Most people all over the world usually buy meat at supermarkets. Although everything in a supermarket seems so perfectly in its place, colorful and alluring, have you noticed that every single package of supermarket meat is uniformly bright red? It doesn’t mean that the meat was freshly butchered that day, but it indicates a much worse situation. The meat in the supermarket, especially the minced meat, stays in the supermarket for two, three, four days or even longer.
On the other hand, people who buy minced meat from a small farm or a local butcher are well aware that the meat doesn’t look so red and perfect. In fact, as soon as the meat is exposed to air, oxidation begins which gradually turns the red color of the meat to a more unappetizing brown or gray color within just a few days. If you want to know the real reason why the minced meat in supermarket looks so red, keep reading, the following information will surprise you.
Carbon Monoxide Keeps Supermarket Meat Red Even if It’s Spoiled
Unbelievable as it may sound, even 70% of meat sold in supermarkets, the industry treats it with carbon monoxide. This is done so the meat can retain its deceptively fresh looking red color. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless, and poisonous gas, which is impossible to taste. This gas is emitted from car exhaust pipes, gas-powered lawn mowers, and chimneys. However, according to the industrialized meat industry, the treatment with carbon monoxide is necessary due to the difficulty of keeping meat at the proper temperature. Although fresh beef is naturally red, and as it ages, it becomes brown or gray. Thus, the carbon monoxide keeps it looking artificially fresh for up to a full year.
The Dangers of Ingesting Carbon Monoxide
Carbon monoxide is fatal when inhaled in large amounts. The molecules of carbon monoxide attach to hemoglobin in the blood and replace oxygen in the bloodstream. As a result, it may trigger fatigue, headaches, and confusion. What’s more, it can even lead to unconsciousness and death.
On the other hand, unlike inhalation, carbon monoxide is not harmful when you ingest it via meat. However, you should take it with caution. A far better alternative is to switch to small farm produced, grass fed meats.