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.”

New American

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.

Effects of 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.”

New American

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.

 

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18 Comments

  1. Janet

    So it’s safe for kids to eat ammonia….hmm, even after the fact that ammonia burns the lining of the stomach? Sure it’s good, good for the pocket book of the company.

    ‘Pink slime’ is good for America’s schoolchildren, manufacturers claim

    The company that sells ground beef treated with ammonia proclaims their meat mixture is good for America’s schoolchildren, even though parents across the country are seriously questioning the safety of what has been dubbed “pink slime.”

    Fox News

  2. Janet

    Safeway, Supervalu to stop buying “pink slime” beef

    Two of the biggest U.S. supermarket operators, Safeway Inc and Supervalu Inc, will stop buying the ammonia-treated beef product critics call “pink slime” because of customer concerns, the companies said on Wednesday.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/22/us-food-safeway-slime-idUSBRE82K1M520120322“>Reuters

  3. Janet

    More grocery stores, NYC schools to ditch ‘pink slime’ beef

    Supermarket chains Kroger Co. and Stop & Shop said Thursday they will join the growing list of store chains that will no longer sell beef that includes an additive with the unappetizing moniker “pink slime.”

    Fox News

  4. Janet

    So the people are misinformed about the product? Yeah right.

    Pink Slime Company halts work at some plants

    Olympian

  5. Janet

    Hmm so it’s sage yet do we see them eating it?

    Looks lie the company is hurting, and rightly so, we the consumer have been tricked for too long over something dangerous which they try to tell us is safe.

    http://www.theolympian.com/2012/03/29/2049166/governors-urge-consumers-to-reconsider.html

  6. Janet

    Seems the beef industry is a bit pissed that consumers are mad over the pink slime and refuse to buy it. They are still trying to put pressure on us that it is safe. Ammonia? Since when is that safe? And it’s the garbage left over scraps. They want to cut corners, cheapen the product, make it stretch farther, and charge a high price.

    Beef industry grounds slimy campaign

    Public outcry over a meatpacking process intended to make ground beef cheaper, leaner and safer has put the U.S. beef industry on the defensive.

    Upi

  7. Janet

    So now they are going belly up…well they kept it all covered up, and never asked the public if they wanted it in the first place.

    Beef processor files for bankruptcy over ‘pink slime’ uproar

    Ground beef processor AFA Foods filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday and said it plans to sell some or all of its assets, citing the impact of media coverage related to a meat filler critics have dubbed “pink slime.”

    Reuters

  8. Janet

    Next the consumer advocates should start on the food products that contain, guar gum, xanthan gum, and Locust bean gum….those fillers make some people sick and cause diarrhea…..

  9. Janet

    “Pink slime” label forces beef plant closures

    The top U.S. producer of ammonia-treated beef that critics called “pink slime” said on Monday it will close three of its four plants after sales dropped and did not recover following recent attacks on the product.

    Reuters

  10. Janet

    Analysis: Beleaguered beef purveyors carve out “pink slime” stain

    Behind the glass meat counter at Casey’s Market in a Chicago suburb, the butchers pick up their blades and carry on a generations-old tradition.

    Reuters

  11. Janet

    BPI sues ABC News for ‘pink slime’ defamation

    Beef Products Inc. sued ABC News, Inc. for defamation Thursday over its coverage of a meat product that critics dub “pink slime,” claiming the network damaged the company by misleading consumers into believing it is unhealthy and unsafe.

    Fox News

  12. Janet

    ABC News asks judge to toss ‘pink slime’ lawsuit

    Lawyers for ABC News asked a judge Wednesday to toss out a $1 billion defamation lawsuit filed by a South Dakota-based meat processor over a meat product that critics dub “pink slime,” saying the news organization did not knowingly disparage the company or its product.

    Peoplepc

  13. hobbit55z

    If people had any idea of what all goes into a lot of their foods, they’d grow their own and eat only what they grew. I used to love vienna sausage until my x-wife insisted I read the ingredients. Haven’t touched it since. Did you know that the FDA has tolerance levels of things that can be in your food, such as what percentage of ground up mouse and rat parts can get in each bottle of catsup. Yes, they allow a certain percentage to pass by.

  14. Janet

    And we now have an update on the “Pink Slime”, as that’s what it is no matter what they tell you…..Seems the company is going after Diane Sawyer and ABC news.

    The Blaze

  15. Janet

    The pink slime is back….it appears they are going to shove it down our throats again.

    ‘Pink slime’ returns to school lunches in 4 more states

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/09/pink-slime-school-lunches-96502.html#ixzz2eSWaV37n

  16. Janet

    They can sue all they want, we still won’t eat the crap.

    State court allows ‘pink slime’ lawsuit to proceed

    ABC’s news anchor Diane Sawyer, two of the network’s correspondents and other defendants in a $1.2 billion defamation lawsuit against the company related to its coverage of a meat product could be deposed following a ruling by the South Dakota Supreme Court.

    The Guardian

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