The majority of people all around the world get their meat at a supermarket. Even though it may seem as everything is packed and stored perfectly, have you noticed the color of the meat that most of the supermarkets hold? It is usually bright red; however that color does not indicate that the meat is fresh and it was butchered the same day. Actually the situation is much worse than you may think. Minced meat, particularly, stays for up to 4 days or even longer in the supermarket.
Those of you who buy minced meat from a local butcher or a small farm know that the meat does not look that red. Fresh meat, as soon as it is exposed to air, starts turning brown or gray in a matter of days due to the oxidation. Seeing the unusual color of the meat will convince you not to buy it if it does not look that fresh. Keep reading to find out the shocking truth about why the meat in supermarkets looks red and fresh.
Carbon monoxide keeps meat red even if it is spoiled
Even though you may find it hard to believe, 70% of the meat available in supermarkets was subjected to carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide makes the meat look fresh because of the red color. This gas is very poisonous, but it is colorless and odorless which is why it is difficult to notice or taste. It is emitted from chimneys, gas-powered lawn mowers, car exhaust pipes etc. The meat industry claims that keeping meat at the proper temperature is very difficult which is why they treat it with carbon monoxide. Even though some types of meat, such as beef, are naturally red they can be kept looking fresh for up to a year when treated with carbon monoxide.
Dangers of ingesting carbon monoxide
Carbon monoxide is lethal if inhaled in large amounts. It attaches to the hemoglobin in the blood and replaces the oxygen from the bloodstream. This results in headaches, confusion, and fatigue and in some cases unconsciousness or even death.
Even though it is fatal if inhaled, ingesting carbon monoxide through meat is not as dangerous. This does not mean that you should not be cautious. Instead of buying meat at supermarkets, try to find a small farm that produces grass fed meat, or a small butcher shop that you can trust.