“Enhanced”

At the Virginia Biological Farmer’s Conference I sat in on a fascinating talk by Ben Coleman of Mountain Run Farm, discussing how they raise and sell their grass-fed beef.  He mentioned how often water is injected into industrial beef to make it weigh more. That surprised me.  I knew it is a common practice with chicken, but I didn’t know about beef.

Doing a little research I discovered that the worst offender is industrial pork.  About 90% of the pork sold in supermarkets has had saline solution injected into it.  Check the packaging the next time you’re in a grocery store.  If it says the meat is “enhanced,” then it has saltwater brine in it.  The USDA permits up the injection of up to 12% volume saline solution in meat and allows the industry to use the euphemism “enhanced” to describe the practice.

I blogged about it a couple of years ago (HERE), saying:

If you buy meat that is labelled “enhanced with broth,” what that actually means is that the meat has been injected with saline solution to increase its weight and make it look plumper.  This is very common with chicken.  The label is intended to make you think you’re getting a superior product.  Instead, you’re getting ripped off.

How much water and saline solution are you paying for when you buy meat?

Meat purchased from actual farms (such as our pork) hasn’t been injected with saline solution.  Another thing to think about when comparing prices of real meat and factory meat.