Mmmmmm. . . Franken-Meat [JR makes Homer sound]

There is a bonus scene on the DVD version of Morgan Spurlock's documentary, Supersize Me, that will get any sentient being to give up McDonalds French Fries in a heartbeat. Spurlock places various burgers along with most other things you can buy at McDonald's under glass jars. The food from down the street starts to rot immediately. Most of the McDonald's food rots soon enough, but the french fries look absolutely the same weeks later. I thought of that scene again when I read this from an Omaha TV station:
The gas treatment poses no known health risk, but experts including [No Frills supermarkets VP Kevin] Hennessy say the concern is that carbon monoxide may fool customers into thinking meat is very fresh when it's not. The KETV NewsWatch 7 I-Team deliberately spoiled packaged ground beef purchased on the same day from five area stores and left it out overnight. Several meat experts said that untreated meat should turn brown, while meat treated with carbon monoxide should remain red. After 24 hours pass, only the meat purchased at Wal-Mart was red. The meat from the other stores was brown. I-Team learned that there is no scientific way to be sure the Wal-Mart meat was treated with carbon monoxide and Wal-Mart declined comment.
This story is from last May. That's about four months AFTER Wal-Mart started telling inquiring reporters that they don't sell carbon monoxide meat in their stores. The Omaha station offers this as advice to discerning consumers:
Experts said the best way to judge meat’s freshness is to check the dates. Don't hesitate to ask your butcher when the meat was ground.
But you can't do that at Wal-Mart as they fired all the butchers. It seemed a few in Texas had this shocking idea that joining a union might be a good idea so Bentonville demoted all of them across the country. All the meat at Wal-Mart across the country is case-ready. That means you have no choice. I said it before and I said it again, "Only a Fool Would Eat Meat from Wal-Mart." Update: "Ryocokey" writing at my cross-post on Kos links to this from the USDA:
Optimum surface color of fresh meat (i.e., cherry-red for beef...) is highly unstable and short-lived.
Unless you are gassing it with carbon monoxide. And if you really want to be grossed out, follow the link to the USDA pamphlet Peter provides below.

2 Responses to “Mmmmmm. . . Franken-Meat [JR makes Homer sound]”

  1. Peter Sayles says:

    There is only ONE reason to use CO in meat packaging and that is to keep the meat LOOKING fresh. There is a bill in the House of Reps HR 5991 that seeks to end this practice. Unfortunately, the proponents of the Bill are all Democrats. The bill was referred to the House Comm. on Agriculture on 7/28/2006 and to the subcomm. on livestock and horticulture on 8/7/2006. The American Meat Institute, of course, wants the practice to continue. Click here — CO on page 8 — to see what else is allowed into our meat. More on MAP here

  2. […] I know that if I wanted to ensure marital bliss or impress some sweet young thing with my shopping skills and willingness spend my money judiciously I’d be sure to order my flowers from Wal-Mart. I just hope that Wal-Mart’s flowers are fresher than its meat. Do flowers last longer and retain their color better if you infuse them with carbon dioxide? […]

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