For most of the 20th Century, bacteria has had a bad reputation. With the acceptance of canning (pre 20th century, but not really popular 'till the 1920s or 1940s, depending on where in the West you live) and other modern methods of processing food; people become militant about removing all bacteria from food. Many of the big, scary food poisonings in the modern food system have been because of bacteria. Botulism, salmonella, e coli are words my high school cooking teacher used to scare us with. "You must use meat or chicken within three days of it coming home, and if it sits at room temperature for more than an hour at any time, then you must toss it out, or everyone dies" I can still hear her words. Not strictly true, but then again, neither is the story of the big bad wolf.
Yet before the Great War, food was most commonly preserved by using the natural bacteria. Something as simple as adding salt and water to cabbage, keeping it submerged, and instead of compost, we have sauerkraut. Creating an environment that encourages beneficial invisible beasties (bacteria, yeast, &c.) discourages dangerous invisible besties from making a home in our dinner. Quite often, the good bacteria and the bad bacteria compete for the same ecological niche on our food - if one thrives, the other has no room to survive.
Even meat has it's own natural beneficial bacteria (beneficial to humans that is). Dry cured sausages like pepperoni and salami utilize bacteria to create delicious, long lasting, yummy pizza toppings. Traditionally made dry cured sausages can be kept at room temperature for several months. We can even buy commercially made bacterial cultures if we aren't confident in our wild bacteria.
Using bacteria to change foods into something shelf stable isn't new. So why do I feel so cautious about Nutri-Qual's product?
Perhaps because it doesn't change the taste, texture, or other visible quality of the meat? Is it simply because I want to be able to tell what I'm eating?
I can see the benefits of more than doubling the shelf life of meat. It is one of the most wasteful industries available. God knows how much meat is tossed out each day, before it makes it to the consumer. Maybe this would reduce waste, which means they need to produce less, which might lead to fewer animals being needed to feed the industry. I don't know. The problems of the meat industry are probably a topic best discussed in the Cider Press.
What I'm more interested in is what you think of this product specifically? Would you feel comfortable eating it?