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 let’s 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 weak 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 kid’s 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 90s.
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 discuss
ion 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 is a professional blogger and nationally certified pharmacy technician at Good Pill Pharmacy. She earned her BS in Microbiology at the University of New Hampshire and has worked 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 and freelance writing to share this knowledge with others. Learn more about her HERE.