July 24, 2009

Phosphates in "Enhanced" Supermarket Meats

When we cut the carbs, a lot of use end up eating more meat. I have debunked quite a few poorly conducted studies that pretend to prove that eating meat raises mortality.

But a recent study raises an issue about meat that is important to people with diabetes.

Science Daily: Fresh Meats Often Contain Additives Harmful to Dialysis Patients

Supermarkets sell in the fresh meat department meats they label as "enhanced." These are meats that have been injected with solutions that are supposed to "enhance flavor" though of course, since they are mostly water, what they really do is enhance weight, allowing the supermarket to charge you more for the same piece of meat, since it has gained a couple ounces from being injected.

The study found that these enhanced meats contain levels of phosphate much higher than found in untreated meat. This can be extremely harmful to people on dialysis.

What the study did not mention is that phosphates can also be harmful to everyone else. Lifetime phosphate intake has been linked to the likelihood of developing kidney disease in everyone, not just people with diabetes.

I blogged about this a while ago here:

Coke Adds Death

and more recently here:

Avoid Phosphates and Preserve Your Kidneys

This research also points out that the labels on treated meat do not reveal the ingredients. My guess is that besides the phosphates, which were identified via lab analysis, these "enhanced" meats are also filled with MSG which, among other things, dysregulates appetite and contributes to weight gain.

Let your supermarket manager know that the store is selling a product that contains a dangerous chemical that could kill people on dialysis and which is NOT labeled to indicate this. Fear of lawsuits is a strong motivator for change. It's time that meat labels contained the same level of disclosure we find on other supermarket foods. Without disclosure we cannot know that what we are eating is not adulterated.


Anna said...

Yet one more reason I'm glad I don't buy supermarket meat anymore.

A few years ago I bought a freezer and now I "cow-pool". Through a co-op arrangement with a family-owned ranch, I stock my freezer with a half bison, custom-butchered and wrapped, twice a year (sometimes I split it with a few friends).

I know the animal had a good life ranging on land that has supported bison for thousands of years and I know the meat is good for my family's meals.

Buying great meat like this isn't dirt cheap (compared to mechanically separated meat from a CAFO "factory farm"), buying meat in bulk is extremely cost-effective compared to buying individual cuts of meat from specialty markets.

Between participating in a CSA program for vegetables and fruit, buying meat in bulk from ranchers, choosing freshly roasted coffee from local roaster, and buying "backyard" eggs from a neighbor's coworker, my food shopping trips are extremely short these days. Most of my food dollars go directly to farmers or food producers, not to corporations.

And we eat much better food without having to worry about it or squinting to read lengthy ingredient labels. That's peace of mind you can't put a price tag on.

water said...

Thank you - this is very helpful info and perhaps explains why my cat's blood work for kidney problems seems to vary so much. I had expected him to improve if I made his cat food, but I haven't always used farmers market meat.

Anne said...

I thought I was safe from the added "broths" in meats as long as I read the label. This article said: "8 of the 25 "enhanced" products included in the study did not list the additives." That is discouraging. Guess I need to buy more from the local farms.

jimpurdy1943@yahoo.com said...

I guess I'll just have to stick with my genetically modified veggies?

Anonymous said...

There was a recent TV documentary about the injecting of chicken with "mix" which apart from being largely water contained protein from other sources. A German scientist was explaining how his company could "scramble" the DNA to make the sourse unidentifiable, so your chicken or beef could be injected with protein from pigs.

How nice for the Jews and Muslims, I thought.

I'm convinced the health and longevity around these parts is largely due to the fact we can get locally sourced grass-fed and organic meat and vegetables which have never been near a Foodlike Substance manufacturer.

The only downside is the large piles of malodorous dung which are now building up waiting to be ploughed into the fields. But given the alternatives I think I can live with that . . .