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Unfortunate Name, Bad Location, Good Eatin'
July 11, 2008 - 3:50pm


Yes, our Department of Animal Sciences works on live animals “to optimize accretion of lean tissue with acceptable quality [by] determining the practical application of growth promotants such as somatotropin and ß-adrenergic agonists to alter the composition of meat animals, and developing strategies to use components of the endocrine axis for genetic selection on the basis of potential for lean tissue accretion.”

Yes, they run a teaching slaughterhouse called the Meat Science Laboratory, where important research is conducted, which sounds like this:

Supplemented vitamin E had no effect on TBARS, odor, and color measures; but increased the juiciness of ground pork regardless of irradiation. Similarly, in the loin chops, irradiation (1.5 kGy) increased a* value and “wetdog” flavor; but decreased b* value regardless of vitamin E supplementation. Also, irradiation reduced putrefying, and fishy odors during longer display times.

And, yes, there’s something called the Meat Sales Room in the front of their building, where the public can buy the results of their labors. I went in today and chatted with the salesperson in the butcher shop, a former student now in grad school there. She loves her work, and she reminded me of another of my students who’d done an ethnography for me there, taking part in hog slaughters and debristlings and loving it all so much he refocused his major. His writing was so good it was a little sickening.

Finally—yes—the Meat Sciences Lab sits next to the city cemetery.

But when I was buying their special Weisswurst made from an old-world recipe, without preservatives, and incredible ribeyes, butterflied chops, cheddarwurst, and eggs so fresh from the nest they haven’t been washed or sorted—all at terrific prices—I averted my hypocritical eyes and thought: Waste not, want not.


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