Meat Glue

It is incredible the bad inventions that the food industry comes up with and puts in our food. It is becoming more and more difficult to eat out or to buy food in the store that will give us true health and longevity. It is becoming more important to buy locally and to know where our food is coming from and how it was raised. One of the latest things is a meat glue that is used to glue pieces of meat together so that pieces of meat can be sold as a "whole" piece of meat. One of my questions is, if it glues meat together, what does it do inside our body? We are made of meat.

The statement that Joseph Gonzales makes in the article below "There’s a 50 percent chance you’re eating it every day, and it could be dangerous", makes me wonder what all they are using it in that is not listed in the articles: Roast beef sandwiches? Turkey breast sandwiches? Lunch meat? Those nicely prepared, ready-to-heat meats and meals in the grocery stores? Etc.

The following is a snippet from the April 24, 2011 WTOP news article titled "Meat Glue – You’ve probably had it, and it could be dangerous"

"WASHINGTON – There’s a meat industry secret they probably don’t want you to know. It’s called transglutaminase, more commonly known as ‘meat glue.’

"It’s made from a blood-clotting enzyme from beef and pork plasma that helps turn leftover scraps of meat into whole fillets that can be sold at market price.

"Joseph Gonzales, dietitian for the Cancer Project, says there’s a 50 percent chance you’re eating it every day, and it could be dangerous.

"’All the bacteria is still on the outside of the meat and as you gather them together, they start to fold inward. Now you can’t cook off that bad bacteria because it’s stuck inside,’ Gonzales says.

"The FDA categorizes transglutaminase as Generally Recognized as Safe, but the study was funded by Ajinomoto, the same company that produces it and other products like MSG."

Another article that explains more about meat glue and has some excellent pictures is "Industry-Wide Use of Meat Glue Sticks Together Scraps of Meat to Sell You Prime Cuts"

The following is a quote from that article:

"Meat Glue: It sounds utterly repellent; like some pre-industrial, rustic adhesive, but it’s actually a fine, tasteless powder that looks like icing sugar and it makes meat and other proteins stick together like super glue. If you are eating meat, chances are you’re eating or have eaten the glue at some point.

"This sort of thing has been a boon to the food industry, which can now treat all sorts of proteins like meat or fish as just another material to be processed, but in the hands of molecular gastronomists it’s become a way to manipulate food in a way that would have been previously impossible. It’s possible, for example, to make tenderloin rolls wrapped in bacon that hold together perfectly without the need for twine or toothpicks."

Food, Inc.

We recently watched "Food, Inc." Many of you have already seen Food, Inc., and if you haven’t seen it yet we highly recommend it. They take you inside the chicken houses, feed lots, and poultry and beef processing plants and give a behind the scenes view of where food comes from and how it is processed. They give you an inside view of how some of the large multinational companies are bullying farmers into submission to their program. You will see why I said "I’ll NEVER raise chickens" after working on a farm when I was in college where I took care of 75,000 broiler chickens in the big factory farm "jail" chicken house.

We saw Food, Inc. the week before the latest egg salmonella scare occurred with the 500,000,000 egg recall. When I saw the processing plants with the conveyors, shackle lines, pipes, etc. that move raw meat and other food ingredients from one place to another, I was amazed that there has not been a lot more food poisoning. For example: it would be difficult, on a daily basis, to completely clean a big long belt conveyor that carries raw hamburger. There are rollers and other contact points under the conveyor that carry the conveyor belt back to the starting end of the conveyor that would be difficult to completely clean. It is a totally different situation than a small butcher shop where it is relatively easy to clean down the tables and small machines at the end of the day. Because of the difficulty of totally cleaning up the big processing plants, they have to use irradiation, ammonia, and other chemicals with names that we can hardly pronounce to control bacteria from growing in the final food product.

The chicken houses are very similar to the ones I worked in when I was in college. The chickens walk a short distance to the feeder, or a short distance to the waterer and then they plop down. There are so many birds packed together. Every day I walked through the chicken houses and picked up the dead chickens just like the lady does. What you can’t experience in the movie is the strong ammonia smell inside the chicken house from the manure nor do you experience all the manure dust that is continually in the air. My one uncle developed a bad cough from breathing all that dust in his chicken house. He finally had to sell his farm because of his health.

One of the newer changes in most chicken houses today is the windows have been closed up and the chickens never see sunlight. They are dark tunnel houses with controlled lighting so that the chickens can be stimulated to eat more. The chickens never know when it is day or night.

Chickens can be controlled very easily with light. When I worked in the factory farm chicken house, it was fun to play with the dimmer switch. When I turned the lights up the chickens got up and started eating, then when I turned the lights down the chickens sat down. I could make the whole sea of chickens move up and down at will with the lights. The poor chickens never see sunlight!

Another characteristic of confinement raised chickens, and this includes chickens raised in confinement in small chicken tractor pens on pasture is that their legs have difficulty holding them up. They plop down rather than gently sit down. This is mentioned in the movie. When I saw a chicken plop down in Food Inc. I suddenly realized it is not as much a characteristic of our chickens any more, even though we have the same breed of chicken. It is not a breed problem, it is how they are raised. Our chickens get lots of exercise and have strong healthy leg muscles that can support their body. They are not the flabby, weak muscled, couch potato, lazy chickens that people buy in the grocery stores and restaurants. We are what we eat and I wonder how much the way the meat is raised affects the person who eats it to be flabby, weak muscled, lazy, etc.

Our broiler chickens getting plenty of exercise and sunshine and a fresh "salad bar" pasture.

The laying hens eagerly going out to the pasture in the morning.

One point in Food, Inc. that was misunderstood by at least one person is that they said that there are 13 main slaughter houses in the US that process the majority of the beef. That does not mean that there are only 13 slaughter houses in the US. There are still many small butcher shops left. We get our lamb processed at Horst Meats, a small family owned USDA butcher shop that is located on their farm near Hagerstown, Maryland. Our butcher is a relative and we feel confident that we get back the same lambs that we take in. When you purchase pasture finished lamb from us you are supporting not only our farm but also a local small butcher shop that is not part of the factory food industry.

What Food, Inc. does not have time to address is where the other half of the food that the US consumes comes from. Almost half of the food consumed in the US comes from other countries. What are their processing plants like? How do they control food borne bacteria? Are the methods USDA approved? What are the working conditions of the employees like? When we eat at a restaurant, or buy food in the grocery store (organic or conventional), what practices and growing methods are we actually supporting overseas with our food dollars? Is the food really fit to eat? What is the environmental impact in those countries?

When you buy local from us at Jehovah-Jireh Farm, you can meet the farmers, you can see where your food comes from and how it was raised, and you can taste the difference.

Monsanto – Too Big to Fall?

Here in the Washington DC area you often hear Monsanto running ads on the radio touting how they are helping farmers feed the world and how they are supporting sustainable agriculture. However, Monsanto is anything but a supporter of sustainable agriculture. They are a giant agricultural chemical and genetically modified (GMO) seed corporation that has done much damage to sustainable agriculture. Many people have lamented how Monsanto has been able to "legally" run rough shod over farmers in developing a monopoly in the agricultural world.

Last month, a little reported, but very significant event happened. France’s Supreme Court ruled against Monsanto, saying that the agrochemical giant had not told the truth about its best selling weed-killer, Roundup. Monsanto had falsely advertised Roundup as being "biodegradeable" and claimed that it "left the soil clean".  Roundup is not biodegradable and it does contaminate the soil.

For years we have been told that when Roundup is sprayed it kills plants, but when the chemical comes in contact with the soil it is neutralized. It has been said so often that many believe it to be true. France’s Supreme Court’s ruling shows proof that Roundup is not neutralized in the soil. The use of Roundup is one of the leading reasons why Monsanto has developed genetically modified seeds. The plants grown from their genetically modified seeds can be sprayed with Roundup and will not die. That enables farmer to spray their fields with Roundup and kill the weeds after the corn or soybeans have come up and not harm the corn or soybeans.

Keep watching. Someday – maybe in the distant future – but someday, Monsanto and their Roundup will likely disappear, never to be seen again.  "I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree.  Yet he passed away, and, lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found." (Psalm 37:35-36)

Monsanto’s philosophy is built upon the evolutionary mindset that there is no God and that genetic selection (including genetically modified organisms—GMO’s) is THE answer to improving food production and feeding the world. What is being missed is that while genetic improvement has increased food production, the nutrient density of the food has decreased along with human and animal health. More food has to be consumed to supply the needed nutrients and as a result, obesity is increasing among children. The majority of people and animals today are either on pharmaceutical drugs or natural supplements to try to have some semblance of health. This is a testimony that Monsanto’s method of genetic selection is not THE answer.

God created the soil full of minerals in the Garden of Eden. The soil has been declining ever since. It has been documented that in the last 60 years that the mineral density of the soils has significantly decreased. We need to first rebuild the mineral and organic density of our soil. Then we can select for genetic superiority. The seeds that have been genetically selected by Monsanto to grow in mineral depleted soils do not have the proper genetic expression to grow in nutrient rich soils and produce nutrient dense foods. Many organic farmers and gardeners have discovered this and that is why there is a growing interest in heirloom seeds. The heirloom seeds in improved soils produce higher protein food and nutrient density. Along with the nutrient density is a significantly improved flavor. Our mouths tell us what food is best for our bodies by how good the food tastes.  When a tomato looks like a tomato but acts and tastes more like a tennis ball, you can be sure that that tomato was genetically selected for some other quality than nutrient dense food. Listen to your mouth and eat what is good! If it has a poor taste quality it is poor quality food. That is true of meats and eggs as well.

Links to articles on Monsanto  – An article showing how the "inactive" ingredients, the trade secret ingredients, that make Roundup more potent have been found to cause human liver cells to die.

Thanks for Supporting Our Local Farm

Thank you for your support this year. It is your support that makes it possible for us to provide clean, healthy, nutritious, pasture-raised meats and eggs for you. Now, more than ever, it is important that small local farms have the support of the consumers around them. We have been hearing a lot in the news about the credit crisis and the government’s $700 billion dollar bailout.

What we have not been hearing much about is the poultry industry crisis. Pilgrim’s Pride, the country’s largest chicken producer, is on the verge of bankruptcy. They were not able to meet their financial obligations at the end of September and their lending institution gave them a 30 day grace period. Their stock has dropped to less than $3.00 a share from a high of $40 a share in July of 2007.

The other big poultry producers have also been experiencing huge losses due to the high grain prices and their stocks have been dropping as well. Pilgrim’s Pride and Tyson made appeals to the government to ease the ethanol production mandates for this year to reduce the demand and the cost for corn.  The appeals were rejected. The government is more interested in energy production and bailing out Wall Street than in domestic food production!

The supply of cheap imported chicken and a reduced demand and oversupply of chickens has prevented the poultry industry from being able to raise their prices when grain prices went up dramatically this year. Chicken prices should be much higher in the grocery stores than what they are. With the price of conventional grain where it is, the price of conventional chicken should be about the same as what organic chicken was a year ago.

For years I have observed one poultry company buying up another. Then another company would buy up that one. With each buy out, the smaller company was merged to make a bigger poultry company. It was a dog eat dog world. I wondered what would happen when the biggest dog (poultry company) died and there was no one to take its place. We are about to see that happen.

With each year, we are losing more and more of our food independence and have to rely more and more on other countries to feed us. Along with that dependence on other countries for our cheap food is an increased health risk because of the reduced food regulation in other countries. The past two years has seen a huge increase in the problem of food poisonings from Salmonella in tomatoes and other vegetables to melamine in Chinese milk and pet food products. For years, the big factory farm model has been promoted as the best food production method. The big factory farm model is failing as we thought it would. And we see how very foolish it is for us to rely on other countries to provide our food for us. It is important now more than ever to encourage the development of smaller local farms and know where your food comes from.

MSG is Being Sprayed on our Fruits and Vegetables!

    I (Myron) was shocked when I found out that free glutamic acid, the main ingredient in MSG, is being sprayed on some fruit and vegetable crops to make bigger and more attractive produce. It is also used as a pesticide. My father had problems with pain in his shoulders, and the doctor tested him and found that he had a lot of MSG in his body. My parents were surprised, because they have been careful to not use MSG in their food. What we found is that MSG is being used in food and listed under many different names other than MSG. It is in almost all processed foods. In addition, it is being sprayed on some crops such as grapes, celery, cucumbers, navy and pinto beans, green beans, peppers, Iceberg lettuce, Romaine and Butter Leaf lettuce, tomatoes and watermelons, as well as many others.

    Another thing that I found is that "organic" does not mean no MSG.  Autolyzed yeast, natural flavoring and hydrolyzed protein in organic products contain just as much processed free glutamic acid (MSG) as conventional products. Products sold, or labeled as 100 percent organic have to be 100% organic. However, products sold or labeled as organic must contain at least 95% organic material. As much as 5% of an organic product can be non-organic ingredients (most of the flavorings, etc)!

    It is thought to be cheaper or at least easier to buy our fruits and vegetables at the grocery store. However, this is one more reason why it’s time to start growing your own food or to at least purchase it from a trusted source where you know how it was raised. In addition, as more and more of our food is being imported from countries that do not have the regulations on chemical usage that we have here in the US, we become even more vulnerable in the chemical contamination of our food supply.

You may find some of these articles on MSG being sprayed on our crops interesting:

The following is from Dr. Jordan Rubin’s recent newsletter:

How to Get Sick: Eat Grocery Store Produce and Processed Foods

"What a mouthful—literally! Pesticides and herbicides are among the world’s most deadly chemical compounds. If a pesticide or herbicide kills one thing, it will probably kill, mutate, or seriously damage a whole host of other things. The problem with these compounds is that they tend to stay on the fruit, vegetable, or plant they were applied to. Toxins from our water, air, food, and buildings only make things worse."

The Importance of Organic – Less Chance of Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

Last month the Poultry Site web site had an article about research by a team of Johns Hopkins researchers on antibiotic-resistant bacteria found in chicken purchased in Baltimore, MD supermarkets. They purchased chickens in the supermarkets from five different poultry companies for 20 weeks in 2004 and for 15 weeks in 2006. In both 2004 and 2006 they found that Campylobacter strains of bacteria from conventionally produced chicken were more likely to be resistant to the fluoroquinolone class of antibiotics than antibiotic-free chicken. Fluoroquinolone antibiotics are used by doctors to treat food poisoning caused by Campylobacter. Poultry producers had been using fluoroquinolones to treat respiratory disease in their chickens but claimed that they had stopped using it in 2002 three years before it was banned by the FDA in 2005. Despite the fluoroquinolone no longer being used to treat the chickens, the proportion of antibiotic-resistant bacteria on the conventionally produced chicken showed no significant change between 2004 and 2006 indicating that the amount of antibiotic-resistant bacteria was not decreasing in chicken from these producers.

One sentence in the report was particularly eye opening. It said that the authors were not able to verify that the producers had voluntarily stopped using the fluoroquinolone antibiotics in 2002, because poultry producers are not required to report their use of drugs in food animals to regulatory agencies!!! Who knows what drugs the big poultry producers are using? It is a secret that only they know. This is another reason why organically raised chickens, turkeys, and eggs are a better choice than conventionally produced poultry and eggs. To read more …

Chemical and Pesticide Corn – Affecting our Children’s Intelligence

In May 2007, a report was released showing a correlation between corn fertilizer and pesticide application and lasting impacts on children’s intelligence. The study was conducted in Indiana, a major corn producing state. The months of June through August have the highest levels of fertilizer and herbicide runoff from corn fields into surface water. Indiana children conceived June through August have the lowest scores on math and language tests, according to a study by University of Indiana Medical researchers. High nitrate and atrazine levels are suspected of affecting the normal production of thyroid hormones.

The study was based on looking at test scores of more than 1.6 million Indiana students in grades 3 through 10. The result was consistent across races and genders. Children conceived when fertilizer and pesticide application was the highest turned in the lowest scores in math and language tests!

The researchers also looked at data from 27 million births from 1996 to 2002 and found that premature births were highest for the year in June conception and birth defects peaked for conceptions during the months of the highest corn chemical applications! To read more follow this link: or do a Google search.

This is sobering information. Corn is likely to have an impact on even more little children this year. Because of the high demand for corn created by ethanol fuel production, 14.5 million more acres of corn were planted this year in the US than the number of acres in corn last year. Ethanol fuel from corn is looking more and more like a very poor solution to our oil and fuel needs.

There is one more question that needs to be asked. If the small minute amount of chemical that runs off in a rain storm, and gets further diluted in a large amount of water in a river or underground stream, affects an unborn child because its mother drank the water, what about effects of eating the corn itself? There is a large concentration of chemicals that are sprayed directly on the plant and chemicals that are absorbed by the roots that becomes part of the corn itself. Logically thinking, it would seem that there is an even greater potential for the pesticides and other chemicals to affect everyone’s intelligence regardless of what month they were conceived because we directly eat the corn, drink soda made from corn syrup, eat beef or chicken raised on chemical corn, or consume any of the many other products made from corn.

Is organic really worth the extra money? Yes, it is! Do you really want to eat or drink something that has conventional chemical and pesticide corn in it, or chicken or beef that chemical and pesticide corn was fed to? It is not just an issue about ourselves and our own families, but when we consume products made with chemical corn, we are supporting a farm where the chemical runoff from the field the corn was raised in is affecting other innocent little children for the rest of their lives.