Restructured Meat

Did I hear that correctly?  Unfortunately, yes.  Today on  NPR it was that very phrase that made me stop, mid-kale-preparation (and you know, that takes something pretty big) to make sure my ears weren’t playing tricks on me.


Curious to know what that means?

I sure was.

Here’s what I found:

According to Chicago magazine, restructured meat products are commonly manufactured by using lower-valued meat trimmings reduced in size by comminution (flaking, chunking, grinding, chopping or slicing). The comminuted meat mixture is mixed with salt and water to extract salt-soluble proteins. These extracted proteins are critical to produce a “glue” which binds muscle pieces together. These muscle pieces may then be reformed to produce a “meat log” of specific form or shape. The log is then cut into steaks or chops which, when cooked, are similar in appearance and texture to their intact muscle counterparts. … Such products as tripe, heart, and scalded stomachs are high in protein, completely edible, wholesome, and nutritious, and most are already used in sausage without objection.

While I have no objection to eating organ meats or skin from time to time, I do have an issue with ingesting something so highly processed that it can form a ‘glue’ and be made into the shape of a ‘log’.  Isn’t that what kids do with play-doh?

I love the mention of the nutrients in organ meat… as though all the other non-food bits in a Mc Rib don’t matter, such as azodicarbonamide, ammonium sulfate and polysorbate 80 — those are just three of the 70 ingredients (34 in the bun alone) according to

Think I’ll pass.