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

  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • 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.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.office
    NEW OFFICES—Fayette village administrator Steve Blue speaks with tax administrator Genna Biddix at the new front desk of the village office. Village council members voted to use budgeted renovation funds targeted for the old office and instead buy the vacant bank building on the corner of Main and Fayette streets. The old office was sold to Sherwood State Bank. When everything is put into place in the spacious new village office, an open house will be scheduled. Council member David Wheeler donated all of his time needed to make changes in the bank interior to fit the Village’s needs.

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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