It is true.CrzyCanuck wrote:On a side note, Topper, perhaps you can answer this for me. I've heard and read that actually the meat can have different taste/quality depending on the way animal was killed. If the animal was killed whilst in extreme terror, the meat taste actually might not be so good because of the hormones released as a result of extreme panic. Is this true?
Active muscles consume their own supply of carb (glycogen) and the by product is lactic acid. In a live animal, the blood carries away the lactic acid or it is further oxidized. Since muscles remain active for a short period after death in an effort to maintain body temp, lactic acid is produced and a small build up occurs in the muscle tissue. This small build up of lactic acid is good.
If the animal is under stress when killed, chances are the small store of glycogen is used up and little or no lactic acid accumulates because the blood has already swept it away. Butchers call it "dark cutting" meat and first recognized that poor quality of the meat back in the 18th century. Dark cutting meat tends to be gummy and because lactic acid prevents bacterial growth, dark cutting meat spoils faster.
The turnip pounding vegan crowd likes to site this bacterial issue as further evidence that we should not eat meat and like to play on the flesh from the poor frightened animal side of the issue.
Nutritionally, both meats are the same quality. The stress can come from a variety of sources; fear, transport immediately prior to slaughter, and fasting are probably the most common.