Wow this has been all over the media lately. Pink Slime has become the trending search topic in early 2012! Historically, this term often referred to mold found around swimming pools or inside walls with water leaks! Now we all understand the term as it relates to ground beef products that we may be eating. YUCK!
According to Wikipedia:
“A 2012 ABC News investigative report indicated that 70 percent of ground beef (beef mince) sold in U.S. supermarkets contains pink slime, and that the USDA has allowed it to go unlabeled over the objection of a few of its own scientists. A 2008 Washington Post article suggested that the pink slime content of most beef patties containing the substance approaches 25%.“
A Washington Post article indicated the pink slime process involves “taking USDA-approved beef trimmings, separating the fat and meat with centrifuges, then squeezing it through a tube the size of a pencil, during which time it is exposed to ammonia gas. The combination of the gas with water in the meat results in a reaction that increases the pH (lowering acidity) and killing pathogens such as E. coli.” How can anyone want to be on a diet that includes such manufactured food that started with a healthy choice of beef? Worse yet is in the US beef producers, supermarkets, and restaurants weren’t required to disclose that their “beef” is not truly natural beef. How many meals would you order that said “Beef with Pink Slime added?
In any case the outcry has been huge, resulting in large restaurant chains such as McDonalds, Burger King, and Taco discontinuing the use of this “pink slime” beef product. Furthermore, many large supermarket chains [i.e. Krogers] are now either discontinuing use, or offering other options to consumers.
While companies and scientists insist this pink slime product is safe, the description of how it is made, along with the mental image of the name pink slime has created a fast and furious reaction in the social media, and as of 3/27/2012 numerous press outlets are reporting that 3 out of 4 producers of the pink slime are now discontinuing it. No doubt this is in large part to losing their major customers versus any real shift towards more wholesome, less processed meats.
Pink slime is NOT a part of the Diet Solution Program – in fact if you’ve followed me here or on twitter (@rtuckerton) you know I am a huge fan of organic, grass fed, pasture raised beef, which is readily available either online or at local organic food stores. This meat is not mechanically processed, nor does it contain scrap pieces of beef that are treated to a length process and then added back in to other cuts of meat [the thought of this does gross me out, and i think the term Pink Slime is appropriate!].
However, now that fast food giants and many grocery stores have decided this isn’t the best food to feed their customers, what do we see in the news next? Our very own US Department of Agriculture announced it is purchasing 7 MILLION pounds of the pink slime meat to be used in school lunches.
WHAT? So we are essentially bailing out these producers by having taxpayers taking the surplus off their hands and giving it our kids? As a parent I was outraged over this, and the local media in Denver has been running multiple stores around which school districts may receive pink slime meat – many school districts around Denver are publishing confirmations that their meat supplier doesn’t use Pink Slime, or they are switching suppliers (Thank God).
How in the world can the USDA think it is ok to use taxpayer money to purchase a suspect food product to feed children [many in the free lunch program who may not have many other options for food during the day] when adults won’t eat it?
ARGH. GROSS. The sad part is to think that if you aren’t following a healthy diet like the ones I discuss here, you’ve likely been eating pink slime for quite a while now [as I was before I started on the diet solution 3 months ago]. Education works wonders doesn’t it? [unless you're in public education - in which case you may still be eating pink slime ]