The Processed Way of Eating

Despite my plan to avoid social media while working on my book, I’ve spent the earlier part of this afternoon over on FaceBook discussing meat glue (why yes, I am procrastinating, how did you guess?), and its implications in the greater food service industry, aside from its use in molecular gastronomy. Because it seems that there are a few restaurants and food supply companies that are taking chunks of stewing beef and mushing them together with meat glue to make what looks like a reasonable facsimile of a filet mignon.

These filet mignon, so far, seem to exist within the realm of large-scale lower-end food service – school cafeterias and catered weddings were two such examples given. I wouldn’t expect to see them at high-end steak houses or places that are known for the authenticity or terroir of their beef, but it’s reasonable to assume that they will eventually show up (unannounced, no doubt) on the menu of low- to mid-range restaurants across both the US and Canada.

(Note that the meat glue itself is perfectly safe. The concern comes from creating a “steak” out of various cuts of beef and then cooking it to less than medium well-done because of possible bacteria that may have been on the surfaces of the various pieces of meat that are now in the centre of the steak and might not be cooked to the appropriate temperature to kill said bacteria. A standard steak has no such problem since the centre is untainted and could not have come in contact with any kind of contamination.)

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Lucky Dip – Thursday, June 9th, 2011

Earth Bloor West delivers the same consistent dishes as Ed Ho’s other two locations. [NOW]

Turns out, not everyone who works with food and writes about food is obsessed with food. [Village Voice/The Feast]

We all buy them from time to time, so… who makes the best prepared salads? [Food With Legs]

It reeks of a little bit of desperation – dieters are more likely to trust claims on food packaging. [US News Health]

Now, food comes on two wheels. [The Grid]

Meat glue – it’s going upscale and mainstream, and some of the world’s top chefs think the stuff is really, really keen. [MeatPaper]

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