Black folks have always had to cultivate an imagination in order to do the most with the least, especially when it comes to food. Chitterlings, pig feet, cow tongue and brains are all meats that helped blacks survive in America when slavery and segregation made it difficult to purchase lean, desired cuts of flesh.
Fast forward to the present, some of the largest food corporations have taken the “soul” out of creating “something out of nothing” — grinding, pressing, pressurizing, or scraping off the leftover flesh of our most popular domesticated animals, pigs, cows, and chickens. After all the high quality cuts have been removed from the bones, slaughter houses figured, “why not sell the scraps and hire a marketing team to give bologna a ‘first name,’ no one will ever no the difference.”
The process seems practical and frugal, but what’s hidden behind the curtain is a process that hopefully makes everyone cringe. Not long ago, a picture surfaced of the pink slop that fast-food restaurants turn into hamburger meat. Well according to Natural News, this process, which is called “mechanical separating,” is more widespread than once thought.
Natural News describes the process in an in-depth, ghastly manner:
This type of meat is collected from animal carcasses after all the prime cuts of muscle have been removed … The meat comes off in a reddish slurry, which is then mixed into low-grade meat products such as hot dogs and lunchmeat in order to bulk them up.
This process undoubtedly makes stomachs turn and hospitals packed with gastro-intestinal issues. When you look at your favorite processed meat package’s ingredients, you’re more than likely see the words mechanically recovered meat, mechanically reclaimed meat, and mechanically deboned meat.
Red meat has been loosely tied to diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, so processed red meats — which have little to no nutritional value and are loaded with preservatives to keep them fresh — are borderline criminal to feed to any human.
In a study published by WebMD, participants who ate one 3.5-ounce serving of non-processed red meat a day, such as steak or hamburger, were almost 20% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes (keep in mind that this was a survey and people tend to conflate their eating habits to appear one way or another).
Those who ate half of this amount of processed meat, such as two slices of bacon or one hot dog, had a 51% increased risk for developing diabetes.
Hotdogs and hamburgers are staples of American fare, so why would corporations sell its customers such low quality meat? One-word: profit.
We hate to make McDonald’s the face of this epidemic (they are just adhering fundamental, capitalistic principles), but they are one of the few American corporations that consistently turn quarterly profits. They, along with Yum Brands and other huge food conglomerates, are able to offer Dollar/Value Menus only by conducting business in this manner, or so they figure (McDonald’s finally got a clue and recently annexed the scrap meat from their meat products).
The solutions to this madness seem simple, but sadly they’re increasingly more difficult: find and buy your meats from local farmers; make sure you buy organic or grass-fed beef and pork; and when both of those options are either too expensive or out-of-the-way, you must stay away from the cheap meat-based snacks and fast-food, choosing instead to eat whole protein sources such as legumes, wild rices, grains such as quinoa, and leafy green vegetables.
With health care costs sky-rocketing and dis-eases becoming more aggressive, eating a whole foods diet may be our only hope in the near future.