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There are few things in this life I'm certain of and up until about five minutes ago, I was DEAD certain that the liquid coming out of steak was blood. My certainty stemmed mostly from the fact that my father likes to eat his steak "still mooing"—gross imagery, I know—and with that, it's usually pretty runny (with the very same red liquid).
Well, turns out, it was all a lie. According to HuffPo—"It’s myoglobin, the protein that delivers oxygen to an animal’s muscles. This protein turns red when meat is cut, or exposed to air. Heating the protein turns it a darker color. Rare meat isn’t “bloody,” it is just cooked to a lower temperature."
Hm, I suppose that makes sense, but frankly, blood is a much less complicated explanation. I sort of wish I wasn't learning any of this so I could have remained blissful in my naiveté. Turns out, meat coloring is a very complex matter, indeed—"Myoglobin delivers oxygen to muscle tissues. Animals with more active muscle tissues, as well as older animals, both have meat with more myoglobin, Jeffrey Savell, a distinguished professor of Meat Science at Texas A&M University, told HuffPost.
Professor of Meat Science...I'm going to let that sit with you guys for a second. Alright, second is up, but seriously WTF?! Who knew you could get by on studying and teaching meat for a living. Anyway, Savell further explains—"If you’re cooking fresh meat to rare, then you can expect a lot of red myoglobin to be present. Account for the water that naturally occurs in muscle tissues, and you’ve got a bright-red juice that may look similar to blood, but isn’t at all. Meat is about 70 percent water. So you have water, and myoglobin, and other pigments that leak out. That’s where this juice comes from. I can assure you it’s not blood.”
Water and myoglobin, sounds delicious!!