Your Burger Meat May Actually Be A Mix Of Animals Like Beavers & Horses

3 years
Your Burger Meat May Actually Be A Mix Of Animals Like Beavers & Horses

Two notable research studies have come to a startling conclusion that the meats found in most online and grocery store shelves are not what is claimed on the label.

As a health-savvy enthusiast who is checking for a good paleo diet or bison brisket over the grocery store shelf or online will be referring the label seriously. You check for various factors like whether it is organic; whether it is grass-fed; free from antibiotics and other chemicals including pesticides; and free from special feed used for fattening the animal.

You are also like most of your kind – thinking that what is being offered is truly what is stated on the package. But recent studies show that what a label may claim to be ground burger meat may even have ground beaver or horse meat and the label may never indicate the presence of these meats.

The Research Studies

This was reported by 2 new studies conducted under the Food Science Program at the Chapman University. The report is set to be published in Food Control next year.

The scientists at the university performed DNA tests and other technical analyses on the ground meat samples claimed to be beef, chicken, pork and turkey in grocery stores and special meat like bear, pheasant and bison in online stores (as claimed on label). Their analyses found that in 1 out of 5 cases, the label wasn’t telling the entire truth.

First Study – Grocery Stores

They studied 4 dozen fresh/frozen samples in grocery stores and found 10 of them having labels that didn’t reveal the actual ingredients. 9 of these packs had multiple species of meat with only some of the species labeled. The rest of the animals were not listed on the labels. In 1 sample (out of the 10), the meat was entirely different from what was printed on the label.

Contamination as a Reason

The researchers mentioned in the analyses that there may be a chance of inadvertent contamination during packing process that lead to some of the findings. There is a good chance that a processor handling different meat can result in having DNAs of different animals in all packages but in different proportions, especially if the system is not thoroughly cleansed.


They also came to the conclusion that there is a chance that cheaper meat species could be deliberately blended in with premium meat species for profits. This conclusion however puts the intentions of the $39-bln special game meat sector in the country under question.

Second Study – Online Stores

In the second research study conducted under the same program, 54 meat samples were tested. This study also revealed that 10 of the packs were labeled at different levels of misinformation.

They found 1 pack of ‘black bear’ burger containing beaver. 2 packs of premium ‘bison’ burgers and 1 pack of premium ‘yak’ burger contained nothing else but simple domestic cattle. They also found that a pack with ‘pheasant’ was actually ‘guinea’ fowl.

If that could be of concern to you, there was more surprising findings in this second study. 2 packs of ground meat were found to have horsemeat, which is actually banned for selling the U.S.

Europe may have responded aggressively to the horsemeat rumors in 2013, but the authorities and academic circles have been less keen on the issue across the Atlantic. After these studies the vegetarian fraternity would be feeling the better lot, as a bunch of their green leafy veggies is actually what it claims it to be. Although we are not living in the days of grimy truth of the meatpacking units from a century ago, these researches do raise concerns about the level of safety and hygiene followed in the U.S. meat production industry.

Source: Take Part