'Magic' Ingredient That Keeps Food Fresh for Years Freaks Me Out

bisin meat preservativeHold on to your chocolate milk and ham sandwich everyone, because a new discovery might just innovate the way we store, and eat, perishable foods. Bisin, a compound that kills germs in food, has been discovered and the possibilities for food preservation are epic. By adding this E. coli and salmonella killing bacteria into our meat and dairy supply, not only would deadly food-borne illnesses be eradicated, but food could be stored for many years past the previously known shelf life. Like, three years longer. 

This particular bacteria is also found in our stomachs, and is believed to be a safe preservative for food. But my first reaction is, no way. I'm not touching three-year-old meat with a ten-foot pole. But is this fair?

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I simply don't like my food messed with, even if it should make it better. Genetically modifying foods has created new problems while preventing others. Draining our soil of nutrients by over-farming is making our food less healthy. Fishing more efficiently, and thus killing off huge populations of fish, makes what's left less healthy and more likely to harm those eating the dregs. And by the way, couldn't we just enforce much more stringent food safety rules?

On the flip side, refrigeration is a good thing, we all can agree. Even though it's not good for the environment, transporting foods from South America to Alaska means more people get a variety of foods in their diets all year long. Progress can be good, but it will also change the game. And the long-term effects of game-changing, when we're talking about what we put into our bodies, aren't something I'm inclined to mess with at the moment.

So outside packing up food for emergencies, I can't imagine purchasing food that's been treated with bisin. I really can't imagine putting it into my children's bodies. But again, playing devil's advocate, I'm guessing people who are in the middle of droughts and famine might be incredibly appreciative of food banks set up that won't go bad in a matter of a weeks.

Still, I'm suspicious of adding anything in my food, much less something that sounds quite potent.

Would you eat food treated with bisin?

 

Image via danperry.com/Flickr

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