Ingesting Mystery Meat
As a method of passing off decayed meat as fresh, meat industries in many countries are treating meat with highly toxic gas. In fact, 70 percent of all beef and chicken within the United States and Canada are subject to the treatment of the poisonous gas known as carbon monoxide. Add this knowledge to the recently exposed ammonia-tainted ‘pink slime’ used in meat being served to millions of people and schoolchildren, and you may be reluctant to ever eat meat again.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a toxic colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas which essentially replaces oxygen in the blood. When individuals are exposed to higher levels of CO, it begins to cause detrimental effects after binding to a molecule in the blood that normally carries oxygen, known as hemoglobin. Lower levels of exposure results in headaches, confusion, fatigue, and nausea, while higher levels of exposure could result in unconsciousness, death, or long-term negative neurological effects.
In order for meat to stay fresh, it must be below a certain temperature before being consumed. Even a few degrees above the recommended temperature can result in bacterial growth and hastened spoilage. In addition, grocery retailers face a challenge in knowing the actual temperature of the meat since UV radiation from the display case penetrates the packaging. As a solution, the meat industry decided to use utilize carbon monoxide for atmospheric packaging to extend shelf life. It is also for this reason that meat exhibits a bright red color, even when it has spoiled.
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“C. perfringens bacteria, the third-most-common cause of food-borne illness, has been proven to grow on what is considered fresh meat … about half of the fresh meat products [tested for these bacteria] are positive despite them being within the expiry period. 100% of … these cases come from packagers who adopted atmospheric packaging methods such as the use of carbon monoxide gas”.
Although meat itself has many beneficial properties, the processes in which most meat goes through is cause for alarm. Along with poisoning carbon monoxide being used to treat our meat, conventionally raised animals are injected with growth hormones, fed antibiotics, and given genetically modified grain – all of which are being passed along in the food chain to the consumers of these animals — humans. The use of antibiotics are creating drug-resistant superbugs, while growth hormones are causing various health problems due to hormone balance disruption. All the while, these animals are consuming life-threatening GM grain, which they would never naturally consume in the wild.
Being able to know of the many processes, treatments, and toxic ingredients added to meat and food as a whole is more important than ever. The labeling of genetically modified foods is an absolute must, as is the disclosure of the ingredients and processes food goes through before ending up in the hands of the consumer. However, until these changes come to pass, eating a well balanced organic variety of foods will cause avoidance of the numerous challenges which come with the consumption of conventional food.