The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • Front.cheers
    MACEE BEERS joins other Fayette Elementary School students for the annual Mini-Cheer performance during the half-time break at the basketball game.
  • Family.3.wide
    CHILDREN at Stair District Library’s Family Story Time toss scarves into the air during an activity. The evening program provided a mix of stories, songs, dancing, crafts and snacks Monday evening. The program is offered at 5:30 p.m. every Monday for five more weeks. The program is designed for three to five year olds and their family.
  • Front.newpaper.2
    THE INTERVIEW—Evelyn Joughin (right) records the interaction with an iPad while Jack Varga, next to her, asks questions of Morenci Elementary School principal Gail Frey. Morenci senior Sam Cool (standing) listens. Cool serves as the editor for the newspaper written by members of Mrs. Barrett’s second grade class.
  • Front.code.2
    WRITING CODE—Brock Christle (left), a Morenci fifth grade student, takes a look at the progress being made by fourth grader Anthony Lewis. Libby Rorick, a sixth grade student, is next in a line of girls trying out the coding tutorials. This year marked Morenci’s second year of participation in the Hour of Code project.
  • Front.skelton.vigil
    MORENCI’S three Skelton brothers were remembered with both tears and laughter last week during a candlelight vigil at Wakefield Park. Several people came out of the crowd to give their recollection of the boys who have now been missing for five years.
  • Front.gym.new
    REMIE RYAN (left) tries to dodge the foam wand held by Hayden Bays during physical education class at Morenci Elementary School. In the background, Lauryn Dominique and Brooklyn Williams stay clear of the tag. Second grade students were working on cardiovascular health on the first day back from vacation. For the record, Safety Tag is a very difficult sport to photograph.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.

2010.04.28 Fifty years of meat glue

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

I see that meat glue is back in the news again. I’m not being completely serious here. There really is such a thing as meat glue, but it’s news to me. I became aware of it for the first time only a few weeks ago.

Meat glue is described as one of the more clever things to come out of molecular gastronomy. It’s an enzyme, invented in Japan, that’s formally known as transglutaninease or TG. It plays the simple role of bonding proteins together.

Here’s one description of how it’s used: Take some chicken meat, reduce it into tiny shreds until it forms a slurry, mix in the meat glue and shape it into any form desired. Or, in other words, create a chicken nugget. You didn’t think that was actually a whole piece of meat, did you? Not for that price.

Sausage without a casing? Expect that meat glue makes it work. The same for artificial crab.

Over the years it’s gone beyond industrial food production to restaurant use. Chefs glue bacon around a piece of beef. They fuse prosciutto to a chicken wing. They fill a chicken breast with ham and bacon, then use a little TG to glue it shut. This way there’s no need for twine or skewers.

Glue chicken skin to fish for a new crispiness. Make crabmeat take on new shapes. Make boiled eggs into a centerpiece.

More practical uses include making yogurt creamier and noodles firmer.

Meat glue (Activa, Thrombin, Biobond) is a powder that’s sometimes labeled as “composite meat product.” That’s more appetizing than pig or cow blood, but it does have something to do with blood coagulation. It’s been around since the late 1950s so I know that I’ve consumed a lot of meat glue in my life.

The reason it’s in the news again is the  recent approval of one variety, Thrombin, by the European Union. Some Swedes are protesting the move because it can produce meat that isn’t what it appears to be. Glue some scraps of pork tenderloin together and come up with a dishonest pork fillet. People will pay a price for something they aren’t actually getting.

True, but they should consider the pork blood a bonus.

Meat glue has gone beyond the industrial food giants and the fancy restaurants. Anybody can join in now. Fork over your $88 to Amazon for a 2.2 pound bag of the stuff and you, too, can make hot dogs stick out all over your roast beef.

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