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Will Pink Slime Change The Way You Eat?

Think About This Thursday

Unless you have had your head stuck under a rock for the last week or so I am sure you have seen the recent controversy surrounding the use of a ground beef filler called Lean Finely Textured Beef (otherwise known as Pink Slime to most average folks like us).  Pink Slime is basically beef by-products that have been treated with ammonia to kill harmful bacteria. This makes the by-products legally safe for human consumption. It is not approved for sale by itself, but can be added to ground beef and other products up to 15% of the total weight.  It is NOT required that the food labels tell you it is in there.  Since it is technically 100% ground beef, that is all your label will say.  Want to know what Pink Slime actually looks like?  Check out this link.  For copyright reasons I am not going to publish it here but lets just say it does NOT look like something you want in your burger.

Now, let me state for the record that I buy my beef from my local farmer. I know where these cows graze and I know how the meat is processed.  However, I have been known on occasion to stop at a fast food restaurant.  It doesn’t happen often but sometimes the mind is week and the stomach is hungry.  Many fast food restaurants have stopped buying beef that contains this product but not all.  My kids bring their lunches 90% of the time but on occasion will buy a school lunch.  The school lunch program is FULL of the stuff.

Think About This: Pink Slime may be in your fast food burger, your kids school lunch and in much of the ground beef you buy at the grocery store. AND THIS IS NOT A NEW OCCURRENCE!   The process for developing this product has been around since the 90’s. The manufacturer of Pink Slime, Beef Products Inc. produced around 900,000 pounds of the material every day up until this month’s media coverage began.  But, since the 1990’s this stuff has been in your food. Curious about how exactly it is made?  Check out this video by Jamie Oliver:


I was walking with a friend of mine this morning and we were discussing our general dislike of fast food and the question was asked:  “Why do people eat this type of food?”    This morphed into a discussion people’s eating habits and how we get used to certain types of food and that is what our minds and mouths want to eat.  She told me about an interesting article called The 5 Stupidest Habits You Develop Growing Up Poor.  The first habit is that you get used to eating really crappy food.  Unfortunately, this habit carries over to the rest of the population, too.  Our pallets get used to certain types of food and that is what we want.  Regardless of whether or not it may be good for us.
Supermarkets are all of a sudden deciding that because of the public outcry against Pink Slime that they will no longer stock it in their stores.  In the fall, schools will be given a choice as to whether they want to serve beef products that contain this product.  The manufacturing plants are temporarily closing to wait out the controversy surrounding their product.  
 
My question is:  Who thought this stuff was a good thing to start with?  
Is it 100% beef?  Yes.  Is it a cheap source of protein?  Yup.    Is it technically safe to eat?  Probably. 
But, is it FOOD?  I would say NO, personally.  To me, food is simple. It should not be processed, have additives thrown in, or have chemicals in it that I cannot identify.  There should be no numbers in the ingredient list.  It should not be artificially died blue or glow in the dark.  Yes, there are foods out there that glow in the dark.
Today, the issue is Pink Slime.  Tomorrow, maybe it will be the blue food coloring they use in kid’s cereals or a preservative used to keep foods safe at room temperature.
You need to stop and reconsider what you call food.  Not just because of the Pink Slime media frenzy but because you really are what you eat! 

 

Diane Signature
About Diane

Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can't quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke!

Comments

  1. I think that businesses are in business to make money not to make sure we’re healthy and safe. That’s our job. Read labels. Think about what you eat. Make informed decisions.

  2. Melissa Rheinlander says:

    It is disturbing what we are eating!! Since I was pregnant with Alex I have really tried to feed her good wholesome food… but in all honesty even the “good” stuff is not so good for you!!

  3. did you see the pro pink slime posts yet? LOL

  4. I honestly hadn’t heard much about this until this week. We do grow our own beef on my inlaw’s farm so I haven’t kept up with this topic.

  5. Samantha…yes, I have seen the pro pink slime posts. I feel bad that people are going to lose their jobs and companies are going to go out of business. But this is NOT food. It might be edible but that doesn’t mean that it is good for us.

  6. I find this totally disgusting. I may never let my kids eat a school lunch again.

  7. Daisy TrendyMomReviews says:

    I don’t know. So much to think about!

  8. Heather Smith says:

    I have to say that food or not, you can taste the difference between pink slime meats and quality ground beef and I know which I prefer…
    I do have to say that I have the luxury of buying better quality meats and ensuring that I buy quality cuts etc…
    I also unabashedly prefer my meat to have fat in it… these ‘meats’ are leaner and appeal to those who are striving to remove fat from their lives… fat is essential to growth and development… and we need to be conscious of that too!

  9. Aleksandra Nearing says:

    Pink slime is disgusting. I’ve signed a petition online to keep it out of schools. I am rather picky and avoid fast and processed foods for the most part.

  10. I just used Jamie Oliver/Food Revolution and pink slime as an attention getter/intro paragraph example for an essay writing lesson with the topic of Healthy Food Options for School Lunches and Snacks. The immediacy of the issue and the visuals online have certainly grabbed our attention…I hope. :-)

  11. Personally, I prefer deer burger anyway (much leaner and I know exactly where it came from), but the supply is limited to what we hunt ourselves. I don’t think there are options for actually buying deer meat.

  12. royalegacy says:

    My grandparents owned a butcher show–Yes, a real old fashioned butcher shop where they would take a half a steer and cut it up. I remember asking my grandfather, while he was cutting up beef, why he threw away some of the beef. He told me it was no good. Now they tell us that this beef is safe for us to eat. Now how could something that was once considered a by-product be good for us to eat. So a little “puff” of ammonia hydroxide is going to make it good for us to eat? Now, I have found out that they use this ammonia hydroxide on other foods like cheese, baked goods, but these are foods that are not already filled with e. coli and salmonella. I will now use my Kitchen Aid and grind my own beef. Big beef companies say that if they take this stuff out of our ground beef, the price of ground beef will rise. I have already found that I can get chuck roast cheaper than ground beef. This stuff is not food. Are we heading back to The Jungle of the 1800’s again?

  13. Carrie Phelps says:

    When news of this started to appear on television I had one thought; “I’m so thankful I don’t eat beef”!! Disgusting!!

  14. About A Mom says:

    It has certainly changed the way that I shop. I stocked up on ground beef at Publix last week since they are the only store in my area that sells pink slime meat. I won’t buy ground beef anywhere else now.

  15. I am not sure that I would consider this “pink slime” 100% beef, but maybe I am thinking about it in the strictest way. I am also a vegetarian, so this whole thing is just beyond me. I do hope it gives people pause, but my fear is that it may hurt those without the knowledge or funds to make a change in eating habits. I know this comes from a place of privilege and am not sure how this should be handled to see any real change.

  16. Next SHOULD be the blue dye in your kids’ cereal. Most artificial dyes are made from petroleum products. And the gov’t wonders why parents are reporting children reacting from dyes. I know I don’t let my kids lick the Vaseline jar for a snack. Dyes are everywhere, and they don’t need to be. It’s appalling what the USDA and FDA allow in out food and call “safe.” It’s no wonder health problems are rampant in the US. There are things in our food here, like the dyes and MSG, just to name two that aren’t allowed in foods in other countries. If other countries can ban them, why can’t we?

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