Today I had an encounter with a meat product that purported to be frozen "beef" patties. Obtained at a nearby discount supermarket chain, they were frozen all right, and in patty shape. They cooked up like hamburger, too -- greasy hamburger. Truth be hold, they weren't all that bad, but then again I have a high tolerance for mediocre food, and these patties fell squarely in that camp.
Just how much beef we were getting is an open question. I quote from the ingredients: beef, beef hearts, water, textured vegetable protein (soy flour), soy protein concentrate, seasoning (flavors, salt, mono-sodium glutamate [Argh! I feel the headache even now!], sugar, turmeric extractive), salt.
Beef hearts, as in captain. I have to like that. The squeamish might object, but I say parts is parts. Still, why do the hearts have to be labeled separately, since heart is really just a muscle, like much of the rest of the animal we're eating? Also, why is salt listed as a seasoning parenthetically and as a main-line ingredient?
Somewhere in the bowels of the FDA there might be answers to these questions, but that would mean unpaid research, so I'll let it go. The bigger question remains -- how much beef? To quote Steven Colbert on Taco Bell earlier this year: "It is beef-y. Or beef-ish? At the very least it is beef-adjacent. Let me put it this way: On a scale of one to beef, it's got something in there."
It's as if World War II never really ended, and beef + extenders cost fewer ration points than 100 percent beef. And they'd be called Victory Burgers.
Labels: food and beverage