Web Zap*Germs Archive

November 18, 2005

Do Your Pork Chops Glow in the Dark?

Some do in Australia, it's reported, and has some folks upset.

Turns out the freezer luminiscence is caused by a harmless bacteria, Pseudomonas fluorescens, which the Mail & Guardian Online says "is nature's way of preventing frost damage."

That's news to me, certainly, but they don't explain why a live pig would need to protect its muscles against freezer burn -- a pretty amazing evolutionary trick, I should think. Obviously, I don't understand the complexities of evolution's brainless brilliance.

Though the bacteria are harmless, glowing meat "is a tell-tale sign that the meat is not absolutely fresh and may have passed its use-by date." So it's okay as a freezer light, but don't eat it.


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