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Goodbye Meat Pie

Goodbye Meat Pie

Thursday, July 20th 2006

IT'S CALLED the classic kiwi "meat" pie - but the flesh swimming between your pastry treat could be anything from snout to ear, tongue, tendon or blood vessels.

An investigation into what is inside New Zealand's favourite hot snack has revealed some shocking meat pie ingredients - it could be any part of a carcass from 10 different types of beast.

Under the Food Standards Code, a meat pie can be made from goat, buffalo or hare as well as beef or lamb, as long as it isn't wild. The only "meat" ingredients prohibited are foetuses and offal (unless it is clearly marked).

But Kiwi bakers spoken to by the Herald on Sunday say offal - specifically heart - is commonly used to extend mince in pies.

Food Standards Australia New Zealand, which enforces the code, states pies need to contain just 25 per cent of meat to pass muster. A survey of pies across the Tasman by the Consumers' Association, found bits of lung tissue in three brands and "obvious gristle" in others. Three popular brands contained less than 30 per cent meat per pie.

It's an issue troubling nutritionists - and pie-makers.

John Newell of Oxford Pies in Hamilton says he is astonished when he sees pies being sold for a dollar and wonders what is in them.

"We can't even make a pie for a dollar," he said. "[The pie] might have 25 per cent meat but they put a lot of filling in it?I'd guarantee 75 per cent of piemakers use heart in their mince to extend it."

Christine Thomson from the University of Otago's nutrition department said 25 per cent meat did seem "pretty low" for describing it as a meat pie.

Tauranga's Danny Dalton, winner of last year's best pie award, said much of the meat that went into low-quality pies was low-grade and mostly fat.

Mr Dalton told the Herald on Sunday many pie-makers were pushing the boundaries.

"They say they are putting a pretty high percentage of meat in but with the high amount of fat in there you're basically eating fat.

"I couldn't stand working in a place like that and giving them to the public."

Ms Thomson said even low quality meat was not unhealthy but the main concern was fat content. She said if the meat was as fatty as Mr Dalton suggested the pie would be very unhealthy.

Mr Dalton told the Herald on Sunday his pies were 50 per cent meat and only 12 per cent fat. He said some fat was essential to keep in the flavour. But he believes the food standards are far too low - meat levels should be at least 35 per cent.

"It's shocking, 25 per cent, I still can't believe it."

But that level is fine by the Food Safety Authority. Spokesman Gary Bowering said 25 per cent was a perfectly acceptable level. He said the authority was only concerned if there was a safety issue with the food.

Consumers' Institute chief executive David Russell said it was inappropriate for bakers to violate standards.

"If you're calling something a meat pie and it's had pig's trotters dragged through meths then clearly that's a breach of the Fair Trading Act."

Mr Russell's' advice is to go by taste: "If you don't like what you get, tell your mates and never go back. The baker will soon realise he's not onto a good wicket."

Source, New Zealand Herald, Sunday 14th May 2006

Footnote from Ideal Health:

The following products are all useful protein supplements :

50+ Protein, Fibre, Joint & Bones - Vanilla
Choc Chip Protein Cookies
Clean Lean Protein Vanilla
IsoWhey Complete - Strawberry Smoothie
Soy Protein - Vanilla
Whey Protein - Vanilla
Whey Protein - Unflavoured

Related health information can be found here:

Acid and alkaline forming foods
Benefits of fasting and detoxifying
Carbohydrate and protein content of foods
Common foods that could be a problem
Foods to help detoxification
Levels of protein, carbohydrate and fat in Food
Protein - a macronutrient so often overlooked
The good health diet
Water, the elixir of life

Related articles can be found here:

High-Protein Diet Helpful in Type 2 Diabetes
NZ Riding 'Tsunami of Diabetes'
Soy Protein With Isoflavones Has Favorable Effect on Lipids in Postmenopausal Women
World Seen Facing Diabetes Catastrophe, Impact May Outpace AIDS

If you need help or advice, you are welcome to email our naturopathic team with your health question.

Disclaimer: The health information presented here has been written for the New Zealand health consumer. It is of a general nature and is only intended to provide a summary of the subjects covered. The information is not intended to be comprehensive or to provide medical advice to you. While all care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, no responsibility or liability is accepted, and no person should act in reliance on any statement contained in the information provided. All health ailments should be treated by a qualified health professional.


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