Meat MythCrushers

As leading South African meat wholesalers, N1 know how important it is to stay abreast of industry news and events and to ensure that consumers are similarly properly informed and kept up to date. Misconceptions creep in across all industries, and one site, in particular, Meat MythCrushers is dedicated to providing customers and media with the full picture when it comes to meat misconceptions.

Reviewed and developed by leading experts in the field of meat and animal science, food safety and nutrition; the site offers a number of resources, some pertinent to the American market, others addressing issues that can be applied globally. As suppliers of wholesale meat in Johannesburg and Western Cape, we found two misconceptions particularly interesting – a myth surrounding environmental impact and another focusing on food safety.

Courtesy of their fact sheet:

ENVIRONMENT MYTH:

It Takes 2,400 Gallons [9,084 Litres] of Water to Make a Pound [0.45 Kilogram] of Beef

FACT: The 2,400 number may have been true 30 to 40 years ago, but modern beef production has improved significantly over time as better husbandry practices have actually reduced water usage. Today it takes 441 gallons [1,669 litres] of water to produce one pound of boneless beef.

The large numbers often cited also rely on averaged global data. Other nations use more water than we do in the United States to raise livestock.

While 441 gallons might sound like a lot, it is important to keep this number in context compared to other products. It takes 713 gallons [2,699 litres] of water to make one cotton t-shirt, 39,090 [147,971 litres] to manufacture a car and 36 million gallons [136 million litres] a day leaks from the New York City water supply system.

FOOD SAFETY MYTH:

If Meat Turns Brown, That Means it is Spoiled

FACT: Red meat products are somewhat like sliced apples. Their colour can change rapidly – even though the product is still safe and wholesome. In fact, retail stores often discount red meat products that have changed colour but are still safe and wholesome – and well within their shelf life.

These colour changes in foods like apples and meat are the result of chemical changes caused by oxygen exposure. The untouched surface colour of fresh meat such as cherry-red for beef is highly unstable and short-lived. When meat is fresh and protected from contact with air (such as in vacuum packages), it has the purple-red colour that comes from myoglobin, one of the two key pigments responsible for the colour of meat. When exposed to air, myoglobin forms the pigment, oxymyoglobin, which gives the meat a pleasant cherry-red colour. The use of a plastic wrap that allows oxygen to pass through it helps ensure that the cut meats will retain this bright red colour. However, exposure to store lighting as well as the continued contact of myoglobin and oxymyoglobin with oxygen leads to the formation of metmyoglobin, a pigment that turns meat brownish-red.