Meat Glue and Pink Slime. What Evil is Lurking in Your T-Bone?

Avatar Gaye Levy  |  Updated: December 16, 2020
Meat Glue and Pink Slime. What Evil is Lurking in Your T-Bone?

This site contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a commission from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you. Full Disclosure Here.

beef_steakSome things simply defy my senses.  This is especially true when it comes to food.  After all, you might remember the saying among us old-time computer geeks?

Garbage In = Garbage Out

And thus the same with the food that serves as fuel for our bodies.  Eat the good stuff and you feel good.  Eat the bad, and, well, eventually you are going to feel bad too.

With this in mind, I set off on a tear when I read that glue was being used by some restaurant chefs to hold meat together in a cohesive lump.  Did you read that correctly? G – L – U -E.  Like that stuff in a white bottle you used as a kid to hold stuff together.  Like that grown up stuff you use to make repairs around the house. 

Gucky, yucky glue holding your food and more specifically, your meat, together.  Let me explain.

Where’s the Beef?

glued meatAs reported by a local Seattle TV station, many chefs are opting to glue leftover bits of meat together to form a log that can later be carved up as steaks.  The glue that they use is something known as transglutaminase, a natural-occurring protein made from the blood of pigs, cows and chickens.  Now I suppose that to some, an affordable steak is an affordable steak.

But to me?  I would prefer at the very least to be aware of this bonded meat and be given the opportunity to make an informed choice ahead of time to eat it – or not – ahead of time.

So just what is this Transglutaminase (TG) or Meat Glue?

Known by the brand name Activa GS, meat glue, is a natural enzyme that has the ability to glue protein-containing foods together.  When raw meats are bound with TG, they typically have the strength and appearance of whole, uncut muscles.  Cripes.  They even sell this stuff.

Now I can understand that when you purchase and consume a hot dog or a sausage, you know you are getting mushed up bits of meat and by-products.  But please, do not serve me a nice, juicy cut of a steak that is really a bunch of diced up beef scraps.  That is simply not appetizing in the least!

Add to that the potential for bacteria to grow at the fused glue points and we have an unhealthy as well as unsavory situation.  (By the way, the USDA recommends that “glued” meats be cooked to a temperature of 165 degrees or more.)

But more to the point, as I said before, we have a right to know what we are putting in our mouths and our bodies.  Remember Garbage In = Garbage Out.

The Pink Slime

If that were not enough, I read last week about the wide spread use of pink slime being added to fast food burgers.  (Hat tip to Bernie Carr at the Apartment Prepper blog.)

So what is pink slime?


According to Wikipedia, pink slime is a “colloquial term for ammoniated boneless lean beef trimmings or similar products, which are considered unfit for human consumption until ammonia has been added.”

Until very recently, this pink slime as been used as a filler in burgers at McDonalds and other fast food joints.  More gross-ness.  But there is more.

Fish genes in tomatoes

184px-Tomatoes_ARSThis is not the first instance of creepy food stuff going on behind our backs.  This is old news but do you remember the The Fish Tomato?

Well back in 1991, a bunch of scientists transferred a gene from the Arctic flounder fish into a new fangled type of tomato.  The ultimate goal was to create a better tomato, one that would have good freezing qualities among other things.  Sounds good, right?  Freeze a tomato then thaw it later without it going mushy.

Luckily for us, the attempt to create transgenic tomatoes failed and the new fangled tomato never made it market.  Still, to this day, the mere mention of the “fish tomato” conjures up images of a icy cold tomato with fins.

So what is the point of this rant?

The reason I bring this up today is many fold.  First of all, we all need to do our best to stay healthy.  If we are to prevail, we need healthy bodies that can get us from task A to task B in good times and in bad.  I am a firm believer that eating healthy, real food will stack the deck in your favor in this regard.

Note:  I need to make it clear that I believe that the decision to be a meat eater – or not – is a personal one and that it is not a subject that I am going to debate.  Personally, for those that are interested, I was a vegetarian for over ten years.  I now eat red meat at least once a week and enjoy a good burger fried up in my cast iron skillet or a juicy rib-eye from the grill.  But that is me.  You need to make your own choice.

Another reason I bring this up today is to encourage you to pay attention and whenever possible, grow and cook your own food.  There will be no glue or pink slime in that hand crafted burger patty and no fish genes in that home grown tomato.

The Final Word

Bernie (the Apartment Prepper), sent me this message when I told her about the meat glue:

This is just as bad as pink slime and makes my stomach churn just thinking about it!  I wish the food industry were more transparent about what gets into our food but I don’t see that happening anytime soon.  The only solution I can see is by buying your own ingredients and making your own food.  At least you’ll know what you are eating.

And to that I say RIGHT ON!

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!


Survival is all about learning to fend for yourself. Growing your own food, cooking and building stuff are all essential. Here are some of my favorites.

Lodge Logic 12-Inch Pre-Seasoned Skillet: Cast iron items were at the top of the list. My readers love cast iron and so do I. Also at the top were Lodge Set of 2 Pan Scrapers and the Lodge Max Temp Handle Mitt.

All New Square Foot Gardening: I put in a Square Foot Garden last year and was pleased with the results. It is not too early to start planning for spring planting.

Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking: At an average cost of 50 cents a loaf, this bread is easy, delicious and inexpensive to make.

Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day: 100 New Recipes Featuring Whole Grains, Fruits, Vegetables, and Gluten-Free Ingredients: Ditto.

How to Live on Wheat: Everything you need to know about wheat and so much more.

The Prepper’s Pocket Guide: 101 Easy Things You Can Do to Ready Your Home for a Disaster: This is highly readable guide to all things preparedness.

Want to help support Backdoor Survival?
Your purchases earn a small commission and for that I thank you!

Emergency Essentials is your source for all things preparedness, from prepackaged foods to water barrels to first aid kits. Here are some of the February specials.

Aff | Emergency Blanket

[DEAL] Emergency Survival Blanket

Pocket-size survival blanket could save a life - throw in your bag or car.

Get Cheap Security
Aff | Tactical Flashlight
[DEAL] Ultrabright Tactical Flashlight Get This Deal

3 Responses to “Meat Glue and Pink Slime. What Evil is Lurking in Your T-Bone?”

  1. Thanks for this piece. I am thoroughly disgusted that our government has condoned this “good” and given it their official stamp of approval. It’s just sad, sad, sad. You’re so right. We must all be diligent and grow our own food.

  2. This is a very cool article.
    It gave me more reasons why I always cook my wife and me steaks for Valentine’s Day. My personal reason has been because she really appreciates it and loves the way I cook steak. Since we have cut way back on eating red meat we enjoy it more when we do have steaks.
    I didn’t know they were gluing the meat together that they charge us so much more to have at the restaurants. It shouldn’t surprise me though. They do anything they can to cut costs.
    Thanks for the info.
    Our home cooked meals are looking better all the time!

    Take Care
    Have Fun

Leave a Reply