Think You Know What Animal You’re Eating? You Probably Don’t

A new piece by Salon reveals the increasingly common mislabeling of meat products:
Pork is swapped for beef, beef is swapped for buffalo, fat trimmings and offal (internal organs) are added to minced beef, chicken is sold as lamb, pork is sold as chicken, and beef and pork gristle and bones are injected into chicken.
Substitutions are most prevalent in processed meat products like sausages and chicken nuggets; however, other meat products are also altered to increase profits.

Cheaper meats are added to more expensive cuts, and meats sometimes even completely replace other meats. According to the article, in at least one instance, whole cuts of pork were made to look like beef:
The pork is mixed with beef extract and a glazing agent and left to sit for ninety minutes. When cooked, the meat takes on a dark beef-like appearance rather than the characteristic white pork color. The beef extracts even give it the beefy aroma one would expect. Though it may be more difficult to swindle people over whole cuts of meat, this shows it’s not impossible.
But deceptive meat producers are nothing new.

Nearly everyone remembers the nationwide outrage over the widespread use of “pink slime.” This vomit-worthy product is created by treating beef scraps and cow connective tissue with ammonium hydroxide to kill off E. coli and other dangerous pathogens that may be present.

Highly publicized in 2012, the use of pink slime resulted in serious consumer backlash for the beef industry after an ABC News report revealed that 70 percent of the ground beef at U.S. supermarkets contained the additive.

And let’s not forget the horse meat scandal that rocked parts of Europe a few years ago. When trace amounts of horse meat were found in ground beef used for hamburger, the outcry resulted in the recall of 10 million pounds of meat. 
The idea of eating horse meat provoked an intense emotional response from many people. The truth remains, however, that all animals suffer in the same way when violently slaughtered.

Luckily, compassionate people can withdraw their support from this cruel and misleading industry by leaving meat and other animal products off the menu.

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