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Pumped pork finds its way into meat cases

Last week I wrote a counter point to Ms. Black's article in Smart Money about the meat industry. In it I wrote that outside of pre-packaged meat, saline addition didn't occurr. To my horror today, as I checked in a shipment of pork, I saw that the warehouse shipped "Always Tender" sides to me. Always Tender is Hormel's brand name for their line of pumped pork. Before now, I had never come across this in anything other than case-ready product. A quick call to the warehouse verified that this was a substituition, and not a permenant replacment.

This is discouraging to say the least. It means that a meatman without a sharp eye could accidentally (or unscruppulously intend to do so) sell pumped pork as fresh, non-water added pork and the consumer wouldn't know until they cooked it. However, it seems like most wholesellers distribute both the Hormel AT and non AT pork, and the same with Farmland, et. al., so you should request that your butcher start carrying only non-pumped pork. As far as I can tell, all non-case ready beef is still prevented from being pumped, but I will keep my eye out.


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