Diarrhea and meat

This question might offend the queasy, but I’m very curious about it.
I am currently a college student. Some nights I go to the main dining hall for dinner, some nights I eat in my room. Sometimes the main dish in the dining hall is meat, sometime’s it’s chicken. On any night that I eat a meat dish in the dining hall, I have an upset stomach within a couple of hours - nothing serious, but some diarrhea and flatulence. When I eat chicken for dinner, or when I eat meat anywhere else (restaurant, home, my suite, friend’s suite), I usually have no symptoms whatsoever. Hence, I must conclude that there’s something about the meat served by my school’s dining hall that makes my digestive system quiver a bit (but not other peoples’, even though I don’t have a particularly weak stomach). But what is it? Poor quality meat? Maybe some seasoning that they use? What has the potential to cause diarrhea after a meal, anyway?
To provide more info, I don’t always have the same side dish with the meat, but will usually eat from the salad bar, with my most frequent choices being bean sprouts and mushrooms topped with Italian dressing. As a drink I usually have 2 cups of some sort of juice from concentrate - this actually usually causes me to have an active bladder for the next few hours, but I’m not sure if that could be a cause of my other symptoms. None of these things have the same correlation to my diarrhea as the pot roast or beef stew do (as opposed to, for example, the Chinese chicken)
In conclusion, I know that it’s difficult to provide a diagnosis based only on a description, but I’m hoping that the Teeming Millions can throw out some ideas about what could be the cause of my symptoms.

  • YT

You are not going to get a diagnosis here, but personally, I can say that I experienced the same symptoms after eating dorm food. And I bet you will find that this sort of thing is not all that uncommon. It wouldn’t usually be the runs, but 2 hours or so after eating something kind of heavy I would have to crank one out. It was clockwork. I lived in the dorms for a couple years starting in '98 and this last fall was diagnosed with spastic colon. So this is something you should keep an eye on and you might want to have it checked out, but it sounds to me like the common dorm food shits. I bought the industrial sized box of Imodium ad at Sam’s. Although I was slightly embarrassed buying it, it has been well worth putting up with the smirk of that uppity bitch clerk.

First of all, if you’re in college, you should know that chicken IS meat. I guess that when you say “meat” in your post, you actually mean “beef”. All beef is meat, but not all meat is beef. Pork is meat, and so is venison, and all sorts of birds, etc.

So. As I said, I’m guessing that you’re complaining about the beef you get in your college dining hall. You have a beef with the beef. Sorry, had to say it. It might be that the food handlers are not as sanitary as one would wish. Possibly the school got a HUGE shipment of beef in, has frozen it, and doesn’t realize that this shipment was contaminated or is slightly spoiled. Possibly the holding containers for the beef have some contamination in them. Or it could be you.

I, personally, cannot tolerate raw onions, raw garlic, black pepper, or any vegetable peppers hotter than peppercini. It took me a long time to figure this out. I won’t always get diarrhea from eating these foods, but I will spend an uncomfortable couple of days if I eat them. This sort of sensitivity is uncommon, but I do know of other people who have the same problems with these foods.

Another problem could be the fresh veggies from the salad bar. Veggies (including sprouts and mushrooms) must be well washed before eating.

Have you asked around to see if anyone else has this side effect? Just because nobody has mentioned it, or you haven’t observed it, doesn’t mean that other people are not experiencing it. If the college has a message board, that would be a great place to ask around.

More than likely, your cafeteria uses meat tenderizers on the beef, possibly MSG. You can experience many side effects from MSG (monosodium glutemate), including headache, nausea and diarhhea.

Go to this page and search for MSG: http://www.louisville.edu/~ndwill02/assignmenttwo.html

It gives a fairly comprehensive list of MSG side effects.

Chicken is meat.

Heck, from the title, I thought this was going to be a thread about recipes!
Your body is trying to tell you something… it’s trying to tell you,

“Stop eating that ‘meat’ in the cafeteria!”
Who cares “why”? If you’ve narrowed it down enought to know “what”, that’s all that counts.
Stay away from the ‘meat’ if it gives you the skoots.
Sheesh! You’re in college! Can’t you figure that much out?

Airborne chocolate sounds pretty serious to me.

I’ll second the MSG suspicion. Chinese food, notorious provider of the vile stuff, used to make me sicker than a dog a day or so after ingestion. Stuff would explode out of both ends. Try some beef meals where you know for a fact this flavor enhancer wasn’t used and see if it makes a difference. It’s possible to find meals that are advertised as being “MSG - free”.

Yet another vote for MSG, perhaps in meat tenderizer form. When I was little, my mom started using a popular meat tenderizer on our steaks; it took several meals to figure out why Dad was getting sick.