Updated: Jan 24
BLOOD?! Nope… myoglobin!
Although the red juice that leaches from meat looks like blood, it's myoglobin. Most people pour it down the drain, but this is a huge waste of nutrients!
This red juice contains water and myoglobin, an oxygen-rich & iron-carrying protein pigment found in muscles. The more the muscle was used, the more myoglobin it contains and the darker its color. Draining the juice away means precious nutrients too! Myoglobin’s role in the body is to trap oxygen in the muscles, which gives muscles the energy to contract. Feeding the myoglobin provides nutrients, plus it's an appetizing treat for the dog!
Red vs. White Meat
Myoglobin's level dictates whether a cut of meat is white or red. The muscles classified as red meat are used more rigorously and used for standing, walking, and more activity-based movement. White meat is made up of fast-twitch muscle fibers and is composed of muscles used for quick bursts of activity only. They get energy from glycogen and contain little myoglobin. Some animals, such as poultry, have white and dark meat, with the darker meat being found mostly in the leg muscles.
Pigs are often referred to as the “other white meat” since they are technically red meat, but it is not as concentrated as other animals such as beef, lamb, and goat. Fish are considered white meat since they can float in the water without much muscle effort and have little to no myoglobin.
Myoglobin is easy to collect! Place your meat in a pan or bucker and let it defrost in the refrigerator for 24 hours. After collection, the liquid from your meat can either pour it directly over the food or make cute molds to add later! Make sure to feed slowly if it is a new addition and/or the dog is not transitioned.
Myoglobin is an easy (and free) source of nutrients. Next time you thaw meat, make sure to save it and feed. I hope you learn something new today & Always Keep Exploring!