The American Meat Institute (AMI), in conjunction with the American Meat Science Association (AMSA), released the latest installment of their Meat MythCrusher video series, which seeks to dispel some of the most common myths surrounding the meat and poultry industry.
The new video addresses the use of celery powder to cure some meats and the idea that calling these products “uncured” is misleading. Celery powder is a natural source of nitrite and is commonly used to cure meats such as ham or bacon. In comparison, traditionally cured products are cured through the direct addition of sodium or potassium nitrite. USDA regulations do not currently regard products cured with celery powder as cured, and so these products must be labeled as “uncured,” even though they provide the same level of safety and quality as traditionally cured products.
“They’re essentially the same product. If you put them side by side, you would not be able to tell difference in terms of color, flavor or anything of that nature,” according to expert Joseph Sebranek, Ph.D., professor of meat science at Iowa State University. “There are a number of processes being developed by the meat industry to provide equivalent safety of those products.”
Dr. Sebranek also discusses the safety benefits of nitrite, the most common sources of it in our food and labeling rules.
The Meat MythCrusher series includes more than 20 videos and has accumulated more than 42,000 views on YouTube since its launch in 2011. Earlier this year, the Meat MythCrusher team examined the myth about the environmental benefits of going meatless one day per week. Other video topics include myths surrounding hormone use in animals, ammonia in ground beef, meat’s environmental impact and more.
All of the videos and more are available at http://www.meatmythcrushers.com/.