Beware of Hamburger and the Pink Slime
It’s been called the “Pink Slime”, and the USDA has purchased at least 7 million pounds of the junk so far this year. And bear in mind, this is added to the meat in school lunches. Hmm, so we have Momma Obama wanting kids to eat healthier in schools, but look at the garbage being added to the food our kids are being fed.
But the story gets even better, it’s even being added in the hamburger you may be buying from your grocery store, and even added to the hamburgers at fast food joints.
The food additive — officially (and seriously) called “lean finely textured beef,” and which federal law allows to make up as much as 15 percent of ground beef — “is a mixture of leftover trimmings, sinew, and other beef parts culled from a cow once the expensive and more recognizable cuts of meat have been harvested and sent to a butcher,” reported the Blaze. “The collection of leftovers is spun in a centrifuge to remove excess fat, washed in a disinfecting solution and then minced for use in various applications.”
And it’s estimated that this slime can be in about 70% of what passes as ground beef in America. Although the government says it’s safe, it’s disgusting. As far as we know, there have been no tests done on the long term effects. Celebrity Chef Jamie Oliver in 2004 convinced MacDonald’s to stop using the additive, but sadly most stores and fast food joints refused.
But back to the school lunches – last year, the USDA’s federal school lunch program used an estimated five and a half million pounds of the substance. Remember this is where Momma Obama has taken under her wing to ensure that America’s school children are eating healthier lunches.
The Pink Slime is the brainstorm of a South Dakota Company, Beef Products, Inc., that came up with a cost-effective way to help the USDA deal with the deadly E. coli outbreak that was giving American ground beef a bad name. The method was simple: inject the meat with ammonia.
Now the Times reported that the company “had been looking to expand into the hamburger business with a product made from beef that included fatty trimmings the industry once relegated to pet food and cooking oil. The trimmings were particularly susceptible to contamination, but a study commissioned by the company showed that the ammonia process would kill E. coli as well as salmonella.”
But the USDA was so impressed how it killed the bacteria, the agency began routine testing of meat used in hamburger sold to the general public, they exempted Beef Products. That meant a rubber stamp for the company’s pink slime concoction, which “has become a mainstay in America’s hamburgers. And since e-coli and salmonella have been found “dozens of times in Beef Products meat,” the Times found, prompting the USDA to revoke the company’s exemption from testing and to launch a review of the company’s operations and research.
But don’t expect the “Pink Slime” to go away soon, as the lure for low costs is the attraction. Gerald Zirnstein, the USDA scientist who coined the term “pink slime” to describe the highly refined beef byproducts concoction, told ABC News that any company that markets as “fresh ground beef” any meat that contains the bizarre additive is, in essence, committing “economic fraud. It’s not fresh ground beef…. It’s a cheap substitute being added in.” New American
So even if this guy speaks out against it, the USDA is still allowing it to be used. Thus far, restaurant owners and school lunch ladies have not been moved by the news that what they are serving is a cheap and nasty cousin of ground beef. After all, they can save a few bucks and no one need be any the wiser.
And now for the punchline: This stuff stinks as even when frozen, it emits an ammonia odor.
According to the New York Times, the state of Georgia returned nearly 7,000 pounds of the substance purchased from Beef Products “after cooks who were making meatloaf for state prisoners detected a ‘very strong odor of ammonia’ in 60-pound blocks of the trimmings, state records show.”
Georgia officials thought the smell meant the product was contaminated and alerted USDA officials, “Beef Products said the ammonia did not pose a danger and would be diluted when its beef was mixed with other meat,” the Times reported. “The USDA accepted Beef Product’s conclusion, but other customers had also complained about the smell.” New American
The USDA has staunchly defended its use of the pink slime meat product in its school lunch program and elsewhere, declaring in a statement that all its “ground beef purchases must meet the highest standards for food safety.” As word of t his gets out, parents and nutritionists have launched a petition drive to pressure the agriculture agency to drop the “meat” from school lunch menus. MSNBC reported that the Change.org petition drive — entitled “STOP the use of ‘pink slime’ in our children’s school food!” — had garnered almost 20,000 signatures as of March 9.
Why should we eat this let alone feed this trash to our kids? We expect high quality food for our dollars not cost cutting routes. That’s why I grind my own meat.