Make you Fink on Friday

Pink Slime

Officially called lean finely textured beef

It even looks disgusting as it’s nickname suggests, pale and insipid.

Some of the things we are offered by the meat industry really need to be examined. Nothing to do with nutrition, everything to do with profits and to hell with your health.

‘Pink slime’ beef off US school menu

Some liken the boneless beef to pet food, but others say it is not a nutritional concern

Schools across the US are to be allowed to stop serving so-called “pink slime” beef to their pupils at mealtimes.

In a statement, the US Department of Agriculture said schools buying beef from a central government scheme could now choose from a range of options.

The term has become used to describe a type of beef trimming commonly found in school and restaurant beef in the US.

Reports it was widely used in schools prompted a popular outcry, although the beef is certified as safe to eat.

Social media campaigns and an online petition sprung up to oppose the use of the product. The beef’s producer led a campaign to explain it was nutritional and safe.

Last year, British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver publicly criticised the product on his now-defunct US TV show, and McDonald’s recently said it would phase out the use of “pink slime” in its burgers.

Centrifugal beef

The US agriculture department said on Thursday it would now offer alternatives to the beef – officially called lean finely textured beef – for schools buying meat through its programmes.

The department (USDA) said the change was “due to customer demand”.

“USDA continues to affirm the safety of Lean Finely Textured Beef product for all consumers and urges customers to consult science based information on the safety and quality of this product,” it added.

School administrators reacted positively to the change.

“Our district has long advocated for purity and disclosure in food products. And we will definitely be moving to the pure ground beef when that becomes available,” John Schuster, spokesman for Florida’s Miami-Dade school system, told the Associated Press.

“Pink slime” – a term reportedly coined by a microbiologist working for the US government – is a form of lean beef formed by reclaiming the small parts of meat from leftover cuts with a high fat content.

The beef is spun in a centrifuge to separate the meat from the fat, before the final product is treated with a puff of ammonium hydroxide gas to kill any bacteria.

Produced in bulk by a firm in North Dakota, the derogatory nature of the term “pink slime” has coloured the debate, some experts say.

It is “unappetising”, Sarah Klein, of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, told the Los Angeles Times, “but perhaps not more so than other things that are routinely part of a hamburger”.

“What pink slime reveals to us,” she told the newspaper, “is the unsavoury marriage of engineering and food, but it’s present in a lot of the products we eat.”

Source: BBC News

Opinion:

Safe to eat. Then why is it treated with ‘a puff of ammonium hydroxide’ to kill the bacteria. Doesn’t that sound harmless ‘a puff’? So what about the residue of the ammonium hydroxide? If ‘a puff’ of ammonium hydroxide kills bacteria, what does it do to the meat?

It appears from the article that this was the only option for schools buying meat from “a central government scheme” although that appears it is now changing and “a range of options” are available. Notice that it doesn’t say that natural beef will be optional. Which prompts me to ask, what are the ‘range of options’, are they as equally as horrendous as pink slime?

I love the statement: “The department (USDA) said the change was ‘due to customer demand’.” Translated, that means, “We had to change because the public had the politicians by the balls!”

Nutritional… It’s made from parts of the animal that housewives throw out; why, because it’s ‘nutritional’?

And, of course, the likes of McDonald’s will be quick to reassess the use of pink slime because people will stop buying burgers. And their chicken nuggets are just the same, made from pink chicken slime.

In Brazil the supermarkets are full of products made from various slime themes. Ready-made hamburger patties, all sorts of chicken nibbles, the euphemistically called ‘chicken steak.’ I have no doubt that this is a worldwide problem. If it’s in the USA and I see it here in Brazil, then one can safely assume we are not alone.

The problem is that because these products are available and cheap, many of the world’s poor are forced by financial constraints to buy them.

Here’s something to consider… Is pink slime served in the White House? Will you ever hear one of the Wall Street thieves say, “I’ll have Chardonnay with my pink slime”?

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