Monday, June 8, 2009

Soylent chicken

Just when I'm once again trying to defend British restaurant cuisine, this story had to break. Seems that some food manufacturers inject processed pork or beef proteins into chicken sold to restaurants, to increase the water content and therefore the weight.

British Jews, Hindus and Muslims are upset, and understandably so.

Dutch chicken

What I can't quite understand is why no other country seems to be taking much notice. The fraud is perpetrated by Dutch, German and Spanish manufacturers - do these companies sell chicken only to Britain? The European Commission has been bought off, and won't support banning the addition of mammal protein to poultry; but surely the Muslim communities in places like France, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands should be just as indignant? And yet, as far as I can make out from Google, those countries' media have yet to mention the story.

I'm not a member of any of these religious groups, but even so I feel a shudder of revulsion at the idea of "denatured mammalian protein" added to chicken. (They say it's beef or pork, but how can they be sure it's not rat, or human for that matter? Would it matter more if it were?)

It's hard to refute the argument that cheap chicken means processed, factory-made chicken - just check the price of "free-range, organic" chicken meat in your local supermarket. But which is more important: cheap food, or truth in labelling?


Anonymous said...

That's a very cute picture of a flying piglet.

The injected chicken is a horrifying concept.


Project Savior said...

Pig injected into chicken: The other other white meat.

Ruby Apolline said...

What a fascinating question: when, if ever, does pork lose its quality of "porkness," if we are speaking about proteins that might be found in other mammals.

Hm. I understand that Orthodox Jews also refuse to eat cheese made with rennet, including any version thereof created in a lab. On that analysis, I guess pork proteins stay pork proteins.

vet said...

If you're religious, then it seems kinda obvious that if God made a pig, it's a pig, no matter how much you try to disguise it with chemistry.

On the other hand, if you grind up the pork proteins and feed them to a live chicken... Doesn't Leviticus (or something) have rules about what you can feed to livestock?

HiStandards said...

Interesting and something I wasn't aware of. Thanks for the writeup.