long past the grade school days of willingly eating glue, paste, and other pseudo-edible adhesives, but there’s a decent chance you’re still eating an entirely different kind of glue unknowingly. Maybe even on a regular basis. I’m talking about meat glue, also known as transglutaminase, which restaurants and food producers use to create “steaks” out of “glued-together” stew meat, add body to dairy products, make imitation crab, improve processed meat mouth feel, to name a few. A video exposing the “secret” of meat glue has been making the rounds of the various health circles, and more than a few readers have asked me about it. Here’s the video in question, taken from a recent Australian expose:

With that out of the way, what exactly is transglutaminase, and should you be worried about it?

Transglutaminase is an enzyme, produced either by bacterial cultivation (via fermentation of plant extracts) or from the coagulation factor in porcine and bovine blood, that bonds proteins together. Once it’s been cultivated or extracted, transglutaminase is dried into a powder that can be easily applied to a number of products, including

Reconstituted steaks, fillets, roasts, or cutlets – Meat glue is added to disparate chunks of meat (like cheap stew meat, chunks of chicken – any meat, really) and rubbed in. The chunks are compressed together and left to cool; after several hours, the meat pieces have formed insoluble bonds made of protein polymers. You can usually pull apart the “steak” to reveal the composite pieces, but take a quick glance and you’d never know it was cheap stew meat glued together. To most consumers, the resultant reconstituted “steak” is indistinguishable from a real slab of meat once it’s cooked, but a skilled meat glue artist can create “steaks” that fool experts – even when they’re raw.

Sausages, hot dogs, and other processed meats – Transglutaminase is added to provide uniform texture to processed meats. The “bits” become smooth and seamless. Imagine Oscar Mayer balogna and you’ll get the picture.

Imitation crab – Similar to hot dogs and sausages, only made with fish, usually pollock.

Fish balls, chicken nuggets, and other examples of deliciousness – Makes all that chicken viscera go down smooth.

Novel culinary creations – Some chefs are getting pretty creative with meat glue. One guy in NYC, for example, uses meat glue to make flourless noodles out of shrimp! I’d eat that.

On its face, meat glue sounds awful. I don’t think I have to explain why. It’s just repulsive on a visceral level. Furthermore, it’s generally used to make some pretty awful foods. We can’t really blame the transglutaminase for that, though. It’s not the meat glue that makes chicken nuggets a bad idea; it’s the hydrogenated vegetable oil in which they’re fried and the refined wheat breading in which the “chicken” is encased. I suppose you could call meat glue an enabler, but it’s not the offending party. But is it itself bad for you?

The FDA has deemed it “generally safe” (what confidence!) and there’s got to be something in PubMed that justifies their conclusion… right? Well, I searched far and wide and while there is a ton of research on culinary and industrial applications of transglutaminase, there was nothing about the safety thereof. Nothing good, nothing bad. It simply wasn’t there in any direction.

Most of it was stuff like the paper showing that microbial transglutaminase increases the sensory appeal of chicken sausages made from various chicken parts across several parameters, including texture, water retention, and appearance. Note that researchers failed to mention taste. I take this to mean meat glue made the texture of the sausages uniform (so the average consumer doesn’t know what they’re eating) and improved their plumpness (added water weight). In other words, meat glue allows consumers to eat meat paste without inconvenient thoughts of dead baby animals obstructing their carefree chewing and swallowing. So, it may be used in a misleading way, but there’s nothing here about negative health effects, either from eating the glue itself or caused by it.

As I see it, the real danger with glued meat is in the uneven heating of reconstituted steaks made up of random pieces of stew meat. See, most reasonable people eat their steak at or below medium doneness. I’m a rare-to-medium-rare man myself, and with a real slab of animal, going rare, medium rare, or medium usually isn’t a problem. The exterior – the part that’s potentially been exposed to dangerous bacteria – is cooked or seared. The inside may be undercooked or even bloody, but the inside of a piece of real meat doesn’t get significant bacterial exposure, so there’s little to no danger. But “steaks” aren’t one piece of meat. They are made of multiple pieces of meat, each with its own history, its own exterior, and its own collection of bacteria. If you treat a glued together “steak” like a regular steak and eat it below medium, you’ll be eating some undercooked meat exteriors. Unless you braise that fake steak or burn it to a crisp, there’s no way you’ll know if all the component pieces have been sufficiently cooked. And if you’re ordering steak at a standard restaurant, you have no control over how it’s handled – or even what you’re really eating. Bonded meat isn’t necessarily unhealthy, but cooking it well requires a little more attention to detail, and in a restaurant, especially your garden variety chain restaurant, the cooking is entirely out of your hands.

Beyond that, it’s the deception that really bugs me. I think a lot of the outcry against transglutaminase can be explained by that: people don’t like being deceived, especially when there’s money on the line. If I buy a filet, it had better be an actual filet (singular), not a random assortment of trim and stew cobbled together and sprinkled with a bonding enzyme. Luckily, I know the meat I buy is real and whole, as does anyone who buys direct from farmers or from trusted butchers and meat counters, but not everyone has the inclination or ability to source meat from the source.

If you’re worried that the meat you buy contains transglutaminase, you can do a few things to avoid any potential complications:

  • Do what the guy in the video did and gently tug on your meat. If your steak comes apart, it’s probably “steak.” It’s probably best to perform the tug test before you pay for the meat, and most meat counters/butchers will allow you to inspect what they sell.
  • Just cook it thoroughly. I would advise against cooking your “steak” like a steak until well done, because, well, that just ruins meat, but a nice braise, crockpot stew, or soup would all work. Remember: it is meat and it is edible.
  • Ask. Ask your butcher, your meat supplier, or your waiter if the meat contains glue. They should know, and if they don’t (or if they’re unwilling to say), order something else or go elsewhere.

Honestly, though, I don’t think transglutaminase in and of itself represents a big problem. It might come in otherwise unhealthy or suboptimal foods (processed meat, chicken nuggets, etc.) and it might expose you to bacteria if undercooked, but I don’t think it’s anything to lose sleep over.

What say you, readers? Where do you stand on meat glue?

If you'd like to add an avatar to all of your comments click here!

170 thoughts on “Meat Glue: Separating Fact from Fiction”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Timely post for me! I had an idea of what transglutaminase was, but this post definitely makes me want to avoid it…. eww

    I just got a metal meat grinder recently and have been putting off learning how to use it, but I’m going to re read your post on making sausage and try it today.

    1. George Washington didn’t eat vegetables. Nothing but pure unadulterated American beef – with perhaps a side order of freedom fries. Testosterone coursed through his veins and every meal he ate contained at least 24 oz of prime steak, including breakfast.

      Do you think we’d have won our independence if Washington had been a vegetarian, munching away on his organic tofu and skinless chicken breast?

      Fat chance. We’d have got our asses handed to us and we’d all be speaking German. Fact.

      1. Bwa ha ha! Bring on the Revolution!

        Now that you mention it, can you guys over the pond vote in Ron Paul next year?

        Mikey UK

      2. Good speculation. But, just because you write ‘Fact’ there doesn’t mean it is. Usually when somebody says “…and that’s a FACT!”, it’s usually not a fact. Kind of like when somebody says “I literally DIED!” Literally means you really, really did DIE! So how are you telling/writing this if you literally(really, for real) died? One can’t really say that B would have happened because of A, if A did not happen.

      3. German????? I think you got your wars mixed up. Go have another steak.

      4. Geo Washington may have been the winning general, but only because the French navy supported him at the final victory. He lost nearly every battle.

        The reason the colonists won: sniper fire, hit and run guerilla tactics – not regular army warfare. Washington had no command over this type of warfare. It was considered un-military, ungentlemanly, and downright bad manners.

        Meat glue? I’ll avoid it whenever possible – and I’ll let friends and guests know the poor value they are probably getting.

        Great article. Well done! 😉

        Reg

        1. Hi Reg! One reason Geo was a conundrum for his contemporaries is that he had participated, ok, fought in skirmishes with natives and he was fully aware of gurella tactics. His problem is that he couldn’t convince his generals that he was right. Although he did manage to teach some. the need for the French was a matter of scale, for their assistance I am forever grateful.

          Ah well, this is a meat and additives blog, so I’ll desist from the history discussions…for now.

      5. Well, Ben Franklin wrote a lovely little essay (that you never read in school) entitled “Fart Proudly.” In which he expounds on the odoriferousness of flatulance; he postulates that those who do not eat meat have benign (or at least lovely) smelling flatulance. Me? I couldn’t care less. Bring on the prime rib. I’ll eat Ben’s serving!

        BTW, supposedly, Ben was a vegetarian supporter…there are some reports that his son didn’t like him much; maybe that’s why?

        1. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin is a must read! Lots of great wisdom within the text.

          Ben Franklin did experiment with vegetarianism for some time, but renounced it on a fishing trip, realizing that fish eat other fish. In his own words:

          “…when the Fish were opened, I saw smaller Fish taken out of their Stomachs: Then thought I, if you eat one another, I don’t see why we mayn’t eat you. So I din’d upon Cod very heartily and continu’d to eat with other People, returning only now and than occasionally to a vegetable Diet. So convenient a thing it is to be a reasonable Creature, since it enables one to find or make a Reason for every thing one has a mind to do.”

      6. If the meat was as pure as it was when George Washington ate it, we wouldn’t have the problems we now have!! It was killed and freshly eaten…done!!

    2. im with u on that….cant believe weve been eating glue this whole time…really makes u consider being a vegitarian!!!

  2. If meat glue enables people to eat healthy parts of the critters (offal, cartilage etc.) without being grossed out, wouldn’t it actually be a good thing? People complain about hotdogs being composed of snouts and a**holes and whatnot, but those things are probably actually better for you than a loin chop. It’s the chemicals and crap that’s the bad part of hot dogs… the meat glue is pretty neutral it seems.

    1. head cheese: a ‘sausage’ made from bits and pieces of meat from a hog head, sometimes includes vegetables, usually includes a variety of spices (e.g., mustard seed), and held together by geletin rendered from the hog. Head cheese is really, really good. Here in Portland, OR we have two shops that make their own head cheese. Each are unique, both very tasty.

      Geletin is naturally occurring in animals. Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions cookbook highly recommends adding chicken feet, calf foot to your stock to enrich it with this natural geletin. Chicken feet are relatively easy to come by, but calf feet are pretty difficult. I have managed to get a pretty good geletin in beef stock with cow feet, but at some point would really like to use calf.

  3. Said a prayer while having a steak at a restaurant a while back. Something about it just wasn’t right. The texture was, well, icky, and the grain didn’t seem to run normally. I kinda of suspected meat glue, but I needed the protein and I never, EVER send anything back to the kitchen. Wish I could remember where…I’d like to avoid ordering that again.

    1. The grain is the thing that I think would set my spider-sense tingling. A “a skilled meat glue artist” might fool me, but I suspect most chain restaurants aren’t employing “artists” in their supply chain.

      The shrimp noodles sure sound fascinating though.

  4. Scary stuff. The “glu” of transglutaminase stands for “gluten.” I can’t help but wonder if the increases in gluten sensitivity we’re seeing in the US aren’t in part due to use of this enzyme, especially seeing the casual handling of it. Could it remain intact if inhaled, dermally absorbed, or eaten? It’s not a “self” transglutaminase and could be recognized by the immune system as foreign. If this leads to mis-recognition of your own transglutaminase as foreign as well –> celiac. Just another of my kooky theories 🙂

    1. How true is this? Is this really a gluten product? Goodness gracious! I am gluten intolerant. This just gets worse and worse for us who are GI. We can’t have ANY “fun”.

      1. It’s not a gluten product, but rather the enzyme your body uses to help break down gluten.

        I’m suspicious of the safety of taking in excessive amounts of this enzyme, particularly since the exact form of it is different from the form of your own native enzyme.

        1. I was thinking the same thing about our bodies being confused about this enzyme. I tend to think that when our bodies get presented with more than a natural level of just about everything we down-regulate production of the enzyme in this case and also receptors for this enzyme. Just another ingredient to potentially be worried about. When something is classified as “generally safe” I have to think it’s just the opposite.

        2. Ahhh, it’s helpful not to create folk etymologies from parts of words here. as Lyle writes, this has nothing to do with gluten, as glutaminase breaks down glutamine into glutamate. Please do your research before posting things like that. This is exactly how urban myths get started.

        3. The “glu” is not short for gluten, it’s for glutamine – an amino acid. Transglutaminase has nothing to do with gluten: not made from gluten, not used to digest gluten, etc.
          Transglutaminases are a group of enzymes that perform a variety of jobs, mostly binding free amino acids to form and grow proteins.

        4. It doesn’t actually break down gluten, but interacts with gliandin peptides which are derived from gluten. It can deamidate gliandin peptides which, if I recall correctly can interact with zonulin which acts like a molecular gate increasing intestinal permeability. Microbial transglutaminase scares me as I do think there are issues with cross reactivity. Antibodies generated against transglutaminase which allow it to stay in a continually “on” conformation have potential implications in many diseases because of the high number of transglutaminase substrates. Such fake steaks could also be more difficult to breakdown in your digestive system causing problems. Essentially it’s like eating big scabs. Personally, I’d avoid it.

        5. Just to point out that the TTGA (Tissue Transglutaminase Antibody) Test is used to diagnose Coeliac Disease. 0-5 is negative, 6-7 borderline and 9+ is positive.
          Mine was 97.

          There is a link to gluten there but I am neither a gastroenterologist or endocrinologist so .

      2. It’s my understanding that the “glue” is made from cow’s and/or pig’s blood and isn’t plant-based.

    2. The “glu” of transglutaminase stands for glutaminase, which is an enzyme that creates glutamate from glutamine. Glutamine is an amino acid, glutamate is a neurotransmitter and NONE OF THESE HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH GLUTEN.

      Also, taking in excessive enzymes is bad if you eat them raw. And by bad, i mean it may give you some gas or a headache. After cooking, the enzymes are denatured and inactive. To mark’s point, this becomes more of an issue if you don’t thoroughly cook the meat.

      1. True, I misspoke when I said the “glu” means “gluten.” That is just my way of thinking of it. The actual etymology of the word refers to it’s glutamine degrading property. It is, however, linked to gluten, as anti-transglutaminase antibodies develop with gluten sensitivity. The gluten proteins cross-link to the transglutaminase enzyme and initiate a B cell response against the host transglutaminase resulting in autoimmune disease.

  5. No WONDER that expensive filet in the restaurant seems pieced together, and does not taste like my filets from my trusted butcher. NOTHING else tastes like filet…it has its own flavor, and those $30-plus filets in the fancy place down the street are not really filets at all. Never again. I’ll stick to a whole, bone-in chiken breast when I eat out!

    1. The odds that the restaurant is actually selling you pasted together pieces of meat are pretty remote.

        1. I think the cost of wages would outstrip any cost of sticking meats together. If you cant notice the difference in cuts then it would be a waste in any case.
          Love the use of the brine tank and brine needle for creating silverside in the film as if connected to meat glue.

      1. Actually, I have had this happen, and I wondered why the filet was so different than the ones I cook at home. Now I know. I also know why the breakfast sausages that my daughter cooked up for the grandkids were so “slippery” and kind of slimy compared to the ones I grew up with…haven’t had any for years, and they were just plain STRANGE to feel in my mouth.

    2. OK – I work as a cook in a restaurant. We buy our filet as a whole tenderloin & cut off each steak as they are ordered. The tenderloin must be “cleaned” beforehand – there is a tough part running through it we call the “tail” & that gets cut out. Sometimes when you cut off a filet there is a hole or an “odd” shape to it. So the cut might get rolled or patted into a more familiar shape before it gets grilled. Then you would end up with one that would seem like it was in pieces. It might even be held together with bacon 🙂
      As to the difference in taste between the butcher’s cut & the restaurant one, that’s due to the supplier. What type of product came from each wholesaler?

      1. Thanks for this reply! Its good to read something about someone who actually has experience with steaks at restaurants!

        If the restaurant is quality then I will no think about it. If its Applebees then I will be asking my waiter if the steak has glue. I can’t wait to see what reactions I get!

      2. The restaurant I work in also does the same with our filet, NY Strip, and Ribeye. There is always extra meat, so instead of buying ground beef, we grind it ourselves. That way, we know EXACTLY what is in our ground beef. We also make chicken sausages with leftover bits of free-range chicken that we get from a local farmer. That’s the difference between having a chef in your kitchen or a bunch of cooks. TGI McTuesdayBees has cooks. And probably glued meat that their waiters know nothing about.

        1. Yes! (to the ground leftovers) I have worked in several places that do this. We serve bison along with the NY & Ribeye & elk – all ours goes into a stew… or my dog’s dish 🙂
          So like Mike says, as long as you are not eating in a chain restaurant & it’s a little above average (so they can afford to buy good product) you are getting good meat.

        2. There is no difference between Chefs and Cooks, example in Australia Melbourne they would all be trained at William Angliss College, the term Chef or Cook is used to delineate between establishments, Hospitals and HOtels may hire very good chefs but they are called cooks often with a level attached to show seniority. Anyone untrained cannot be called a cook, they are kitchen hands and assistants.

  6. Even if it is neutral, I’m tired of finding out there are things in my food that I didn’t know about, and that they aren’t actually food. Just tell me what I’m eating.

  7. The biggest problem I have with meat glue is the deception aspect of it. If I order a steak, I want a steak. Use the stew pieces and trimmings for just that, stew or chili even. There are a million uses for stew meat and trimmings, I hate that they try and profit from them more than they should. Its just one more reason I eat out as little as possible.

  8. Meat glue? I’m just amazed at the garbage I used to put into my body. Mark, you have forever changed my outlook on food, health and life. I am truly thankful for this site and all the time you invest in it.

    Brooke

  9. I have a butcher friend who ordered some meat glue just to play around with it. It was pretty gross stuff. But the “Surf N’ Turfs” we made were actually pretty delicious (Lobster tails glued on to sirloin steaks.)

    1. Hahahahaha that’s awesome. I hope you took pictures!

  10. Woh woh woh. You kind of just rocked my world with this post – definitely printing it out. Thanks!!

  11. So is this listed as an ingredient on packaging? Is it in all hot dogs? I better go check on my Trader Joe’s hotdogs in the fridge…

    1. Don’t worry about meat glue in your hotdogs. They’re cooked all the way through before you buy them so there is very little microbial risk. Also, you’re already expecting hot dogs to be a uniform blend of other pieces of meat packed into a casing… right?

      1. It does make me giggle that real-foodies get all outraged about “meat by-products” at the same time they advocate organ meat consumption. Hello cognitive dissonance? 😛

    2. I’m curious about that too, I don’t remember ever seeing it on an ingredient list.. Although that wouldn’t really matter with restaurants since you never really know what you’re eating..

  12. Just another reason to know your farmers, your butchers, etc. and to buy locally produced food from people you can actually talk to.

    I’m not really all that opposed to the concept of ‘meat glue’ other than the fact it’s yet another vector to end up taking in gluten.
    It’s kind of interesting that you aren’t supposed to inhale it or touch it when it’s still in powder form. What changes in the time from when they sprinkle it on and you buy it from the store?

    Also, if you inhale it, does it cause your internals to bind together? That’d be pretty messed up.

    1. It’s an enzyme. They’re only active for a short time and then they kind of run down. I hate to be defending this thing, I see it as a rip-off tool for the food industry to take more of our money than they’ve earned. But enzymes are just proteins, and once they’ve done their job they’re harmless.

    2. Assuming, of course, that the protein in question wouldn’t harm you to begin with. (Toxins are often proteins too!)

  13. The guys put masks on and one says “It’s toxic.”

    Sure glad I don’t eat out anymore…yuck.
    I know I had my share of meat glue and ‘flavor’ waters and meat colorings and preservatives…
    I eat steak and french fries at a restaurant and I get sick, tired and bloated.
    I eat my grass-finished steaks and home-fried organic potatoes at home and I feel refreshed with energy.

    1. It’s dangerous to get the powdered enzyme into your lungs because it will react with your lung tissue the same way it reacts with the meat. Once the powder has dissolved into the meat, transglutamase is no longer a health risk. Don’t discount the microbial risks of eating rare reassembled meat, but don’t worry that the resulting meat is toxic.

    2. I suspect that at that restaurant the steaks were underdone and the ‘french fries’ (chips?) were cooked in recycled umpteen times olive oil. Enough to make anyone sick, bloated and tired.

      At home, you would cook the steak properly (no rare or medium rare!) and you would do your chips in Canola Oil, or better still, lard from your previous roasts.

      1. 1. you mean canola/soybean/other GMO oil
        2. medium rare IS cooked properly
        3. Canola oil is crap

    3. The film you watched also featured apiece of meat being corned or turned into silverside using a needle for effect. Today tonight and A current affair are like reading the comics in the newspaper.
      What happened to string to bind things together?
      Also I keep seeing stewing steak, Asian restaurants often soakin bi-carb to tenderise, I cannot see a binder making stewing steak anything like Eye Fillet.

  14. they sell a really cheap filet mignon wrapped in bacon at my local grocery store. it looks exactly like the one in the video! that is just scary

  15. “On its face, meat glue sounds awful.”

    Uh, yeah, because you’re calling it “meat glue”

  16. “Do what the guy in the video did and gently tug on your meat.”

    Ok, if you say so…

    1. Agreed. Doesn’t sound like something grok would have found in his antelope.

  17. I had not a clue about meat glue until I saw either the first or second episode of Jamie Olivers Food Revolution this year.

    Next time I go to a restaurant like Fridays or Applebees and see a steak I like I am most certainly going to ask if it has glue. I can not wait to see the reactions of the waiters face!!

    I should just go to Fridays tonight.

  18. I wonder if I can I use the glue to make Porbeecken (pork, beef, chicken) Steaks. It could be the new turducken.

    Just imagine strips of pork loin, NY strip and chicken breast glued together and grilled to perfection.

    Maybe I can glue some veggies in there as well and have a “meal slab”.

    1. Rob, I think you’re on to something there. Although I’m kind of grossed out by the concept of meat “glue”, it actually sounds like your idea could make a really awesome all-inclusive primal product.

      1. “Primal product” is an oxymoron. Emphasis on “moron.” (The concept, not you.)

  19. We need to know what is in our food. Upon further research and contacting the manufactuer, TG contains casein – a diary protein. My young daughter is highly allergic to all dairy proteins. Any product with ANY allergic ingredients should be labelled as such – it is a safely issue as well as a health information issue.

    1. I wonder if this meat glue thing is why some people think they are allergic to beef.

    2. Most of the worlds meat glue is produced by the same company that produces M.S.G

    1. The Amazon has fun things like malaria and other fun tropical diseases, so even there it’s always something :).

    2. lol — i’ve gotta get playful here! maybe we should pool our money and all buy an island? just think of the primal possibilities!

  20. Not to change the subject but when I saw “meatglue” I thought it had something to do with the guys at epicmealtime on youtube LOL

    1. me too. i was thinking, sweet, grind up some sticky meat and use it to combine less sticky meat. sounds like something they’d do

  21. Sent in a review to Amazon about the 30 Minute Cookbook which I really enjoy. And belive me, I am not a fan of cooking. Also, I recommended purchasing it with The Primal Blueprint…makes sense right?

    1. yup! did mine too. And found out about the coconut cookbook. Hello! where have I been??

    2. hey, is anyone “cooking the book”? i’m working my way through the 30 minute cookbook and would love to share with others how the recipes are turning out.

      i’ve looked on the mda forum but haven’t found such a thread. if anyone is up for it, maye we can create one. and by ‘we’ i mean ‘you,’ since i still haven’t gotten the hang of the forum format.

      1. Made the protein balls, subtracted blueberries, added vanilla extract and semi-sweet chocolate chips.

        Result, Primal Cookie dough.

  22. The FDA is the reason we have GMOs running rampant in this country without required labeling. It’s common practice for Presidents to appoint people to the FDA who have conflicting interests. That’s been happening at least since Clinton. Just because they say something is safe doesn’t mean I believe them.

    And to me it’s not even about whether meat glue is safe. Maybe it is. More to the point, though, it is used to RIP PEOPLE OFF. If I’m buying stew meat, I want it to look like stew meat and I want to pay a stew meat price. If I want a boneless steak, I expect it to BE a boneless steak and I better be paying the boneless-steak price FOR a boneless steak, not for a bunch of stew meat glued together!

    It is already more expensive to buy pre-diced stew meat because you’re paying for the labor that went into cutting it up into chunks. Gluing it back together is downright asinine and just adds more to the price tag. I would be better served spending that money on grass-finished beef.

    I’m TIRED of the food industry trying to fool me. If I want dairy cream it had better be dairy cream, not cream cut with skim milk and gums (I’m lookin at you, Kroger). If I want pastured eggs for their greater vitamin content, don’t give me CAFO eggs from a chicken who’s been fed marigold petals. If I want crab, don’t give me pollock. At least the stuff in the tubs is labeled imitation, but that’s not true of the stuff you find in prepared foods (like sushi). Don’t give me margarine for butter, don’t give me five-year-old faded green matter for herbs. If I had room and money to raise all this stuff myself I totally would, I’m that fed up with being treated like a mindless consumption machine. Push my buttons and I’ll give you my money. Really, there’s so much more to life than that!

    1. Hi Dana,
      Just want to say that I really enjoy your comments on various posts. Thanks for always contributing! I totally agree with you about the stew meat 🙂
      Best,
      Ashley

    2. While I agree that a lot of what is being talked about is frustrating. I think the biggest takeaway for me from these comments is the lack of education regarding said topics. Things happen because people do them… They will continue doing them until it doesnt make sense. Applebees is gross tgif is gross meat glue or not. The proliferation of these places is the result of people patronizing them. Like a boycott make choices With your time and money that promote a better world. I mean wtf … If you dont want to be a mindless robot whose buttons get pushed then stop being mindless.
      Further as someone who has made sausages and used meat glue and has been in the restaurant industry for over ten years i can say that all sausage is not made with meat glue like the aforementioned head cheese and natural geletine example states. A hot dog is something called an emulsified sausage another example would be
      Mortadella or bologna. Pick up a book on classic french, german, or italian charcuterie. Or continue to push ignorance and blame the restaurant that YOU chose to spend your money at that clearly serves underwhelming products meat glue or not.

  23. I’m curious about the ‘labeling’ ‘restrictions’ the FDA has set up. i.e. when I go to the grocery store I know the difference between choice and prime… or I see ‘sirloin filet mignon’ and I know it’s not what I’m looking for – ‘tenderloin filet mignon’ (especially if it’s a thick center cut without bacon around it (to hold together the small ends as referenced by a previous poster). Is it possible the thick filet I’m buying is actually glued together filet ends? or something else? (I guess I’m with some of the others – if you say the glue isn’t bad, then ok, but if I’m paying $19.99 a lb for glued together crappy pieces, then I’m upset)

      1. Thanks for the link. This explains why I cannot digest most beef I’ve eaten. It says on there that the stomach can have trouble breaking down TG. I always feel ill after eating beef but sometimes I just crave a good steak or burger so I eat it anyway. I started drinking Sprite after eating beef and it seems to help most of the time. I think, perhaps, I will avoid beef in the future. I just discovered this many years late!

  24. I ‘fourth’ the know-your-butcher-food-sources idea.

    I’m also in the ‘full-disclosure’ camp. Tell me what’s there and I get to decide if I buy/eat it.

  25. Additional thought. Peggy’s example of beef tenderloin pieces held together by bacon is exactly what I do at home. I buy the whole tenderloin, cut the chateaubriand out of the center to roast a la Cook’s Illustrated, cut as many steaks as I can from the butt (thick) end, and put the extra pieces together, wrapped in bacon to make a ‘steak.’ I do NOT glue them together, trying to pass them off as a tenderloin steak. It’s very clear they are pieces corraled by yummy bacon.

  26. If you study animal anatomy you will be much safer when picking meat lucky my dad was a butcher so I pretty much know “meat” when I see it or touch it.

    just like there is a big difference between buying saw dust and sturdy 2 x 4.

    this is blatant fraud I do think there are people that would gladly eat it even if the label said reconstituted or glued meat, but they should not be allowed to sell it as the genuine Item for the premium price.

  27. When autoimmune diabetes reared its ugly head in our house, it caused us to look at the effects of all foods on blood sugars. Even the steak/ground beef from the supermarket is pumped full of something that makes blood sugars go crazy several hours after eating. Whether that’s hormones or meat glue (also gluten sensitive), who knows. Buying meat direct from a local grass fed farmer will ALWAYS result in a healthier, tastier eating experience. Only downside is the freezer space to store it all!

    1. Tina, I just caught your post after leaving a comment below on transglutaminase and type 1 diabetes in kids [scroll down for it]. Robb Wolf discusses transglutaminase in The Paleo Solution as a potential cause of autoimmune disorders.

  28. Why is it Europe is so far ahead in protecting their food sources and we are so far behind.

    1. This video is wrong: TG is approved for use in the EU. Why? Because unless you snort a line of it during the assembly process, there is nothing unsafe about it.

  29. I stopped eating meat when I found out that sodium nitrate and sodium nitrite are neurotoxins. They put it in took make it red.

    I read in a Tao book that that if soak the blood out of meat overnight it will be safe to eat.

    1. The usual way of keeping packaged meat red is to put carbon monoxide in the packet.

      You use nitrites to make cured meats, like bacon. These salts aren’t neurotoxins, but can form nitrosamines in stomach acid, which are carcinogens.

  30. I guess my question is, if they’re willing to deceive us about meat glue, something the FDA claims in innocuous, then about what else do they deceive us?

    I have not trusted the FDA since the mid-90s when I discovered that the FDA doesn’t regulate ALL generic medications the same way. Most need to be within 10% of the original chemical composition, but women’s birth control pills only need to be within 30%. Women, if you are on this stuff, note if your prescription says “NO GENERICS.” This is why. And it can have major deleterious effects.

    So when the FDA says that this meat glue is “generally safe” I really don’t buy it. If it’s basically just made from animal blood – well, we’re eating that anyway. But there are other considerations. Jewish people may not want their beef or chicken coated in pig blood.

    The deception is a real issue, and it warns me that they may not know if it’s safe or not. And of course, Dana’s comments about knowing what you pay for are also very important.

  31. I contacted AppleGate Farms to ask if they used meat glue in any of their products. The rep told me, unequivocally, “NO,” which I was glad to hear. They’ve been getting a lot of inquiries, so this story is definitely getting around. Thanks for posting!

  32. After obsessing slightly on the subject of anti-transglutaminase antibodies and celiac, I found this on cookingissues dot com, which is fully supportive of meat glue: “The relationship between coeliac disease and microbial Transglutaminase (mTG) is still being sorted out. There is no doubt that extra antibodies to human tissue transglutaminase (tTG) are found in coeliac sufferers. I have seen research that supports that mTG can cause problems for coeliacs, and research that says it doesn’t. I have not found any acute cases of problems had by coeliac sufferers linked to mTG in the literature, but prudence says coelicas should avoid large quantities of TG till the data is in.”

  33. My husband and I have been trying to decide whether or not to buy a 1/2 cow from one of the many grass-fed beef ranches around here (Boulder, CO). We often drive by the grazing cattle and say to each other: “I want to eat one of THOSE cows.” This clinches it. It’s expensive to pay for a couple hundred pounds of beef all at once, but at least I’ll know what I’m getting. 100% grass-fed, no nitrates, nitrites, other preservatives and no glue. The cow goes from the pasture to a reputable butcher to your freezer. And in bulk like that, it ends up being cheaper anyway as long as you have enough freezer space.

    I don’t like being deceived. I want to know what I’m buying and feeding to my family. I don’t want people slipping crap in my food and pretending it’s not there. It’s wrong on every possible level.

  34. Another reason to stick with 100% natural (hopefully organic and grassfed) meat from a source you trust.

    This doesn’t mean giving up restaurant eating, but if eating out is a common occurrence, I believe better planning and attention must be practiced.

    Restaurant animal products, if not organic, are almost always derived from factory farms where the toxic load is high, the environmental cost is high, and the general cost to your health is high. The best option is to enjoy animal foods from the farmers you trust, and when eating out, choose restaurants that you know source their ingredients very carefully.

    Some people get lazy on lifestyles that utilize animal products and succumb to fast and cheap food. Stay true to healthy, real food!

  35. RECONSTITUTED steak? I’ve never heard of it. Any restaurant caught serving it here in southwest Texas would be burned down.

  36. Thanks Mark…but no thanks…Lets see now..it has a long chemical name…OUT!
    why eat chemicals at all ??
    GO for the real deal…read the labels!!….Another reason I don’t buy store brand or pre-made sausages of any kind….ya never have to wonder whats in them,how old it is, or how they were processed..
    NOT this GROK APPROVED>>>

  37. So when I go to Fred Meyer and buy a steak from behind the glass which they wrap into paper to be weighed…it could have this meat glue in it and not be a steak at all?

    Or is it just the pre-packaged meats and meat in restaurants?
    What about skinless, boneless chicken breasts already packaged in the store?
    That could easily be glued meat huh?

  38. Brought to us by Ajinomoto…the same friendly company that brought us msg. MSG 101….’enzyme’ is also code word for added msg.

    “Ajinomoto is the only producer of food grade TG, marketed under the brand name Activa (not Activia, which is a pro-biotic yogurt for women). Ajinomoto offers Activa to individuals in 1 pound increments. A kilo currently costs roughly $60 and will glue over 100 pounds of meat paste and a substantially larger amount of whole muscle pieces. Activa is also available through some online retailers. Activa is not pure TG, as the pure form is too concentrated to use easily. Instead, Ajinomoto blends TG with fillers (maltodextrin, a break-down product of starch) and other functional ingredients to suit the end needs of the user. The types available are:

    • Activa RM: Most chefs use RM, which is designed to bond even problem foods like chicken breasts and cooked meats. RM is a mixture of TG, maltodextrin, and the helper protein sodium caseinate. Sodium caseinate is a water soluble protein derived from milk, and TG bonds it extremely well. The caseinate in Activa RM fills in the gaps between the pieces being glued, making up for any lack of available protein in the food itself. RM can be sprinkled on like a powder, mixed with 4 times its weight in water to make a slurry, or added directly into meat mixtures. Even if a recipe doesn’t require the extra bonding insurance caseinate provides, there is no disadvantage to having it mixed with the TG. For most applications, RM is the only TG you will ever need.

    • Activa GB: GB (“greatest bond”) is a mixture of TG, maltodextrin, gelatin, and an anti-caking agent. Gelatin is bonded extremely well by TG and therefore Activa GB forms strong bonds. It is not as versatile as RM because it cannot be made into a slurry, it is more sensitive to water, and it has a shorter working time. If you need a stronger bond, GB is useful.

    • Activa GS: GS is the newest addition to the Activa line. It is nice because it can be left out on the counter all day without going bad. Like GB, it is a mixture of TG, maltodextrin, and gelatin, with added polyphosphate salts and a little oil. It is always used in the form of a slurry of 4 parts water to one part Activa GS. The polyphosphates make the slurry alkaline (basic, high pH). The enzyme is inactive at high pH, so the slurry is stable all day. Once the slurry is painted on meat, the pH drops, the enzymes become active, and gluing begins.

    • Activa TI and TIU:TI is simply TG and maltodextrin with no added helper protein. TIU is the Kosher version of TI and is the only Kosher TG available. TI is packaged at twice the enzyme level as RM or GB. It can be sprinkled or made into a slurry. It will not bond as wide a range of foods as RM.

    • Activa YG: YG a mixture of TG, lactose, maltodextrin, yeast extract, and safflower oil. It is designed to thicken and improve the texture of dairy systems like yogurt and cheese.

    • Activa FP: FP is similar to RM but contains skim milk powder, which is friendlier on a nutrition label than caseinate (the useful part of skim milk powder). FP is useful for marketing a product that has an ingredients declaration.”

    I’ll choose to keep it simple. There is no substitute for real food.

  39. I have yet to find any evidence the “meat glue” has been banned in Europe. Here is a link to a website debunking the video:
    http://www.cookingissues.com/2011/05/20/the-trials-of-transglutaminase%E2%80%94the-misunderstood-magic-of-meat-glue/

    From what I have found so far, the most dangerous aspect of “TG” is not the enzyme itself but the risk undercooking a “steak” that was assembled using poorly handled, bacteria laden scraps (I am a rare-medium rare guy). One way around this is to buy so-called “primal” cuts and butcher them in to steaks, chops, roasts yourself. Way cheaper, too.
    Cheers
    Charlie

  40. This info is just another piece of the deception puzzle that the food industry perpetuates. It is why I buy half a beef from a friend/rancher and get it cut and wrapped locally….

    sad sad commentary.

  41. About three years ago, I was tested for antitissue transglutaminase IgA and was told I have “an autoimmune reaction to the human enzyme tissue transglutaminase, secondary to dietary gluten sensitivity.” I did some research on tranglutaminase at the time and found that the enzyme was used in not just meat, but also in noodles, baked goods (including some gluten-free baked goods), and many other products that need to be “glued” together. I am aware that there may be differences in porcine, beef, and human TTG, but I don’t need my autoimmune system reacting to this stuff, thank you. Here’s an article for 2005 recommending transglutaminase NOT be used in baked goods. To quote: “However, recent research into the molecular mechanism of coeliac disease suggests the disturbing possibility that transglutaminase in baked products may act upon gliadin proteins in dough to generate the epitope associated with the coeliac response. Further work is urgently required to assess this possibility. In the meantime, we do not recommend the use of transglutaminase in baked products.” http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0924224405001585
    So I avoid any gluten-free baked products and now I find it is possibly in meats that I eat (rarely, since I buy my own pastured beef and pork for home cooking). Great. One more reason to eat primal and KNOW where your food comes from!

  42. Though TodayTonight may be the yellowest of the yellow journalism in Australia I thank them for this. My parents watch TT and hopefully I can scare them off supermarket meat (since its grain fed crap a lot of the time) anyway.

    Anyway, supermarket steaks in Aus are probably glued together. However, because supermarket steaks need to be cooked welldone to taste any good its not too much of a problem for me the occasional time I eat a supermarket steak.

  43. Hi, so not related to the topic but I am having a real hard time finding marrow bones to eat, could anyone help me out with some suggestions?

  44. Thanks for being a consistent voice of sanity Mark. This is just another witch hunt brought up by fearmongers who profit from spreading misinformation and exploiting the fears of a audience that already strongly tends towards Hypochondriasis.

    Like you said, in heavily processed foods, the TG is the least of your worries. I’ve cooked with the stuff, using top quality ingredients. I’ve also dined at high end restaurants where the chefs use it as a powerful tool to create delicious flavors and textures. If anything should be banned, it’s the CAFOs and factory slaughterhouses that create sick animals and bacteria tainted meats to begin with.

    TG in and of itself is a completely natural and harmless enzyme. Worried about the safety of your meats? DON’T BUY THE CHEAP STUFF. It’s really amazing how Americans strive to spend as little as possible on their food and then wonder why their health suffers.

    Here’s an idea: cancel your cable. Try driving less. With the money you save on not watching stupid television and driving when you could walk or ride a bike, you’ll be able to buy real meat from a real butcher, instead of processed crap sold bulk at your local Costco, Sam’s Club, or other warehouse of horrors.

    1. err, typo, that’s NOT driving when you could walk or ride a bike.

  45. From Robb Wolf’s Paleo Solution:

    “Transglutaminase is an enzyme that modifies *every* protein we make in the body.” [pg 90]

    “A recent study looking at children with type 1 diabetes [an autoimmune condition] found that a significant number of them had overt gut pathology, i.e., celiac. Some had a positive antibody test for celiac, but a number of kids were negative on both the Wheat Gluten Antibody test [a common blood test for celiac] and on an intestinal biopsy. So doctors would think there was no gluten influence on their condition. Interestingly, however, nearly all the kids showed antibodies in the deep tissues of the microvilli to transglutaminase” [pg 95]

  46. Hi, what is not natural and the real thing is total garbage, aren’t we taking in enought of it ,enough is enough
    Patricia

  47. Labelling on food? What next? Forced labor camps? Listen, if you want nanny-state government regulation, go and live in France or Europe or some other commie country.

    America is the land of the free. If a food producer wants to glue its meat together then let it. Nobody is forcing you to buy it. Grow your own cows if its that big a deal to you.

    God bless America – land of the free and home of the brave.

    1. do you happen to be one of the ones creating these poisons?????shame on you, are you feeding this stuff to yoursel and your children?????

      1. No I do not feed this glued meat to myself and certainly not to my children. I buy AMERICAN beef, not this knock-off Australian beef.

        USA! USA! USA!

      2. Incidentally I am not one of the ones “creating these poisons” but I object to government regulations. This is the land of the free. Do you think George Washington asked his butcher to label the ingredients in his meat? No, because he ate AMERICAN beef. 100% pure.

        USA! USA! USA!

      3. And one more thing Patricia and all the other pro-labellers (= commie enablers):

        Have you ever heard the expression “if you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen”?

        Well, here’s a little variation on that:

        If you can’t take the freedom, get out of America.

        USA! USA! USA!

        1. I can take the heat in any kitchen , but you said it beautifuly , George Washington ate 100% pure beef , or fowl, vegetables,or what ever was in his and others at that time in history, not the garbage that has been thrown at us today.

        2. George Washington didn’t eat vegetables. Nothing but pure unadulterated American beef – with perhaps a side order of freedom fries. Testosterone coursed through his veins and every meal he ate contained at least 24 oz of prime steak – including breakfast.

          Do you think we’d have won our independence if Washington had been a vegetarian, munching away on his organic tofu and skinless chicken breast?

          Fat chance. We’d have got our asses handed to us and we’d all be speaking German. Fact.

          So don’t talk to me about vegetables Patricia.

    2. “land of the free and home of the brave.” and the DECIEVED??

  48. I don’t think that you where there to see exactly what was eaten,
    do you realize what you sound like to the other members of this forum, why don’t you retier for the evening ,and maybe you will have a clearer head in the morning

  49. Patricia, I don’t know you, but based solely on our little tete-a-tete here tonight, I suspect you are:

    (a) not American – probably European, possibly French

    and (b) really sexy.

    The first is obvious, the second is just, I dunno, Primal intuition.

    Grok on Patricia!

  50. Curious how in the video they put on masks (because the meat glue is “dangerous” and they don’t want it in their bodies), but then later they eat the product in the glued meat???

  51. While serving in Iraq I was eating a steak that just didn’t seem right and had all the components you explained. It was actually so distasteful that I didn’t finish it. I’m glad that you covered this topic because I was curious about that weird piece of so called steak. Thanks.

  52. Commenting on a much earlier post in this thread—- I’m down with pooling the money and buying that Island 🙂

  53. Hi Mark it was great meeting you last night Crossfit NYC. Your talk and Q&A were great.

    “Fat burning is our default factory setting.” My favorite quote of the night.

  54. Thomas Keller uses this stuff in his restaurant and has a number of recipes that call for it in his “Under Pressure” cookbook. Although TK is not paleo/primal, he does appear to be part of the local and sustainable movement and I trust his approach to cooking and food preparation in general. I agree that it would be more than a bit misleading to take a bunch of odd pieces of this and that and sell it glued together as a prime cut, but I don’t think that the meat glue itself is harmful.

  55. Now I kind of want to get some meat glue… make a giant low-carb wrap out of pieces of prosciutto 😀

  56. Ewww is right. Which really kinda sucks because I love bologna and hotdogs, and knowledge is ruining it for me!!! LOL.

  57. So does all the meat glue get used up in the bonding process? Can we be 100% certain about that?

    For some reason, the thought of ingesting something that glues meat together seems like something to be avoided. Not that I am made of meat or anything….

  58. This entire post makes me glad that all of my steaks came from one animal (named Obamoo, just in case you were wondering), wrapped in paper the day it was butchered and lying in pretty white packages in my freezer. Whatever steak I take out, I know it’s real. Where I live, we are very fortunate to have several restaurants that locally source their meat and organic veggies and eating there you know you are getting the real thing. One day when taking some friends out to one of these restaurants (Italian), they said they’d rather go to Olive Garden because they have favorite items on the menu. I happen to know what’s in Olive Garden’s food, because my son had an allergic reaction there so I got to look at the (lengthy and unpronounceable) ingredient lists for everything he’d eaten. Everything they have there is a frankenfood made from a mix with all kinds of crappy additives. It might look similar to Italian food that you’d get in a real restaurant, but it’s nothing like it. Never eaten there again.

    Bottom line: eat at real places, get real food. I’d rather eat out less often and pay more to eat real food.

  59. Wow, I did’t even know about it. I can’t believe how far the food industry has been crossing all the lines. I always buy a whole chicken, and I don’t eat pork. But I do eat a lot of steak, now that I know this, I am going to inspect all of my meat.
    Thanks Mark, always very informative post.

  60. Sorry Mark, but as a nutritionist I can’t agree.

    Transglutaminase creates an unatural bond between lysine and glutamine, there are questions about whether this compromises two of the essential amino acids in meat/fish.

    In the microbial form it also acts as a blood clotting agent.

    It is used in most forms of commercial cereal products, milk, and yoghurt as well as meat/fish. Worse, there is no need for them to put this on the ingredients list.

    Being cynical this seems like a big Pharma ploy to sell more statins.

  61. I had my first experience with this stuff when a family member got some “stead” from a source that I wouldn’t have chosen for getting meat. When I was presented with the product to cook, I took one look at the strips and told her that these aren’t normal (while they were still in the wrap). After grilling them, and each of us having a bite, I announced that she must never again get meat at that store, because these were not genuine strip steaks; they were formed together into a piece of meat that looked like a steak. Needless to say, every piece of meat that comes into my house is direct from the butcher or processor, and I inspect the facility first. I would trust my own eyes over those of a government inspector.

    1. Kevin, you are right. In addition, IMO, those who say paying attention to from where your food comes is too time-consuming and can’t be done are not yet ready to take responsibility for their own (and their family’s) health.

      OK, no snarky replies, please. I said IN MY OPINION. You’re welcome to your opinion as well. I just posit that if you spend more than 2 hours on the internet (MDA excluded) or watching TV, you have time. Again, IMO.

  62. I prefer the “meat glue” that EpicMealTime makes to hold their creations together. Real meat!

  63. On the plus side, “Meat Glue” would make for a great band name…

  64. ‘I would advise against cooking your “steak” like a steak until well done, because, well, that just ruins meat…’.

    Wrong! It only does that when the cuts are too thick (the way the U.S.A. supplies them) or too lean (the way most cows are bred and fed these days). But you can fix both by further slicing them yourself and cutting pockets and putting butter in them – and then you can cook them properly. I wonder if suppliers could incorporate butter or some other fat during the gluing process, as well as cutting them properly?

  65. I hadn’t bought steaks from the grocery store for a long time, but ribeyes were on sale so I picked up a few.

    I cooked it with a little pepper, nothing more. Got crazy cravings afterward as if I ate something with lots of sugar or MSG. I also had a weird taste in my mouth afterward.

    I noticed the cooked steak separated into smaller pieces, as if they were pushed together, as Mark describes. It was a really small steak, ridiculous to use the pieces to put it together.

    This is crazy, you don’t know what you’re getting anymore. I SO don’t appreciate thinking I’m going to have a nice steak but instead I’m having — something else. And as pointed out in the post, it’s a ripoff to pay $6 for a small ribeye.

  66. If you feel weird about asking because it might be insulting and want an alternative way of figuring this out, you could ask your butcher if they have fat trimmings available, like suet or lard. If they do, even if they say “nothing today but on other days when we butcher we would”, they’re butchering their sides of meat themselves and it’s not likely they’ve got anything that used glue except the sausage. Especially if you can then see flank steak, rump round, and stockpot pieces all separately for sale in their respective little packets.

    Sadly though, there’s something else to consider: meat glue explains a lot about the cold cuts I buy. That “ham” or that “turkey” which comes shaved wafer-thin in the suspiciously square shape? Yeah, it wasn’t carved from one massive turkey breast in a square block. Eeep.

  67. Sadly the program you chose for this big expose is as shonky as the topic.
    Notice the speaker calls it transglutanimase. The program is regarded as very poor in content, faked stories and advertorials.

  68. When you go into a butcher, you will know if they use meat glue. In the late 60’s & the 70’s most butchers smelled like wet dog to me, I was always told it was the saw dust, apparently it is themeat glue that smells like wet dog.transglutaminase There is a way to test if your meat glue is still working. Get a small scrap of raw meat (we use chicken). Apply a liberal amount of meat glue to the meat and massage it in. Sniff the meat (don’t inhale the powder). If the meat smells like a wet dog or a wet wool sweater, your glue is good. If it doesn’t, your glue is bad

  69. im going to use it to cut my cocaine.
    i used to use lactose but now i hear the trend is transglutimase.
    (this is called sarcastic humour,folks)
    drugs are bad so is transglutimase.
    dont mix your drugs. or transhuminase.

  70. I just prefer my meat to come as a direct cut rather than a treatment process. Witness the recent uproar in Iowa regarding Lean Finely Textured Beef, aka Pink Slime. I don’t care how safe the governor says it is, I prefer to avoid eating anything treated with ammonium hydroxide gas to kill the bacteria. These are the same folks who believe the government’s food plate, pyramid or whatever name they’re calling it now:SAD.

  71. Matthias T, et al. The industrial food additive, microbial transglutaminase, mimics tissue transglutaminase and is immunogenic in celiac disease patients. Autoimmun Rev. 2016 Dec;15(12):1111-1119.

  72. Anyone who reacts to MSG under any of its many names might react to transglutaminase. I’ve run into meat glue and it made me thoroughly sick. Days of headache and that weird vibration straight out of a Chinese restaurant.