Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Up Close and Personal with Mystery Meat

I check on a daily basis for health and nutrition news. They issue a lot of stories about government induced health mistakes, i.e. antibiotic overloads, tainted prescription drugs, etc. I have learned so much from their website including the dangers of BPA in plastics and canned foods, what microwaves do to your food, and the stunning finding that the antibiotic-resistant "Super Staph" can actually be cured with plant derivatives. Pretty cool.

One article that I have always loved of theirs is the "Mystery Meat MacroPhotography" piece. The Health Ranger, the site's leading writer, used his macro lens to photograph different types of processed meat that he picked up at his local Wal Mart (crazy that now EVERYONE has a local Wal Mart). He took the photos in his own kitchen without altering them at all, except for adjusting their brightness in Photoshop.

The results are sickening. White globs of fat sticking out from processed salami, chunks of other things floating around. He even mentions how red or colored all of the meat is despite it being dead. It should appear gray, but thanks to sodium nitrites and nitrates (more information about those here), the meat's red color is pumped up with nasty additives. For example, the image pictured above is of a Jimmy Dean sausage link. "Here's a 1x cross-section photo of a Jimmy Dean pork sausage. To get this photo, I simply sliced one of the sausages with a common knife, then pointed the camera at one end," writes the author, who mentions having to frequently wash his hands during this photo tour due to the stench of dead processed meat infiltrating his house. He also includes the ingredients, which are listed as follows:

Contains 2% or less of:
Corn syrup
Sodium lactate
Monosodium glutamate
Citric acid
Beef collagen casings.

Mmm. Perhaps they should have included "big white blobs of fat" in there. We all know fat adds flavor, but who would want to eat pork fat? You're eating the fat off of a dead carcass basically. Gross.

The funny part is, if you looked at a piece of spinach with a macro lens, all you'd see is the intricate design of nature up close, which is fascinating and beautiful. Whole grain bread under a macro lens? Delicious.

Perhaps whatever I eat from now on I will imagine under a macro lens. I'd love to do this with hamburgers from fast food chains. To see the entire piece, click here. What would you like to photograph close up? Add your comments!

Photo and quote courtesy of


Suasoria said...

I just hated to do it to ya (hah), but you've been tagged:

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