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Photo: HandmadePictures (Shutterstock) Meat eaters are not a monolith. Some seem to relish in the visceral aspects of eating animals, even going so far as to butcher their own, while others prefer to purchase sterile, shrink-wrapped packages of tenders and/or boneless, skinless breasts. The latter breed of carnivore usually exercises an abundance of caution when choosing, cooking, and storing steaks, ground meat, or roasts, and that’s a good thing. (Eating bad meat can mess you right up.) Bright red ground chuck rarely sets off any alarm bells—but what about grey meat, brown meat, or meat that is shiny or iridescent in spots? Should red meat always be red, or are these other colors just part of the meaty rainbow? What is “red” meat anyway? “Red meat” is not a scientific term, but a culinary one, and is used to refer to meat that is red when raw and dark in color when cooked. Beef, lamb, goat, horse, venison, elk—these are all examples of red meat. Sometimes maturity of the animal factors in: A steak from an adult cow is undeniably red, but veal (baby cow meat) is startlingly pale. Meat color can also vary throughout the animal, depending on how much action a particular piece of muscle saw. Chickens rarely use their breasts, as almost all of their flying is done in short, unsustained bursts, but their little legs carry them around all day. The more use a muscle sees, the more oxygen it needs, and myoglobin—the oxygen-binding protein […]