What is hidden in your food?

Did you happen to me that after throwing a half-kilo of minced meat into the pan after frying, a few pieces of it were left in the bottom of the pan? How often when choosing a ham we are guided only by its appearance, this appetizing, flawless lighting? The choice of meat should not be limited to an affordable price, because it often does not go hand in hand with quality, and the producers cheat us, sell meat products, in which the meat is the least composed. In the case of meat, instead of quantity, it is worth focusing on quality.

You are what your food was eating

First of all, we have to pay attention to animal breeding. Without this, there is no question of good quality meat. The conditions under which animals are kept and what they are fed can have a direct impact on the composition of the meat. Studies show that the meat of grass-fed animals compared to grain-fed animals has a slightly smaller amount of myristic and palmitic acids belonging to saturated fatty acids.

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Animals crowded in cages that have never seen the sun often get sick, so it happens that they are given antibiotics and vaccines containing harmful substances that accumulate in their adipose tissue. If you do not want to eat meat that will hurt more than it helps, choose from proven farms where animals are grown organically and have access to fresh air and natural feed.

What is hidden in meat products?

Manufacturers do everything to make meat products, such as hams, sausages, sausages or pates, produce as cheaply as possible, i.e. with a reduced content of meat, so they fill them with other substances. Unfortunately, mainly due to these additives processed meat was on the list of factors causing cancer according to the WHO. In the process of traditional smoking of meat products during wood burning, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are produced, which together with smoking smoke get into the meat. The most toxic are benzo (a) pyrene. These compounds have pronounced chronic toxicity. They are dangerous because they cause neoplastic changes in various tissues. Many of them are also responsible for mutations of genetic material. These compounds are also present in grilled meat. Therefore, we should limit to the minimum the consumption of smoked and grilled meat.

Preservatives and other ingredients

It’s best to prepare the sausages yourself. We can cook good-quality loin in herbs or bake in marinade. However, if we go to the store, pay attention to the composition and appearance of the ham. Often the meat content does not exceed 50%.

The meat contains preservatives whose task is to protect against the development of microorganisms. Preservatives include sodium, potassium, sodium (potassium) and potassium nitrate, and sodium nitrite. Potentially carcinogenic substances, however, include sodium nitrite (E250), which in combination with amino acid degradation products leads to the formation of nitrosamines that have carcinogenic properties. Consumption of sodium nitrate (III) may be particularly dangerous in infants as it may result in anemia. Meat products also contain thickeners, e.g. phosphates. A diet rich in meat products may therefore contain too high doses of phosphorus and cause disturbance of the calcium-phosphate economy, which may increase the likelihood of osteoporosis in the future. The emulsifiers, antioxidants, stabilizers and acidity regulators contained in the meat are considered safe substances.

Mechanically separated meat (MSM)

MOM is the main ingredient of not only nuggets available in fast food restaurants, but also sausages, pates, sausages and canned meat.

MOM is a crushed raw meat and fat mass. The product is obtained by removing meat from tissues adhering to the bones after their separation from the carcass or from poultry carcases using mechanical means, which leads to the loss or modification of the muscle fiber structure. The meat and bone mass is squeezed through special cylindrical sieves, on which larger bones remain. A mass is formed containing meat, fat, cartilage, tendons, skin and connective tissue, which is then pressed into a uniform mass. Products containing a high content of MSM in their composition are characterized by a lower nutritional value. In such products, the content of saturated fatty acids and cholesterol is higher, while lower proteins. These products also contain larger amounts of preservatives, because the resulting meat-fat mass is unstable.

How to become an informed consumer?

These rules will protect you from the wrong choice

– avoid meat from mass rearing;

– buy meat only from reliable sellers or from organic sources;

– try not to buy meat products, but if you like them, pay attention to the composition of the meat content, the number of preservatives, the processing process;

– limit smoked products;

– bake pates and ham at home;

– do not buy products with mechanically separated meat and those in which the meat content is less than 80%.

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