Is "meat glue" the new "pink slime?"

Critics call for label transparency.

May 14—It seemed like the food industry had just calmed down on the "pink slime" front but now comes word of another meat additive that has critics up in arms: "meat glue."

The additive with the unappetizing nickname is used to produce meats found in supermarkets, in local delis and in restaurants ranging from fast food to fine dining. Even vegetarian food isn’t exempt.

Marketing consultants and food scientists estimate that anywhere from 11% to 35% of all packaged and sliced ham, beef, chicken, fish, pizza toppings and other deli products are enhanced, restructured or molded using the "meat glue," which is made from one of two brands of protein adhesive.

Like the “pink slime” used as a cheap ground-beef filler, meat glue is not considered a health risk by federal food watchdogs. 

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We have kitchens without backflow preventers or potable water to wash greens, so we set up a salad shaker bar with precut, prewashed produce. The cups are filled with lettuce, and students can add their choice of toppings and dressings in the top and shake it up. It’s really cool to see them excited about vegetables.

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