The Man Behind the Machine
Karl Friedrich Christian Ludwig Freiherr Drais von Sauerbronn, otherwise known as Karl Drais, is credited with inventing the meat grinder. Born in Germany in 1785, Drais was an avid and unpopular revolutionist whose involvement in politics often interfered with how his inventions of the 19th century were accepted by the public.
Drais' inventions included a 25-key typewriter, a pedal-powered quadricycle, a stenotype machine, and the meat grinder. Drais' meat grinder concept is still used throughout the world, in butcher shops and homes. However, the meat grinder was not Drais monumental contribution. His invention of the running machine (a crude version of a bike without pedals) brought him more fame than his other inventions. In spite of his contributions, Drais died penniless.
Meat and More
In the late 1800s an American physician came up with the idea of pulverizing peanuts in a hand-cranked meat grinder to make a nutritious paste for patients who could not chew. In 1904 peanut paste sold for 6 cents a pound, taking America by storm. Since then generations of homemakers have found new uses for their meat grinders -- from chopping nuts, fruits and vegetables, to making breadcrumbs. Meat grinders with fine blades can even cut fresh lettuce, or process table foods into baby foods.
Through the years, the meat grinder has changed very little. It's gone electric, offering increased speed and reliability, but even with powerful motors coming into play, the principle of meat going through the hopper to the sharpened turn screw and being forced into grinding screens of different sizes has not changed much. Born out of a need to innovate the butcher's shop, the meat grinder is today's healthy choice. Rather than settle for some of the unhealthy options at grocery stores, consumers are grinding their own foods, for a leaner, healthier alternative.