Monday, March 03, 2003

You have a problem:
A billion-dollars-worth of beef gets thrown away every year by U.S. supermarkets, say meat industry experts. It happens because beef that sits in the meatcase too long, exposed to the natural atmosphere, begins to lose its bright cherry-red color, and turns brown. This natural oxidation process doesn't necessarily mean there's anything wrong with the meat, but health-conscious consumers will likely pick over it in favor of something that looks fresher. Eventually, the discolored meat gets thrown out � at a billion-dollar loss!
Is the solution to stop shipping slaughterhouse-packed subprimals straight to the market? No (it would raise supermarket labor costs intolerably if they had to retain skilled workers who knew anything about meat); instead we are going to force-feed the cows vitamin E at the feedlot, then use modified atmosphere packaging to "give the meat a few extra days to find a shopper."



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