What Causes Meat to be Dark?

Occasionally you’ll get a cut of meat and it will be much darker than you’re used to. This is referred to as a ‘Dark Cutter’. So what causes meat to become dark? 

Long term stress on an animal can cause the meat to become dark. A typical healthy animal stores energy in glycogen. When an animal is harvested it converts the glycogen to acid, meaning the meat will have a lower PH. This is normal. When an animal has undergone long term stress, it uses its stored glycogen, meaning the meat will not experience the same drop in PH when harvested. This will lead to a darker cut of meat and sometimes unpleasant taste. 

*This is referring to meat being dark upon butchering. There are of course other factors that can lead to meat being dark, oxidization being just one.*

We learned most of this from this podcast, if you're interested in learning more, I highly recommend checking it out: https://bit.ly/312cs8F