Episode-650- Listener Feedback 4-25-11 — 29 Comments

  1. I have been following Jamie for years. Last week HIS statement “200 years ago you fought against my lot for your freedom, NOW I’m trying to lead you in a fight for your food freedom”. Powerful statement as we falsely believe that we have people protecting our food. In my mind, the government is just a puppet for the industries. Funny we are used to setting up puppet governments in other countries, but in ours a puppet government was setup by a the people.

  2. Thanks for the info on open source ecology – being from the software development field, this concept makes a lot of sense to me. I really hope this movement takes off!

  3. Meat glue and pink slime! That is so disgusting!

    I have 2 suggestions on how to get better meat:

    1) Source your meat from real people, not the grocery. From a farmers market, or websites like Localharvest, you can find normal people who properly (more or less) raise their lifestock right. You can buy frozen meat from the packing/butchering plants where said real people get their meat processed, with some feedback on how it was raised.

    2) You can make much much better ground meat by taking chuck roast, cutting it into cubes with a knife, and pulsing in a food processor for a few seconds. You really don’t want mincemeat for a hamburger, try it far more lightly ground than what you are used to. It will be much juicer.

    Love this show!

  4. Jack, Great podcast as always (okay at least so far, too avoid the ‘cult of personality bit) Meat glue = Agh, Your friend Gary Vanderchuck (sp) Was just on NPR with his Thank you Economy. Thanks for the be there first. BTW he was impassioned, but suitable in his spoken language, his passion and sincerity were very much there, had you not mentioned him in the past, I for one would have changed radio stations asap.

  5. About the meat glue, it is natural. I think this is good info if you live in Australia because nobody likes getting ripped off. Plus anyone do did try this would probably get sued in the states. This may become a problem if times get tough. The only real place you see this is in Molecular gastronomy restaurants. Where they are making a fish beef combination or something. Also if I remember correctly if you use too much of it you get a really weird texture. Here is a link to a demonstration.

  6. YET another example of a government agency charged with looking over us that cant be trusted.

  7. @Jack,

    Glad to hear the examples of road-use pilot programs. That helps explain where your reasoning is coming from.

    I want to raise another possibility however. I’ve heard or seen stories about various establishments that were killed off by the interstate system, because it changed traffic patterns away. What if this sort of system had the unintended side-effect of re-invigorating local routes in terms of local businesses. Maybe that isn’t possible, given that these places are (mostly) gone.

  8. In regards to the Meat Glue and Pink Slime…I doubt this particular disgusting thing is any worse than disgusting things done in the past (Read ‘The Jungle’).
    What’s really disturbing about this is not that someone would try this, but that this is APPROVED by the people who we pay huge amounts of money to “protect” us (the FDA).

    This is yet another example of the failure of the Nanny-Statist system vs the Market-driven system (which REQUIRES information like this be available to the consumer). We’ve abdicated our responsibility in hopes that government will take care of us. This should help dispel that little fantasy.


  9. @ Kam The Jungle is one of the books we talked about at my university, there was a good documentary about the Jungle. I agree the ammonia is disturbing. They use transglutaminase over in Asia a lot I’m over here right now. here is a better link on info on the “meat glue.” It is

    Also I with anything I wouldn’t use a lot fo this stuff just to be on the safe side. But to get your imagination going one commenter said “wrap pork spare ribs in chicken skin, fry it up and make buffalo pig wings.” Just remember to cook it to 165

  10. I agree with you that the mileage tax is probably a certainty sometime in the future. These things have been incrementally placed on us over the years, and I don’t see government changing unless enough of us get up in arms over it. Here in Ohio about 15 years ago, they implemented a seat belt law over much public outcry and opposition. They quelled the opposition by making the law a non-primary offence, meaning you could only be ticketed for lack of a seat belt if stopped for another infraction, like speeding. Then quietly and with no fanfare about 10 years later and the simple stroke of a pen, the law is now a primary offense and you may be ticketed for not wearing your belt. It doesn’t matter if you think such a thing is a good idea, it’s the principle of the backhanded way these things get implemented.
    Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution is an interesting show. Thanks for the tip Jack. I’ve been watching it on and on hulu
    For those of you in 401K plans, I don’t have any advice; but, if you’ve changed jobs and moved those funds to a rollover IRA, don’t forget the portfolio management features available at most brokerages. I am invested in both gold and silver ETFs, but I run trailing stops on both to lock in profits if everything takes a dump. Although I don’t think one should be a day trader, some active management of your funds should be part of your overall financial plan.
    In your discussion about the BRIC nations looking to trade amongst each other in their own currencies, I don’t see that as a problem in itself. The main thing that makes the US dollar the world currency is that all oil transactions are based in dollars. I think this goes back to an agreement between Saudi Arabia (OPEC) and the Nixon administration in the 1970’s.
    Jack, when you mentioned how the Iraqi’s have been inspired by your podcasts, it should remind all of us of the unintended consequences of our actions, both good and bad. It sounds like you’ve touch folks in ways I suspect you could not have imagined. Great job.
    And finally, thanks so much for the Open Source Ecology information, which I had not seen before, but have already passed on to others.

  11. Re: Meatglue

    I once toured a factory that processes turkeys. They produce, among other things, the big balls of deli meat. Two things stuck out about the place the most:

    1) It was REALLY clean. I mean, I expected it to be fairly clean. My uncle is a food broker and he has talked a lot to me in the past about how clean a modern meat plant is. But this was over the top. I cannot express how clean the whole process was.

    2) How the deli meat was made. If you go to the store, I think it’s usually called “turkey breast” or whatever, but its really emulsified meat (which means its liquified) and mixed with “some other stuff” (as the guy put it) to hold it together. They pour the liquid right in the same bag you see it in at the deli and run the whole thing through an oven.

    I haven’t bought deli meat since. I won’t name the company (you have heard of them), partly because everyone in the industry does the same thing. They (as do their competitors) have some “premium” products in which they include a “whole muscle” into the product. Which means they do the same thing, except in the middle is a real, whole breast or two, so that you actually get some real meat.

    Here is the take home point: All industrial food is bad, you just might not know how. The more automated and large-scale the production, the worse it is likely to be. The less it looks like something an Indian might have eaten, the worse it is likely to be.

    I now assume anything not produced at my house has something wrong with it until proven otherwise. Any sauce or prepackaged food I assume has something wrong with it until I find specific evidence contrary. For example, if I read ingredients that exclude “corn syrup” (and in which I also recognize all the other ingredients) then I feel reasonably certain there isn’t any corn syrup. That doesn’t mean there isn’t some other problem, but at least that problem is accounted for.

    Bottom line, if there is one area in which “full paranoia” is appropriate (in the “paranoid, crazy, survivalist” sense), it is with regard to the food supply. Suspect everything, trust nothing.


  12. That crap food isn’t good enough for my dogs. Seriously. The dogs and humans in my house eat food from local farms. We’ve talked to the people who grow our food. They are at least as disgusted with these practices as I am. (The dogs can’t eat kibble… like those dead chunks of “left over crap not good enough for humans” would be better.. yuck)

  13. @Charles: I haven’t read the Jungle since 8th Grade, but it was filled with muck-raking horror stories.

    @OhioPrepper: Same thing in my State with the seat belt law. Now, of course a former legislature cannot restrain a future one, but the lesson here of course is to not buy into the lie in the first place. “Oh don’t worry” from government means “worry, very much, right now.”

  14. What are we doing here? Meat glue? Pink slime? Look its a fairly free market if they want to produce crap let them. But I want a food label that discloses this info. “product is held together by Meat glue” would suffice. What do we do? Contact senators about food labels? What do we do Jack?

  15. @Matthew from Gooseneck,

    I’d disagree that we have a free market for most things. We have a highly regulated and manipulated market where Government has inserted itself into the process. Why? Because people have been convinced that they benefit from having the government protect us. That’s a reasonable desire I suppose, but what we can see very clearly here is that isn’t working.

    We’ve handed over our responsibility to the government, and we trust that they wouldn’t allow something like “meat glue” or “pink slime” but they do. So, clearly, the power (and money) we’ve handed to them is not achieving the results we apparently all wish for, which means something needs to change.

    My personal preference is that we rework what the government does so that they require (by writing laws) that make companies tell us about these processes, so we can decide for ourselves. If someone lies and hides these things, then they pay a penalty. In that manner we are protected by government overseeing a system of justice, instead of micromanaging every little thing in our lives, when we are perfectly capable of making our own decisions about what we put into our bodies.

    Our Senators (President, Representatives, etc) are the ones who are CURRENTLY overseeing the process that allows this to happen.

  16. Jack, thanks for the excellent information on Open Source Ecology! This is the kind of stuff that I’ve been seeking out ever since getting back into the engineering and construction field last year after a detour into teaching.

    I’d also recommend Appropedia (a Wiki for Appropriate Technology) as an excellent site for this kind of stuff — Their site is much more expansive as far as subject areas than Open Source Ecology, and has numerous technical papers for free on systems that were used primarily for low-tech solutions in the developing world.

  17. Thanks Jack for an amazingly informative show. Meat glue and slime !Are these people just stupid , evil , or a combo of both ? ( i have my answer ) SOOO glad I eat very little meat. Buying local from the source is your best shot, or raising it yourself. Sadly this is another thing many do not want to hear from family and friends.(us) Good job Jamie Oliver !
    Road use taxes, I can see that coming. Thank God for those ” voices crying in the wilderness”that inform , educate,and provide us with a different a perspective.

  18. Jack,
    Great show, been listening since the beginning. A few points:

    Who gets to define “Natural”? Transglutaminase occurs naturally in the body, so it is, by definition, natural. The impression I get is that lots of people here find it “icky,” which is a matter of personal taste.

    Obviously, selling scraps as premium steak is fraud, but lets not blame the enzyme for that.

    It’s worth mentioning that lots of folks turned their noses up at that “unnatural” chemical leavening, baking soda/powder, at one point in history.

  19. @Brian,

    If you try hard enough, you can make the case that just about everything is “natural”, since everything is made from or up of something. You might be taking it a little too literal. Gluing pieces of meat together is jacked up…but to each their own. If they label the package “Glued Together Meat with a Naturally Occurring Enzyme” so that I can avoid it, well then, I won’t complain too loudly. 😉

  20. @Brian I agree on the fraud. On a separate issue though we all know pork must be treated differently than beef and ground beef differently than a solid cut. So there is a SAFETY issue here as well, a significant one.

    When you glue my steak together with pork enzyme I should be cooking it to temps for pork and hamburger not the way I would cook the choice fillet you sold it to me as. Make sense.

    I find pink slime way more of an outrage than meat glue by the way.

  21. @Brandon
    I’d actually agree with that argument- everything is natural in the sense that we’re using it. Not saying you’re wrong for not wanting to eat this stuff if it bothers you, but let’s be clear that we’re talking about personal preference. I don’t like eating insects, but there is nothing objectively wrong with eating them. See what I mean?

    With you on the safety issue, but as long as people use TG safely (like firearms) and don’t use fraud, any other concerns other than the “gross” factor?

    Honestly, I don’t find pink slime appealing either. These things are cultural, because we in the US don’t typically grow up eating head cheese or brains, we don’t bury shark in the snow coated in lye to “age” or eat half formed chicken embryo, or consume insects as a protein source.

    This is probably getting to be too much discussion for blog comments, sorry about that.

  22. @brian,
    Growing up in western PA in the 50’s & 60’s, head cheese was a staple. I actually like the stuff, just don’t see it found much where I live now.
    As for meat glue, the more I think about it, it could be useful to take the small pieces we normally call stew beef and turn it into an inexpensive roast. I personally might eat such a thing, but it should be clearly labeled and priced accordingly. Steaks however are a definite issue, since my steaks are merely waved across the grill. I like to hear them moo one more time when I stick the fork in to eat them
    Pink slime OTOH may be cultural, but even someone like myself who has tried a lot of exotic foods has to draw the line somewhere.

  23. Pink slime sounds gross, but if the meat glue comes from beef blood, you are eating it in all cuts of meat. The fact that you may be overpaying for meat cuts that may be less safe is an issue, however. Buy your own beef and have it butchered for you. Not that I’m biased being a rancher…

  24. Greetings, all. Another great show, good information (as usual.) I was moved to comment, however, on the anti-liberal rant towards the beginning of the show. I’m not sure you’ve considered all the facts. It is possible for someone in the US to work their ass off and still be unable to afford the basic necessities of life. Surely this is something which requires redress. Furthermore, many of the “successful” people out there have achieved this success (at least in part) through 1. luck 2. connections 3. unjustified valuations of different professions. Should the government, which represents the “common wealth” of the people of the USA, stand by while productive members of the community starve, or go without basic necessities? I would point out that we even have evidence of Neanderthal man keeping aged members of their communities alive long past their ability to hunt, an extremely early example of the redistribution of wealth. Spreading wealth to all members of the community is ingrained in us as humans. I understand that some of these programs are counter-productive, some are ill thought out, some are ill managed. But the “liberal” principle of ensuring the wellbeing of all members of the community is not invalidated by these facts. Several countries around the world live in much more “socialist” style communities and find this arrangement both conducive to liberty and happiness. I would point to Denmark as a good example (a large portion of my family comes from thence.)

    Just my 2 cents. Keep up the good work!

  25. Regarding the mileage tax. They would not need to create a new device for this.

    My state (GA) already tracks the amount of mileage per vehicles during the required emissions testing for all vehicles newer than 1987. They just simply take a reading of the odometer.

    I agree that this tax is probably coming in the next few years. They may also combine this with a calculated CO2 emissions based upon the type of vehicle, and then bill you for the two taxes in the same bill.

  26. After this episode I pulled up Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution on Hulu. After watching the two episodes I was hooked! Man, he really has a passion for educating the public and trying to make a change

    So last night I tried to set up the recording on my DVR. Guess, what? No listings. After digging a little this morning I found that ABC has cut the program due to ratings. I hope I’m reading it wrong, and hope Jamie finds an avenue to make his case as public as possible without the red tape as soon as possible.

    For what it’s worth I submitted a complaint to ABC. Somehow I think complaints to ABC fall on deaf ears instead of making its way to someone that gives a damn.