Brooding On

Is Your Meat Waterlogged?

The most recent Mother Earth News offered consumers some info on grocery store meats, revealing that lots of our meats are pumped full of salt water before packaging.  The method, designed to add juiciness and serve as a preservative, is costing us big-time.  Even a package of chicken breast labeled "all-natural" could be 12 to 15% salt water.  So, in your 3 lb. package of breast meat, you could be paying $1.39 or so for WATER!  The good news is that law requires processors to reveal somewhere on the packaging that the meat contains these additions.  Look for labels like "contains broth" or "enhanced meat."  Interestingly, though, labels like "100% beef" may still appear on meats that have been injected, so read labels closely if what you intend to pay for is your meat and not its water content.  

This little bit of news makes the price tag on birds from the farmer's market at least a little more economical.  And, it supports the argument that the best meat possible is the meat you raise yourself.  Trust me -- processing your own chicken is not that difficult to do.  When I pull one of our birds from the freezer, I know firsthand what that chicken ate, how it was cared for, how humanely it was killed, and that the only thing in that plastic package is the meat itself.