If you order your steak rare, medium-rare or blue, you're probably used to seeing your meat arrive in a little puddle of red liquid.

Or when you pick up packets of beef from the shop - same thing, that red liquid in the pack.

You probably assumed that that liquid is blood, right? Well it isn't.


It's actually a protein found in muscle tissue called myoglobin, which carries oxygen through muscle, and it has a red tint. It mixes with water and some other pigments and ta-dah - red liquid.

So, now when your mate wants to order their steak well done, because they 'don't like blood', you can be a lovely little smart-arse and tell them what it actually is. It's still red liquid leaking from a dead animal, so it might not convince them to switch to rare, but at least you can show them you know more than them. That's the main thing.

Myoglobin is also what gives the meat its red colour. When it's cooked the myoglobin darkens, which is why your steak changes colour while you're cooking it.

Plenty of people think this makes the steak look 'fresh'. So much so, some meat companies will uses carbon monoxide to lock the myoglobin in, so the meat stays nice and pink. And it's all lies!


Jeffrey Savell, professor of Meat Science (is that a real title?) at Texas A&M University told HuffPost that older animals have more myoglobin, which is why veal is much lighter than meat from an adult cow.

Prof Savell added that the freshest cuts of meat will actually be a sort of purple colour. However, just because meat on the supermarket shelf looks a little brown/grey, doesn't mean it's no good to eat.

He said: "Brown meat doesn't mean it's bad. But stores will discount it, mark it down. If you buy brown meat, just be sure to cook it right away, because it's likely already been out there for three or four days."

Does anyone else feel a bit...robbed? Lied to? This is like the time I found the 'crispy seaweed' you get from the Chinese takeaway is actually deep-fried spring greens or cabbage.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Claire Reid

Claire Reid is a journalist at LADbible. Claire graduated from Liverpool John Moores University with a BA in journalism. She’s previously worked at Trinity Mirror. Since joining LADbible, Claire has worked on pieces for the UOKM8? mental health campaign, the Yemen crisis, life in the Calais Jungle as well as a profile of a man who is turning himself into a cyborg.

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