Mystery Meat 2009

Went to the store yesterday, the grocery store that is, to find something for dinner, something cheap, non budget busting, yet filling and hopefully flavorful. This economic downturn with its rising food prices has sent me scurrying back to the days of when I was trying to become a vegan. In other words rationalizing my inability to buy meat with my meager food allowance.

I Convinced myself I was trying to eat healthier by eliminating meat and becoming vegetarian.

Never made it. Did good for several years until I developed a protein deficiency and had to return to a meat fix for a quick protein fix. And I will admit it, I'm a happy carnivore. I like my ribs, once in a while.

But you see, at the time I didn’t like beans and you need them for protein if you don't eat meat. But I wouldn’t eat them, not no way not no how. Except for green beans, either raw or french cut. Love those.

But I’m talking about black beans, navy beans, great northern beans, or black eyed peas...didn’t have to eat them growing up and didn’t want to start once I grew up. I like my mom’s baked beans. But that’s like eating candy, way too much sugar and bacon in them, but man are they good.

However, I’ve had two people come into the my life who like beans, and knew how to cook them so that I would like them. Then they gave me the recipes. So now with the downturn in the economy, if I’m short on funds I can compensate by buying bag of beans, finding some smoke turkey parts, adding some seasonings, some onion and garlic and a jalapeno pepper, tossing it into a crock pot and I’m good to go. I even have enough to freeze for other days.

So anyway, I was cruising the meat counter looking for some less expensive cheap cuts and came across a package of meat marked "miscellaneous." It caught my eye because it looked funny, you know what I’m talking about....unidentifiable parts of obvious meat, but from what animal..kind of funny looking.

The meat wasn’t fresh. Looked like it hadn’t been fresh for a couple of weeks but it was still on sale. At first glance it looked like fat fingers cut from the hand of a very big man. That’s why I picked it up to look closer. With further exploration the parts must have been chicken wing parts mixed with cut up parts from other parts of chicken, I think. However they looked like stuff that must have been scooped up from the floor of the butcher shop, and shrink wrapped onto one of those Styrofoam trays.

And it was marked "miscellaneous."

We all know what mystery meat is.....all of us grew up eating it in school lunch rooms across the country at least once a week. My school even served spam for lunch. Spam is the original mystery meat. We trusted mystery meat, because we were hungry and we really didn’t think our school was out to poison us.

But miscellaneous meat? Makes you wonder what’s going on.

I know that back in the day, people ate all parts of all animals..but they knew the animal and at least you could recognize what you’re eating.

This was not recognizable at all. I guess the butcher shop has been told to sell everything edible.

Well it may be edible but I think to sell it, people need to be able to identify it first. Especially since no one trusts big business to do the right thing in the first place.

I looked at that package and immediately thoughts of Charleton Heston jumped into my brain...

You know the one...at the end of the movie SOYLENT GREEN...when he discovers just what Soylent Green is actually made of..................

"Soylent Green is People!"

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