Bonus “Pink Slime” Edition

Oh my.

First, I don’t know how this slipped past my radar for so long.  Second, ummmm, yuck.  Seriously, I can’t think of any other word to describe this.  Just imagine the sound of the last time you vomited.  That’s the sound I’m thinking of and for which I am unable to find a word.

Did you know you’ve eaten “Pink Slime?”  Neither did I until this morning.  If you’ve eaten a fast-food burger (or beef taco), congratulations, you’ve eaten pink slime.  Ugh.

Here’s the best description from the Wikipedia article:

“According to the Washington Post, the process involves taking USDA-approved beef trimmings, separating the fat and meat with centrifuges, then squeezing the lean beef through a tube the size of a pencil, during which time it is exposed “for less than a second to a tiny amount of ammonia gas.” The combination of the gas with water in the meat results in a reaction that increases the pH, lowering acidity and killing any pathogens such as E. coli.[3] Ammonia is used extensively in the food industry and is found naturally in meat.[1] The gas BPI uses contains a tiny fraction of the ammonia that’s used in household cleaner, according to the company.[1]

But this quote should make you feel better, right?

“It rarely comprises more than 25 percent of the final meat product that consumers purchase and eat.[3]

Oh, good.  The best takeaway from this is that apparently the big fast-food chains have stopped using this … stuff … as of Christmas Eve 2011.  So that’s good.  My question – and I don’t have an answer – is how many other sources use it?  Is it in the beef you get from your local supermarket?

I don’t want to stop using beef, but I’m darn sure going to make more of an effort to use local, organic cow.

Please do leave comments if you have more information and understanding of “pink slime” than I have.

OK … as you were … enjoy your (burger-less) day.


3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Ed McCormick on January 31, 2012 at 11:08 am

    Harv. You should look up Jamie Oliver’s food revolution, where he has tried to make Americans(he is British), aware of what goes in school lunches, and on the show many of the school administrations want him out because it changes things and too many people are too set in their ways for changes. He has a few demonstrations about ammonia in food/meat etc. Good show, he was pushed out of LA’s school district because of all of this.


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