Dr Oz: Parasitic Infection From Under-Cooked Meat
Toxoplasmosis is a parasitic infection most commonly contracted from cats in their feces and from raw or under-cooked-meat. The CDC estimate more than 60 million people in the U.S. may have it. In its dormant stage the toxoplasma parasite is considered relatively harmless, but it has been linked to severe birth defects and miscarriage. Now, new research links infection with the parasite with long-term changes in brain chemistry and behavior. The study found that those diagnosed with intermittent explosive disorder where patients can have bouts of extreme, impulsive anger and irrational aggression like road rage, were twice as likely to have been infected with the toxoplasmosis parasite.
Cats are the only animal the toxoplasma parasite can reproduce in but other animals like pigs and cows, eat the feces of cats. The parasites then get into those animals, and when you under-cook pork chops, steaks, bacon or more that contain those parasites, they then get into your muscles, including your heart, eyes, and brain.
Dr Oz: Negative Symptoms Of Raw-Cooked Meat
Dr Dalilah Restrepo, an infectious disease specialist, explained that researchers have seen toxoplasmosis cause erratic behavior in mice and now it’s being revisited in humans. Basically what was found was that the parasite can potentially lead to psychiatric issues, including episodes of extreme anger, which would then lead to road rage. More than 90% of people with toxoplasmosis have no symptoms, but some can experience flu-like symptoms such as headache, fever, or body aches. The truth is that you likely won’t know, unless you get a specific blood test.
That’s why it’s more important to prevent exposure in the first place. The best thing you can do is avoid under-cooked meat, but you should also be sure to wash your hands and thoroughly wash vegetables or anything that could come into contact with soil.
Dr Oz: How To Cook Perfect Meat
So how do you perfectly cook your meat without over- or under-cooking it. Julia Collin Davison from America’s Test Kitchen, explained that too many people simply follow the time on a recipe, instead of paying attention to when their meat is actually done. She first suggested you allow your meat rest, which means letting it sit for a period of time after you remove it from the heat. That will allow the meat to continue cooking, called carry-over cooking, before slicing, while letting the juices redistribute evenly through the meat, leaving less juice on your cutting board and more in the meat.
Dr Oz: Meat Cooking Tips
You should also pat the meat dry before you cook it. Moisture on the surface of the meat will prevent browning, and you want browning! If you’ve used a marinade, take it out of the marinade and still pat it dry, while draining excess marinade before grilling it. If you marinate your meat correctly, the flavors will be inside, not only on the surface.
Something that even Dr Oz never considered doing, was trimming off excess fat. Fat is flavor, but you only need a little bit of it. Only leave about a quarter-inch of fat on the outside of a chop or steak. That fat can prevent you from being able to get a good sear on the pan because it won’t allow the meat to lie flat in the pan or on the grill. Perhaps Dr Oz’s favorite tip was to cut against the grain, allowing for a more tender piece of meat.
The best way you can tell if a piece of meat is done is with an instant-read thermometer. Poultry should be 165 degrees, steaks 145 degrees, pork 145 degrees, and ground beef 160 degrees.