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Old 05-04-2009, 04:17 PM   #1
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Saline Injected Meat

This is driving me crazy and I wonder if anyone else has a problem with it. More and more I go to the supermarkets and find meat - pork, chicken, turkey, maybe beef but I haven't checked, that has been injected with a saline "enhancement" solution for "better flavor" and "moister meat". I HATE IT! It completely changes the taste of the meat for the worse and it's purely to plump up the meat with water so it will weigh more and cost more. It's just greed. And now that few supermarkets do their own butchering, there is often no choice but the pumped up ones. I had to go to Whole Foods and pay their high prices just to get an uninjected pork roast. It's bad enough that they've bred all the flavor out of most meats - now this! It's hard for me to understand that there has been no outcry over this practice. I told the Safeway Meat Manager that I we going elsewhere to buy the roast because all of his were adulterated.
Good butchers and butcher shops seem to have gone the way of the dodo bird or I would take my business to them. I'm looking for a good one now that isn't 20 miles away.

Anybody else have a problem with this practice?

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Old 05-04-2009, 04:26 PM   #2
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i've a HUGE problem with the saline. here, mainly frozen chix is injected. if you ask me, it's to boost their weight.
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Old 05-04-2009, 05:08 PM   #3
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I guess I've never really understood the difference. I have one knife that I use 99% of the time and when it feels dull, I hone it. When honed, it's behaves pretty much as I want it to. It's a Henckels knife. Should I sharpen it as well? If so, how is it done and with what? Thanks for your help!
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Old 05-04-2009, 05:51 PM   #4
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I prefer to buy my meat non-injected, but I do not agree with your quote here...
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Originally Posted by Laury View Post
it's purely to plump up the meat with water so it will weigh more and cost more. It's just greed.
Yes that is one reason why it is done, but it is not the only reason. Brining mean, which is essentially what they are doing when they inject saline solution, is a very popular technique used to make meat juicier and more flavorful. If done right it can greatly improve the flavor and texture of the meat.
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Old 05-04-2009, 06:16 PM   #5
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I guess we'll have to disagree on this. I like the naturally sweet flavor of pork and other meats. I prefer that seasonings on the outside and any sauces, gravies etc. provide the needed salt. Having the meat salted all they way through totally changes the original character of the meat IMHO. It is the contrast between the meat and what it is served with that gives the best flavor, at least to me. To me, adding saline because brining is popular is like saying everyone likes cheese omelettes so let's add cheese to all the eggs before they're laid. I should have the option as to how to flavor the meat, not have it forced on me because it's popular. And if the process didn't add to the weight being higher, I doubt they would go to the trouble. It's ALWAYS about profit.
Also everyone, please forgive the knife related post above. I has on another thread and got them mixed up and I don't know how to move it!
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Old 05-04-2009, 06:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
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adding saline because brining is popular is like saying everyone likes cheese omelettes so let's add cheese to all the eggs before they're laid. I should have the option as to how to flavor the meat, not have it forced on me because it's popular.
You are talking about two separate things. One is doing something because it is popular and the other is doing something to every item so you do not have a choice. The two do not have to go hand in hand. In my markets I can get both injected and non-injected meats so your analogy of adding cheese to the eggs does not hold in my case. It is unfortunate that your markets do not give you a choice.
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Old 05-04-2009, 08:45 PM   #7
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You are talking about two separate things. One is doing something because it is popular and the other is doing something to every item so you do not have a choice. The two do not have to go hand in hand. In my markets I can get both injected and non-injected meats so your analogy of adding cheese to the eggs does not hold in my case. It is unfortunate that your markets do not give you a choice.

WOW, it never occured to me to read the ingredients on the meat labels. I guess I better start. I don't want meat that has been injected with saline.
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Old 05-04-2009, 09:09 PM   #8
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It also acts as a preservative --------
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Old 05-04-2009, 09:17 PM   #9
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While it's true that the saline injections act as a preservative and, acting as a brine, add flavor, I believe the motivation is monetary. They can charge you chicken prices for salt water.
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Old 05-04-2009, 09:22 PM   #10
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Add me to the money motivation side too.
That and preservation means longer shelf life and less waste..

Oh, golly, that means more profit, too! ;)

I absolutely would support a ban on the process.
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Old 05-05-2009, 09:22 AM   #11
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WOW, it never occured to me to read the ingredients on the meat labels. I guess I better start. I don't want meat that has been injected with saline.
Oddly enough, the info on the label about it being injected with saline is usually in teeny tiny type and buried. What does that tell you?
The next time you go to the supermarket, take a look at turkey breasts and pork roasts to get an idea about the labels. I'm betting that if you want meat without the saline, you will pay top dollar for "organic" meat. Once again a case of paying more for leaving something out of a product.
As I said before, it's ALWAYS about the money.
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Old 05-05-2009, 09:28 AM   #12
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Well of course it is about Money. No one is in business to not make money. That is why they sell things. They would not be in business very long if they were not making money. There can be more than one reason why companies do things though and with injecting meat there is also flavor and texture and moistness to consider.

Have you thought of writing to the companies and expressing your displeasure? If they got enough people doing that you can bet they would consider stopping or at least offering an alternative.
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Old 05-05-2009, 09:30 AM   #13
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Quote:
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I'm betting that if you want meat without the saline, you will pay top dollar for "organic" meat. .
Not so. At least where I live. All you need do is be a smart shopper by reading the labels or switching stores. Non-adulterated poultry and pork -- which is also not organic -- is readily available here.
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Old 05-05-2009, 09:58 AM   #14
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I went 3 stores and could not find either a pork loin or pork roast that was unadulterated. And none of the products were packaged at the store - they were from chain suppliers.
I guess what surprises me most is that I would think that "foodies" in general would be opposed to a product that has been "pre-flavored" for them. The great joy of cooking for me is to take a given natural product and prepare it with my own tastes in mind.

And of course I understand that companies are in business to make money. But as we have so abundantly witnessed over the last year in this country - it's ALL about the bottom line and to hell with the little guy.
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Old 05-05-2009, 10:09 AM   #15
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I guess what surprises me most is that I would think that "foodies" in general would be opposed to a product that has been "pre-flavored" for them.
That is not the supermarkets target audience though. For the most part they are selling to people who are not foodies. They are selling to people who need to get food on the table quickly and may or may not know how to cook well or even care about cooking. For them, injected meat is a plus because it is more forgiving when cooking. It is much harder to overcook, or to be more accurate, much harder to notice an overcooked piece of meat if it has been injected. Sure most foodies will agree that they would rather have the meat in it's natural state, but that is not the largest group of people who are being sold to in the market.
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Old 05-05-2009, 10:16 AM   #16
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I much prefer my meat "pure". If I want to brine it, I'll do it myself with my recipe not some meat factory mass produced product. (I will probably be much gentler with the salt! for one thing.) I also want real smoked meat (ham bacon etc) rather than smoke flavor injected or sloshed on.

I am lucky, having a real old time butcher in a small town near me, and two local farms with organic pastured meats for sale. The difference is amazing.

However, if I'm grilling bbq chicken or find pork tenderloins on sale 2 for 1 ... I head to the supermarket for the savings and load up my freezer.
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Old 05-05-2009, 10:16 AM   #17
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No, it's not the supermarket's target audience. But presumably DC is the target audience for this thread and it's hardly gotten a rise out of anyone. In fact, the practice is sort of being defended here. Curious.
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Old 05-05-2009, 10:23 AM   #18
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Quote:
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No, it's not the supermarket's target audience. But presumably DC is the target audience for this thread and it's hardly gotten a rise out of anyone. In fact, the practice is sort of being defended here. Curious.
Laury, I have to agree with you after reading the whole thread up to this point. I don't know why the folks here think buying pre-marinated meat is such a good idea. I certainly don't.

It's yet another reason why I buy so little meat these days. I won't buy any from a supermarket. If I can't buy from the farmers at the Greenmarket, I might consider Whole Foods meat, but more likely I will choose a meatless meal. I don't want to find out what the steroids, antibiotics, hormones or whatever that has been added to the animal feed might do to me and mine. I haven't purchased supermarket meat for more than 20 years.
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Old 05-05-2009, 10:24 AM   #19
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Laury, since the advent of leaner pork, the other white meat, pork has gotten dry and more dense in texture. The injected saline keeps it "moist and tender". Hams are also injected to keep them moist...they are also smoke injected and pressure shaped, (unless they are bone in.)

That's another thing...a bone in roast has so much more flavor! Try to find one these days...very hard to locate.
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Old 05-05-2009, 10:27 AM   #20
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In fact, the practice is sort of being defended here. Curious.
Well I have no problem with the practice because it does serve a purpose. Like others have mentioned, we can still find non injected meat so we have a choice. I am more than happy that injected meats are sold though. When I go to someones house for dinner and that person is not a great cook then the meat they serve me tastes better if it is injected because it is moister and seasoned whereas someone who is a poor cook would probably under season and over cook their meat.

Injected meat is not evil incarnate. It has its place. I like to cook and know how to cook so when I buy my meat I buy it unadulterated. I am not forced to buy something I do not like. My MIL can buy an injected bird though and when I eat at her house I am happy because even when she under seasons and over cooks it then it still tastes pretty good.
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