Pink Slime – Update

‘Pink slime’ beef production put on hold

Beef Products Inc insists its products are healthy and safe, but public distrust persists

A US company that makes a beef product often referred to as “pink slime” is suspending production at three of four plants amid concern about the product.

Beef Products Inc said it hopes business will return once fears about the product die down.

Officially known as “lean, finely textured beef”, so-called “pink slime” is made from left-over cuts and is up to 97% beef, a spokesman said.

US schools have been allowed to stop serving the food at mealtimes.

“We feel like when people can start to understand the truth and reality then our business will come back,” Beef Products spokesman Chris Letch said.

Federal regulators say the beef ingredient meets food safety standards, but critics say the food is unappetising and possibly unsafe.

The beef is heated and 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.

Earlier this month a social media campaign against the use of the food was followed by an announcement by the US agriculture department that schools would be allowed to choose alternative beef supplies.

Some school districts and retailers have already chosen to stop using it.

The three Beef Products Inc plants being wound down are located in Amarillo, Texas; Garden City, Kansas; and Waterloo, Iowa. Together they produce about 900,000lb (408,000kg) of the beef product per day, the company says.

Source: BBC News

Opinion:

Hopefully production will never return in these plants, and the fourth will die a natural death.

The question remains, who are still using pink slime in their products?

My guesses are the military, care for the elderly providers, hospitals, prisons, just to name a few.

The “truth and reality” is that this is just one more insidious attempt to make a profit from rubbish. “97%” beef, when they are using off cuts and tissue that they can’t sell as meat is not beef! Hell, it’s not even offal! It’s rubbish.

Looks like ‘people power’ has won this battle, but not the war, yet.

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7 responses to this post.

  1. Pink slime is the reason we stopped eating mass produced beef products — fast food, frozen patties, etc. Not that we ate a whole lot of it to begin with but we were just disgusted at the practice. I’ve known about it for a few years and I’m surprised it’s taken this long to get to the mainstream.

    I like how the producers think it’s safe. Do we really need more chemicals and crud in our food? Have there been studies done to see if it causes any adverse side-effects? Probably not. American consumers are treated as guinea pigs in many ways. Just saying it’s “safe” and 100% beef isn’t enough.

    Buy locally sourced beef and meat. It’s the only way…

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    • @marcyella, I have only been aware of such for a year or more, since I have been delving into eco stuff, but it has caused me to change my eating habits. I don’t eat meat unless the butcher cuts it in front of me, although I do eat sausages and bacon. The producers know that it isn’t safe, as long as they can pull the wool over the eyes of the people and make money… they don’t care.

      Thanks for the visit and comment.

      AV

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  2. Posted by smallftprints on March 27, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    Hopefully people will continue to challenge the pink slime … and not fall back into bad habits. I am encouraged, however, that awareness has been raised. Oh sure, the manufacturers will find new and unusual ways to sell their product … new words and concepts to fool us. But … perhaps we (consumers) can be smarter this time and challenge them.

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  3. Posted by beefisbeef on March 28, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    I don’t know what your definition of bullying is, but when a huge and powerful company like a giant news reporting agency singles out and picks on a perfectly legitimate, USDA approved product simply based on a negative name that someone made up to cast a shadow of doubt on it and then uses it’s power to discredit it…
    Well, you draw your own conclusion.
    I am referring to the recent biased news report that singled out a very healthy and nutritious product called Lean Finely Textured Beef (LFTB) and, for the purpose of news sensationalism, destroying its credibility. It is clearly obvious the people reporting this did not do their homework and ended up costing millions of dollars to the budgets of already strapped school lunch programs as well as causing unnecessary chaos and confusion to one of the most well managed industries in the world, the US Meat Industry.
    It is ludicrous to single out a product as carefully developed as LFTB and let some uneducated, unknowing source give it a name like pink slime!
    If you want to give credit to someone for creating the product in the first place you might want to take a look at your ancestors. They would spend up to two years carefully raising a beef animal and then, for economic reasons, squeeze every ounce of protein they could from the animal.
    We have become a nation of wimps sitting on a soft cushion of fast food and prepared meals completely oblivious to the reality of where the food comes from while, at the same time, criticizing the very people who provide the food.
    What ever happened to our parents and grandparents who had to “eat what they killed?”
    Try and picture a family today going out to the barn and killing the family hog.
    Try and picture them scalding the hog, stringing it up and eviscerating it. Try and picture the father carefully separating the entrails and handing off the intestines to the kids for cleaning to be used for sausage casing, the stomach for headcheese casing, the liver to be made into liverwurst, the heart to be saved for a special occasion and the brains to be cooked for breakfast with scrambled eggs. And don’t forget the head itself to be boiled and used as the main ingredient in headcheese
    as well as the lower intestines to be cleaned and cooked up for a protein product called chitterlings. To waste any of these protein sources would be considered a sin!
    And why single out the ground beef business and accuse it of something it is not guilty of? The truth is it is providing a USDA approved protein product. Why not take a look at the poultry products. They have a way of removing meat from the bones similar to how LFTB is made. Why not call it yellow slime? What about seafood? Surimi is a fish-based food product that has been pulverized to a thick paste and has the property of a dense and rubbery food item when cooked. A pulverized thick white paste could be called “white slime!”
    Another ludicrous example of mis-reporting was the test they showed of some guy who made two burgers, one with LFTB and one without. He said “the one without is a much better burger!” Also, the burger was not cooked to USDA standards as it was bloody red and could have contained bacteria (E. coli). It looked as if the news station endorsed the idea of eating undercooked ground meat!
    A test conducted like that in the quality control department of any USDA approved meat company would get the whole department fired. Let’s do it right. Let’s get a panel of 12 people and do a blind taste test on a properly cooked product. Then look at the results and see which one is best.
    If you want a product without LFTB simply buy ground round, ground chuck, or ground sirloin. None of those products contain LFTB . By USDA standards they have to be made from 100% round, chuck or sirloin. And you can count on a USDA Inspector watching everything going into the grinder to make sure! But be prepared for sticker shock when you go to pay for it.
    But news reporters could care less. They are off to their next big news story leaving behind a world wind of unnecessary problems for schools, restaurants and meat markets. LFTB is a USDA Approved product and if you think it’s easy to get a product approved by the USDA give it a try. Five years from now let me know how that’s working out for you.
    When you start to wonder why your kid’s school lunch cost skyrockets, now you know.
    Written by Bob Oros, CSP, CMC, one of the leading consultants in the food industry.

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    • beefisbeef, thanks for your observations. Obviously from the view point of the industry, they don’t wash with me. However, I approved the comment for others to form their own opinion.

      I agree with you about the rapacious nature of the press, whatever sells copy.

      I agree totally with your summation of today’s society as being one of wimps, not only the US, but that has become the taint of the western or first world. I am not quite of the era of my grandparents slaughtering their own, but have been in situations where this was the norm. My opinion is that the world should return to those days, we’d be far better off without the corporations governing every facet of our lives. I am a firm believer that those days are not too far off returning with the forthcoming collapse of the global economy. The big cities will by necessity dismantle through lack of resources to survive and a vast majority of the wimps won’t have the skills to manage.

      Head cheese, wonderful stuff, we knew it as brawn. A carefully homemade product without the friendly sounding ‘puff’ of ammonium hydroxide and without the technology of today to mass produce; that has been the ruination of the industry.

      Technology is not progress. I say that with tongue in cheek because it is technology that enables me to attack it. But there will be a time when the typewriter is once again King.

      As for other ‘slime’ products, I have been consciously aware in relation to the chicken issue, and made similar comments. The surimi, is an area I haven’t looked into, I have no doubts what you say, it doesn’t surprise me in the least. I have seen the product, I refuse to eat it by its very nature and despise it being served in high class sushi restaurants as sashimi and in negrisushis and makimonos. I can assure you that as you have raised the issue, I will follow up on it, such is my nature.

      To avoid the ‘slime’ issue, I do buy my beef freshly ground in front of me, aware that I am paying the cost. It is unfortunate that many in the world don’t have that luxury and as a result are held to ransom by the corporate machinery.

      The whole thing boils down to the hunt for profit, ignoring the needs of the people. Just as thrift was the driving force for past generations doing their own thing. The difference is that the thrift seekers benefited, not the shareholders; which I see as the pivotal point, health, etc follow naturally.

      The philosophy that “the only part of the pig that can’t be eaten is the squeal” holds steadfast as long as technology and the need for profits are kept out of the picture.

      Thanks you once again.

      AV

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  4. […] my Pink Slime – Update on 27th March there was a lengthy comment posted, that was blatantly industry initiated, by […]

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