supermarket

  1. Water for the price of steak

    Why you never get what you pay for in the supermarket

    How crazy is it that we actually need a new regulation to stop people from selling salt water and calling it steak?

    Pull this stunt in any other industry -- try selling a tire made in part of cardboard -- and they'll lock you up.

    But the normal rules don't apply in the meat industry -- heck, the meat industry gets to write its own rules -- so most consumers don't know that 90 percent of all pork, 30 percent of chicken and 15 percent of beef are plumped up with brine.

    That's just salt water, and the industry claims it's there to replace moisture lost during cooking.

    But the real reason supermarket meat is pumped full of saltwater is to pump money out of your wallet. Since up to 40 percent of your "meat" can be brine, $10 in chicken is really $6 in chicken and $4 in salt water.

    It should be illegal, but it's not. As long as "solution added" or a similar term is on the label, it's all OK under the current rules -- even if the phrase is hidden somewhere in the fine print.

    That's why you've probably never heard of this until now.

    Under the proposed new rule, the added water content would have be right up front: "chicken breast -- 40% added solution" or something along those lines, right on the main label.

    Of course, even if that rule makes it onto the books -- and with meat industry money at work here, who knows if it ever will -- you'll be buying salt water steaks for years to come. The USDA says the earliest any change could take place would be 2014.

    But honestly, if you're still buying your meat from the supermarket, you'll never get what you pay for anyway.

    Supermarket meat comes from factory farms -- festering stinkholes of filth and disease.

    The brine might be the best thing in that meat, because other studies have found everything from antibiotics and other drugs to toxic heavy metals in store-bought beef. (Read more about them here.)

    Buy your meat right from the farm, or at least a butcher who specializes in quality organic meats. You'll pay a lot more for it... but at least you'll get real meat for your money -- not salty water.

  2. Lawmakers threaten FDA on Frankenfish

    It could take an act of Congress to stop genetically modified salmon from reaching the supermarket -- and that's exactly what some lawmakers are threatening.

    A group of U.S. senators says it will withhold money from the FDA to prevent the agency from approving the frightening Frankenfish I've been warning you about.

    But don't get too excited -- this isn't about the consumers. This isn't even about stopping the fish.

    This is just your typical D.C. dog-and-pony show. The lawmakers involved in this "threat" are from salmon-producing states, and they'll beat their chests just long and loud enough to show the folks back home they're fighting for them.

    And when the furor dies down, they'll sell out that hometown crowd faster than salmon spawn.

    Of course, some scientists and researchers are getting all uppity and indignant over this. HOW DARE politicians get involved in science! Let the FDA do its work!

    You'll have to excuse me for a moment here while I finish laughing... because the FDA is as political a body as they come -- and they've pulled every non-scientific trick in the book to try to force these fish on you.

    Here's my favorite: They're pushing these fish through the process not as a new food item... but as a veterinary drug.

    It's a little paperwork maneuver that allows the agency to hide as much data as it possibly can and meet in secret rather than out here in the public eye, where we can all see what's going on.

    It's one of the most important food decisions the FDA has ever made, and they're hiding behind closed doors -- claiming that they have an obligation to protect the fish company's trade secrets.

    Does that really sound like science at work to you?

    Didn't think so.

  3. Incompetence rewarded in salmonella outbreak

    The salmonella outbreak taught us that, when it comes to our food, the FDA and CDC don't know anything - and they probably haven't learned anything either.

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