Saturday, August 22, 2009

Marinoitu liha - Marinated meat

One of the things that I've noticed while living in Finland is the "marinated" meat for sale at every grocery store. The stores and meatpackers have been acting like they are doing the consumer a big favor by "marinating" the meat in advance. Far too often I've been frustrated by the lack of a non-"marinated" option when purchasing chicken or pork. The suspicious "marinade", if I am forced to buy it, is inevitably rinsed off with water before I start cooking it. These marinades are usually just salt, sugar, and "flavor".

According to this article in the Helsingin Sanomat there is far more to be suspicious of than just the ingredients of these so-called "marinades". Turns out that less-scrupulous mongerers of meat and fish use these "marinades" to disguise old, stinky meat at their meat counters. Wow, thanks for "marinating" that for me dude!

Of course vegetarians out there won't be affected by this news but food quality issues affect us all, regardless of dietary choices. This story reminds me a of how butchers in the States used to dip chickens in bleach water to make them look and smell "fresh".

On a positive note - according to the article health inspectors will now be inspecting "marinated" meat products. On the other hand, nobody seems to have gotten ill from eating the old meats yet, so maybe there isn't really a problem. Just know what you are buying when the employee at the meat counter tries to push the "marinated" option next time you are shopping.

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