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Jim Walker: ‘Meat glue’ just might be our undoing

Don't Take Me Seriously

Posted: May 4, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: May 4, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Just when we’ve dodged the pink-slime attack, they are at it again, my friends. Now, we have to be concerned about “meat glue.”

Meat glue, or transglutaminase, is basically a powder that can fuse two or more odd-sized hunks of meat into a single piece that is larger and more appealing to the eye — and I read it is used in many establishments that serve meat in bulk, such as banquet halls or high-volume restaurants.

Now, the very least of the concerns this brings up is the possibility you might be cheated, paying a premium price, say, for a natural steak you assume is large and top-shelf, when it is actually a “restructured steak,” as they call them, made up of leftover chunks previously rejected by the pink-slime people.

And, of course, I exaggerate here; that’s my job. But there is also an increased risk of bacterial contamination when the outside edges of two slabs of meat are joined while raw.

Apparently, meat glue allows proteins to fuse together to form one connected piece of meat, pretty much seamlessly. And so, if I have eaten such a Franken-steak, I am unaware of it. But I also read that this stuff is used in imitation crab meat and fish balls, and we all love those so much, right?


Meat glue can bond any protein to any protein, and one can only hope it is a one-time thing. I mean, I don’t want my reconstructed steak welding itself to the wall of my intestine — at least no more than regular red meat does, anyway.

But there are further implications, mes amis, from things that are just aesthetically wrong, such as a fish fillet fused to a duck butt, to matters of galactic import. You see, as with any source of super power, meat glue, falling into the wrong hands, could be used for world domination.

Consider: Like an amoeba, massively enlarging as it absorbs all life around it, so could meat glue bond all proteins together that come into its proximity. One steak in a restaurant refrigerator becomes two, becomes 100, then absorbs the chicken and lamb. Then it mixes in the chef, sous chef and fry cook, who happen to wander into the cooler.

This “Thing” (like in the ’82 movie), now sporting teeth and hair in odd places and walking on stubby drumsticks, bursts out of the cooler, magnetically drawing in the cute little hostess and then the old lady whose walker can’t move fast enough. It crashes out the restaurant door, sucking people out of cars and growing ever-larger by taking in stray dogs, cats and photo-snapping tourists.

Like a snowball gathering size, our meat monster could clear the streets of New York, rumble across Jersey, sucking up Snooki and crew, bounce to the Southwest, absorbing entire cow herds — and finally threaten L.A. because, well, we’re trying to halt runaway production, right?

Now this scenario could play out in several standard cinematic plots. For example, Will Smith might have to drop a nuke into one of the large and obscene orifices that are rimmed by throbbing lips or wiggling earlobes. Or the Avengers might have to take a time out from their bravura movie promotional tour.

Of course, M. Night Shyamalan could make it all go away with a little water, but only he could, because no one else has dared use that plot device since the “Wizard of Oz.”

Whichever way the battle goes, in the end, the mad scientist that controls Megameat would have to be thwarted in his attempts to “dare I say it — rule the world!”

That’s all fine and good, but what do you do with a disintegrating mass of meat the size of Mt. Everest? While the Will Smith option might blow it all into toasted burgers, you’ve got to collect them fast, and then the problem becomes getting enough buns and condiments.

But maybe Thor could hammer the thing like a croquet ball, sending it all the way to Antarctica, where it will freeze into submission until global warming releases it. And by then there won’t be any meat left on the planet for it to absorb, so who cares?

I’m just sayin’, say “no” to meat glue.

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