Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What I learned today (and yesterday)

A couple of interesting things I've found out - "meat glue" and energy consumption per capita. First, what I learned yesterday - meat glue. Sounded kind of weird, and when I first heard of it, I thought.. glue made out of meat? Kind of like jello?

Nothing of the sort. Its transglutaminase. Its an enzyme, from pig & cattle blood, and bonds proteins together. (think chicken nuggets) It's used in those, sausages, lunch meats, hot dogs all use it. But, what I've learned, is that it's also used for "steaks". I'd be rather PO'd paying good money for what I think is a slab of steak, and finding out it's only leftover chunks & stew meat slapped together with this into a "steak". Not to mention, the possibility of bacteria. I make sure the outside of my steak is brown, but I like a cold, red center (and lots of center). If I'm eating a steak that's of bits and pieces, it's no more safe even at medium rare than a hamburger cooked to that. That's why they suggest cooking your ground meat to well-done. Brown all the way through. I don't think anyone would like to have their steak done all the way through. YUK! talk about overcooked! But there is the usual scare-mongering of 'meat glue' although it's regularly used in food products.

Never thought you'd be eating paste again, like you did in kindergarten?

From Mike's Daily Apple (about health):

If you’re worried that the meat you buy contains transglutaminase, you can do a few things to avoid any potential complications:

Do what the guy in the video did and gently tug on your meat. If your steak comes apart, it’s probably “steak.” It’s probably best to perform the tug test before you pay for the meat, and most meat counters/butchers will allow you to inspect what they sell.

Just cook it thoroughly. I would advise against cooking your “steak” like a steak until well done, because, well, that just ruins meat, but a nice braise, crockpot stew, or soup would all work. Remember: it is meat and it is edible.

Ask. Ask your butcher, your meat supplier, or your waiter if the meat contains glue. They should know, and if they don’t (or if they’re unwilling to say), order something else or go elsewhere.

NOW for the interesting factoid I found -

We all *know* the US is the EEEEEEEEeevil energy-user of the world, and of course, Americans should live like Bangladeshians. The US uses 7,885.9 of KGOE (kilograms of oil equivalent). Sounds high? Let's see where it lies among the countries' usage.

Energy (oil) consumption per capita:

1. Quatar 19,466.0

2. Iceland 12,209.4

3. Bahrain 11,180.0

4. Kuwait 11,102.0

5. United Arab Emirates 10,354.0

6. Luxembourg 10,137.8

7. Trinidad & Tobago 9,736.0

8. Netherlands Antilles 9,057.0

9. Canada 8,472.6

10. United States 7,885.9

11. Norway 7,153.2

12. Brunei Darrussalem 7,062.0

13. Singapore 6,932.0

15. Finland 6,555.0

16. Saudi Arabia 6,068.0

17. Australia 5,897.5

18. lgium 5,891.7

19. Sweden 5,780.3

20. Oman 5,440.0

21. Gibraltar 5,432.0

22. Netherlands 5,048.8

23. Taiwan 4,621.0

24. Czech Republic 4,418.6

25. South Korea 4,415.4

26. France 4,396.8

27. New Zealand 4,218.0

28. Germany 4,187.0

29. Japan 4,135.3

30. Austria 4,134.7

By the way - Bangladesh comes in last, with 171.0

Weird, huh?


  1. Diane:
    You amaze me at the stuff YOU manage to me hands DOWN!

    (meat glue???)
    That's a new one on me.

    Abd I knew we just COULDN'T be the worst "energy hogs" on the whole planet...kudos for the stats.

    Nicely done.

    Stay safe (and get some rain) down there!

  2. Well, we did get some rain this past Thursday! a couple inches, but we sure could use some more. I've been distracted lately, making Christmas presents (going the homemade route this year), and been crocheting up a storm. Doilies, scarves, hats, socks. Even figured I'd refresh my memory for knitting. Maybe if I can get it wonked out, I'll get ambitious and make a sweater or two.