Fancy some ‘meat glue’?

ABC News

How some are turning stew meat into filet mignon and charging for the privilege. I wonder if anyone is doing this here?

Pinning down who is using transglutaminase isn’t easy. One meat company owner told KGO-TV that gluing meat is common practice, and the most glued product by far is filet mignon destined for the food service industry.

An industry trade group also said meat glue is most often used where filet mignon is served in bulk – at a restaurant, banquet, cafeteria or hotel.

“You ask yourself, how can they make money selling these cheap steaks all day long, and that look really nice? This is one way of doing it,” Terje said.

And check out the spin from the Meat Industry spokesperson. They make Matthew Hooton seem reasonable:

But the American Meat Institute, a lobby for the meat industry, wants to stress meat glue is used in the industry to glue scraps of filet mignon back together – so technically you’re still getting filet meat.

“It gives chefs and specialists some flexibility to create a very nutritious and healthy product and add value to what ultimately, worst-case scenario, would just be thrown away,” said Betsy Booren, director of scientific affairs for the American Meat Institute.


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  • TV3 did a news feature in this last month Cam – looked gross (damn it might have even been Campbell Live!! Can’t remember) they visited a lot of Wellington top restaurants and most used the technique to ensure (they claimed) equal and like portions to their customers….

    Yep found it – Cambell Live

    • Work for a living

       Yup, story done over a year ago…

  • rouppe

    The assertion that it would otherwise just be thrown away seems suspicious. So called ‘scraps’  that are large enough to be glued back together could surely be used for other dishes, just has egg whites from eggs where the yolk has been used for other purposes is used for pavlova or meringues…

  • Col

    I understand it is primarily used on the ‘tail’ of a filet to wrap so that the whole filet is the same diameter – much easier to slice and apportion.

  • Petal

    As a lover of meat and eating in general, I actually contacted the Green Party as part of their “labelling honesty” campaign.  It turned out Sue Kedgley had sent a compaint to the Commerce Commission a few days before. 

    She responded to my email to say that she had complained, but it appears nothing much more has happened since

    The Meat Industry denied its harm (not its use), and that seems to be it.

  • Petal

    Incidentally, all I would like to see is that meat is LABELLED as glued.  That way consumers can make an informed choice.

  • Andrei

    A big SO WHAT!!!!!!

    • Petal

      Actually, if I am asked to pay $40+ for a plate of top notch steak at a restaurant, I very much appreciate it if they didn’t sell me glued together scraps.

      But thanks for wading into the debate with such an incisive retort.

    • Brian Smaller

       I wonder that as well.  I guess the food handling is what is important.  However, I KNOW my fillet is the genuine article. It comes from my own steers.

    • cricklewood

      Umm I like rare steak. I wouldn’t eat rare burger pattie a glued fillet is no different

      • Guest

        Surely only if it’s actually a different cut altogether , like bolar or something, being passed off as fillet?

  • Gaz

    Big deal.  Traditionally cooks tie or clingfilm steak to help it set and not tear apart when cooking.  Meat glue is just an extension of this.  Hey, I’d be more worried about chefs searing meat still held together with clingfilm – carcinogens anyone?

    What about standard industry practice of injecting liquid + protein into pork products to increase the weight – it’s sold by the kg, and more kg = more $.  There’s a scam if ever there was one.

    • Gaz

      Also, I doubt this meat glue abuse would be a big problem in NZ.  Too much hassle, too small a market.  The USA, yes, I could see that happening.

      Chicken is another one.  Full of moisture.  Weight = $ remember.  In Holland they used to call this “plof kip”, as the meat would “plof” when cooked… messy.

  • Kosh103

    Oh dear, another non starter story cam. First the hells pizza snore and now this.

    Are you slipping?