The Red Liquid from Your Steak Isn't Really Blood

It's something else entirely...

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You know sometimes when you buy beef, it comes swimming in bloody liquid you tend to leave behind in the packet? Well, guess what? That bloody liquid is not bloody liquid at all—in fact, red meat is no more bloody than white meat.

We were a little skeptical about this too when we first heard the news, so here's the science-y bit so you can see that we're not making this up: During the slaughter of the animal, most of the blood is removed (hence why you don't see much, if any, blood in chicken). Red meat, on the other hand, is given its color by a protein called myoglobin that goes red when mixed with water.

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Myoglobin stores oxygen in muscle cells and is found in almost all mammals, just to differentiating degrees. When myoglobin is cooked, it turns brown, so the more myoglobin in the meat, the redder it will look when raw, and the darker it will go when you cook it.

Jeffrey Savell, a professor of Meat Science at Texas A&M University, told HuffPost: "Meat is about 70 percent water. So you have water and myoglobin and other pigments that leak out. That's where this juice comes from. I can assure you it's not blood."

Mind blown? Us too. So next time you ask for your rare steak to be cooked "bloody," just remember you're not really making any sense at all. (Awkward.)

Wash any meal down with one of these summer cocktails.

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Jess Edwards

Jess Edwards is the Editor of, overseeing all things digital.