My girlfriend and I went to the grocery store to buy the ingredients for crab soup. We grabbed two containers of Phillips crab meat and headed on our way. While at home, I was looking at the label and noticed something strange. On the top of the label, it says “product of the Philippines.” You can’t see it in this picture, but this is what the container looks like.
We were stunned. How could a company headquartered in Baltimore, MD sell crab meat from the Philippines? I did some research today, and found some interesting information.
Phillip’s website describes their crab meat as such:
Phillips crab meat is harvested from the tropical waters of Southeast Asia, cooked, hand-picked and pasteurized at Phillips’ own crab processing plants under the strictest quality control. The result: virtually shell-free, sweet crab meat that has a shelf life of eighteen months under proper refrigeration.
I like how they describe it as if getting the meat from the Philippines is a good thing. 18 month shelf life? Who goes out and buys crab meat and thinks….”Hmmm…I might want to eat this in a year and a half.”
So how does it last so long? You have to read the FAQ for that information:
“What is Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate (SAPP)? Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate (SAPP) is an additive used to prevent the formation of struvite crystals (small, gritty particles) from naturally occurring magnesium ammonium phosphate during the pasteurization process. SAPP is a man-made product made from naturally occuring elements. It is not an allergen and is on the U.S. Government list of G.R.A.S. (generally recognized as safe). We add the SAPP as recommended by the Seafood Pasteurization and Minimal Processing Manual, which is written by Sea Grant, a U.S. Government funded program.”
Getting hungry, yet? I feel much better that it is a man-made product from naturally occurring elements. And it’s G.R.A.S., which means it’s generally safe. Awesome. Basically, the sodium acid pyrophosphate prevents it from changing color. Let’s take a look at the other uses:
“In leather treatment, it can be used to remove iron stains on hides during processing. It can stabilize hydrogen peroxide solutions against reduction; it can be used with sulfamic acid in some dairy applications for cleaning, especially to remove soapstone. When added to the scalding water, it facilitates removal of hair and scurf in hog slaughter and feathers and scurf in poultry slaughter. In petroleum production, it can be used as a dispersant in oil well drilling muds.”
Trust me, I’m not a guy who insists that everything he eat be organic and local, but I find this to be disgusting. I live in Maryland, I love Maryland, and I want to eat Maryland crab meat. I don’t want the blue crabs long lost cousin. Phillips is a joke.
You can read more on this here.