Big Salt – Getting to the Meat of the Matter

Big Salt – Getting to the Meat of the Matter
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Why does the meat industry add salt to its products when millions of lives are at stake?

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

Why is the salt industry so powerful? They have their own PR and lobbying firms to play tobacco industry-style tactics to downplay the dangers. But salt is so cheap. How much money are they really making? It’s not the salt mine barons; it’s the processed food industry. Just like the sugar industry could care less if we buy a two-pound bag at the store, it’s the trillion-dollar processed food industry that uses the dirt-cheap added salt and sugar to sell us their junk. And, by hooking us on hyper-sweet and hyper-salty foods, our taste buds get so dampened down that natural foods taste like cardboard. The ripest fruit may not be as sweet as Fruit Loops; so, we just continue to buy more and more.

But, there are two other major reasons the food industry adds salt to food. “The other 2 reasons are entirely commercial and for most foods, are the real reason the food industry wants the intake of salt to remain high.” If you add salt to meat, it draws in water; so, you can increase the weight by like 20%. And, since it’s sold by the pound, that’s 20% more profits for very little cost. Salt also makes us thirsty.

Bars offer free salted peanuts for a reason. Soda companies own snack companies for a reason. It is not coincidence that Pepsi and Frito-Lay are the same company.

Would we shell out nine bucks for a drink at the movies after eating a bucket of unsalted popcorn? Would we supersize our soda if they didn’t salt our fries and Big Mac? But that’s not the only reason salt is added to meat. It solubilizes the muscle proteins to a gel for optimum meat texture. That’s one of the reasons the meat and fish industries like the so-called “meat glue” enzyme, transglutaminase. Meat glue can help gel the muscle protein without adding salt.

But some of these salt alternatives leave a bitter aftertaste in the meat, but this problem can be managed by also adding a bitter blocking chemical to the meat, which works by blocking the activating of our taste receptors, and preventing that information from ever reaching our brain.

The meat industry acknowledges that their products contribute a significant amount of dietary sodium, maligning their image. But, salt is just so cheap that using anything else would cost them money. However, if they are able to resolve this cost issue, if they can make it cost effective, then, one day, maybe, they could end up saving millions of lives, as well as dollars.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to johnhain via Pixabay.

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

Why is the salt industry so powerful? They have their own PR and lobbying firms to play tobacco industry-style tactics to downplay the dangers. But salt is so cheap. How much money are they really making? It’s not the salt mine barons; it’s the processed food industry. Just like the sugar industry could care less if we buy a two-pound bag at the store, it’s the trillion-dollar processed food industry that uses the dirt-cheap added salt and sugar to sell us their junk. And, by hooking us on hyper-sweet and hyper-salty foods, our taste buds get so dampened down that natural foods taste like cardboard. The ripest fruit may not be as sweet as Fruit Loops; so, we just continue to buy more and more.

But, there are two other major reasons the food industry adds salt to food. “The other 2 reasons are entirely commercial and for most foods, are the real reason the food industry wants the intake of salt to remain high.” If you add salt to meat, it draws in water; so, you can increase the weight by like 20%. And, since it’s sold by the pound, that’s 20% more profits for very little cost. Salt also makes us thirsty.

Bars offer free salted peanuts for a reason. Soda companies own snack companies for a reason. It is not coincidence that Pepsi and Frito-Lay are the same company.

Would we shell out nine bucks for a drink at the movies after eating a bucket of unsalted popcorn? Would we supersize our soda if they didn’t salt our fries and Big Mac? But that’s not the only reason salt is added to meat. It solubilizes the muscle proteins to a gel for optimum meat texture. That’s one of the reasons the meat and fish industries like the so-called “meat glue” enzyme, transglutaminase. Meat glue can help gel the muscle protein without adding salt.

But some of these salt alternatives leave a bitter aftertaste in the meat, but this problem can be managed by also adding a bitter blocking chemical to the meat, which works by blocking the activating of our taste receptors, and preventing that information from ever reaching our brain.

The meat industry acknowledges that their products contribute a significant amount of dietary sodium, maligning their image. But, salt is just so cheap that using anything else would cost them money. However, if they are able to resolve this cost issue, if they can make it cost effective, then, one day, maybe, they could end up saving millions of lives, as well as dollars.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to johnhain via Pixabay.

Doctor's Note

You can rejuvenate your taste buds if you cut down on foods with added salt, sugar, and fat. Check out my video Changing Our Taste Buds.

Did I say meat glue? If you’ve never heard of it, see my video Is Meat Glue Safe?.

The meat industry’s reaction to salt reminds me of its response to the classification of processed meat as a known human carcinogen. See Meat Industry Reaction to New Cancer Guidelines and The Palatability of Cancer Prevention.

Isn’t there controversy as to how bad salt really is for you? Decide for yourself with the science:

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

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