Posts Tagged ‘pink slime’

Monday Moaning

Remember the ‘horsemeat’ scandal/s?

It appears that that was only the tip of the iceberg.

Food manufacturers have been having a ball by pulling the wool over the unsuspecting eyes of the consumers.

While the following article pertains to the situation in Britain, I have no doubts that it applies to the rest of the world. These bastards are all tarred with the same brush; the figures must be similar, or worse in other countries.

Fake-food scandal revealed as tests show third of products mislabelled

Consumers are being sold drinks with banned flame-retardant additives, pork in beef, and fake cheese, laboratory tests show

Some ham tested contained ‘meat emulsion’ (meat ground with additives so fat can be put through it) or ‘meat slurry’ (removing scraps of meat from bones) What has been known as pink slime – My note. Photo: Alamy

Consumers are being sold food including mozzarella that is less than half real cheese, ham on pizzas that is either poultry or “meat emulsion”, and frozen prawns that are 50% water, according to tests by a public laboratory.

The checks on hundreds of food samples, which were taken in West Yorkshire, revealed that more than a third were not what they claimed to be, or were mislabelled in some way. Their results have been shared with the Guardian.

Testers also discovered beef mince adulterated with pork or poultry, and even a herbal slimming tea that was neither herb nor tea but glucose powder laced with a withdrawn prescription drug for obesity at 13 times the normal dose.

A third of fruit juices sampled were not what they claimed or had labelling errors. Two contained additives that are not permitted in the EU, including brominated vegetable oil, which is designed for use in flame retardants and linked to behavioural problems in rats at high doses.

Experts said they fear the alarming findings from 38% of 900 sample tests by West Yorkshire councils were representative of the picture nationally, with the public at increasing risk as budgets to detect fake or mislabelled foods plummet.

Counterfeit vodka sold by small shops remains a major problem, with several samples not meeting the percentage of alcohol laid down for the spirit. In one case, tests revealed that the “vodka” had been made not from alcohol derived from agricultural produce, as required, but from isopropanol, used in antifreeze and as an industrial solvent.

Samples were collected both as part of general surveillance of all foods and as part of a programme targeted at categories of foodstuffs where cutting corners is considered more likely.

West Yorkshire’s public analyst, Dr Duncan Campbell, said of the findings: “We are routinely finding problems with more than a third of samples, which is disturbing at a time when the budget for food standards inspection and analysis is being cut.”

He said he thought the problems uncovered in his area were representative of the picture in the country as a whole.

The scale of cheating and misrepresentation revealed by the tests was described by Maria Eagle, the shadow environment secretary, as unacceptable. “Consumers deserve to know what they are buying and eating and cracking down on the mislabelling of food must become a greater priority for the government,” she said.

A Defra spokesperson said: “There are already robust procedures in places to identify and prevent food fraud and the FSA has increased funding to support local authorities to carry out this work to £2m.

“We will continue to work closely with the food industry, enforcement agencies and across government to improve intelligence on food fraud and clamp down on deliberate attempts to deceive consumers.”

Testing food is the responsibility of local authorities and their trading standards departments, but as their budgets have been cut many councils have reduced checks or stopped collecting samples altogether.

The number of samples taken to test whether food being sold matched what was claimed fell nationally by nearly 7% between 2012 and 2013, and had fallen by over 18% in the year before that. About 10% of local authorities did no compositional sampling at all last year, according to the consumer watchdog Which?

West Yorkshire is unusual in retaining a leading public laboratory and maintaining its testing regime. Samples are anonymised for testing by public analysts to prevent bias, so we are unable to see who had made or sold individual products. Many of the samples were collected from fast-food restaurants, independent retailers and wholesalers; some were from larger stores and manufacturers.

Substitution of cheaper ingredients for expensive materials was a recurring problem with meat and dairy products – both sectors that have seen steep price rises on commodity markets. While West Yorkshire found no horsemeat in its tests after the scandal had broken, mince and diced meats regularly contained meat of the wrong species.

In some cases, this was likely to be the result of mincing machines in butcher’s shops not being properly cleaned between batches; in others there was clear substitution of cheaper species. Samples of beef contained pork or poultry, or both, and beef was being passed off as more expensive lamb, especially in takeaways, ready meals, and by wholesalers.

Ham, which should be made from the legs of pigs, was regularly made from poultry meat instead: the preservatives and brining process add a pink colour that makes it hard to detect except by laboratory analysis.

Meat emulsion – a mixture in which meat is finely ground along with additives so that fat can be dispersed through it – had also been used in some kinds of ham, as had mechanically separated meat, a slurry produced by removing scraps of meat from bones, which acts as a cheap filler although its use is not permitted in ham.

Levels of salt that breached target limits set by the Food Standards Agency were a recurring problem in sausages and some ethnic restaurant meals. The substitution of cheaper vegetable fat for the dairy fat with which cheese must legally be made was common. Samples of mozzarella turned out in one case to be only 40% dairy fat, and in another only 75%.

Several samples of cheese on pizzas were not in fact cheese as claimed but cheese analogue, made with vegetable oil and additives. It is not illegal to use cheese analogue but it should be properly identified as such.

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Opinion:

More than a third of our food is adulterated crap!

The rampant falsification of foodstuffs is stretches the imagination. I always knew there was some tinkering, but this report lists wholesale fraud.

We are supposed to be protected from this bullshit by government departments in any country and this just points to the fact that we aren’t!

The failings are beyond belief, and the idea that, at least in Britain, that the government is actually cutting back on the funds for our protection is TOTALLY IRRESPONSIBLE!

This is just another example showing that governments have lost the plot.

Disgusting… enough to make you puke

Disgusting

Want something disgusting?

After the ‘pink slime’ issue people have been more conscious about what’s in their food.

Check these links out and prepare yourself. You may need a bucket…

Gross Ingredients Processed Foods

Disgusting Ingredients

Pink Slime – Updating the Update

Could ‘pink slime’ be rebranded?

This is NOT ground beef*

Three out of the four US factories making “lean beef trimmings” are to be shut down following a public outcry. Is “pink slime” – as critics call it – finished or could it be relaunched under a new name?

The look on shoppers’ faces as Jamie Oliver sloshed ammonia into a bowl of what he calls “pink slime” said it all.

They were horrified. They appeared to have no idea that the burgers they had been buying all these years contained anything other than prime cuts of beef.

But here was a TV chef showing them, in a 2011 edition of his US show Jamie’s Food Revolution, how their burgers are bulked out by meat that in previous decades would have been used for dog food, and is only made fit for human consumption by being treated with household bleach.

Job losses

The decision by major US supermarkets, fast food restaurants – and some public schools – to stop using food that contains Lean Finely Textured Beef, to give “pink slime” its official name, is a victory for Oliver and online campaigners who railed against it.

But the resulting loss of 850 meat processing jobs, at a time when America is suffering high unemployment, has angered many – and turned Jamie Oliver into a hate figure on some message boards.

He probably did more than anybody to bring “pink slime” to mainstream attention in the US, although the social media campaign to kill it off did not take off until last month, when ABC World News with Diane Sawyer ran an expose.

The US Department of Agriculture has now allowed schools to remove products containing “pink slime” from their cafeteria menus after Texan blogger Bettina Elias Siegel gathered more than 200,000 online signatures in nine days.

For the meat processing industry, it has been a bruising lesson in public relations and transparency in the age of social media.

Industry fight-back

It might also be the first example of a food ingredient being withdrawn not because of any safety fears, but because people have decided it sounds disgusting.

Industry chiefs are furious about what they see as a media-led smear campaign against a product that has been used in the US since the early 1990s and meets federal food safety standards.

Earlier this week, they launched a fight back – unveiling a new slogan “Dude, it’s beef” and enlisting the help of Texas governor and former presidential candidate Rick Perry, who dutifully chowed down on a burger containing the stuff on a visit to a processing plant in South Sioux City, Nebraska.

To British eyes, this stunt contains echoes of Conservative government minister John Gummer feeding his young daughter a beefburger, in front of the TV news cameras, at the height of the “mad cow disease” controversy in 1990.

But unlike the BSE outbreak no-one is seriously suggesting “pink slime” is dangerous – or even that burgers containing it are significantly less tasty or nutritious than other beef products.

The industry has launched a website, beefisbeef.com, to emphasise this – although Gary Martin, president of brand-naming consultants Gary Martin Group, believes they are missing the point.

“Who cares whether it’s 100% beef and who cares whether it’s lacking bacteria, if it’s something that you find disgusting?” he says.

Tragedy

He describes what has happened to the company driven out of business by the “pink slime” controversy as a tragedy.

The meat processing industry has launched a fight-back

But he says it was caused, in part, by the lack of a registered brand name for their main product.

“They didn’t brand themselves so someone else did,” he explains.

Lean beef trimmings have never marketed to the public as a product in their own right so it’s doubtful the companies making them would have thought that they needed a brand name.

But, says Martin, if they had been thinking ahead, they might have called the product something consumer-friendly like “Pro-leana”.

It might not have prevented the media backlash, but it might have helped them deal with it better, he argues.

Consumer anger

But, like most experts, he believes it is far too late to rebrand the product now, as it would be seen as a marketing “ploy”, which would further inflame consumer anger.

“Pink slime” is, in any case, a far more powerful brand name than anything the industry could come up with.

“It is a powerful image. To try to replace that image with something else might be tough,” says EJ Schultz, a food marketing writer with Advertising Age magazine.

He believes consumer anger has been driven by a lack of transparency.

“People are wondering ‘why didn’t I know about this before? Why wasn’t this labelled?’ People want everything labelled these days.”

Jason Karpf, who teaches public relations and marketing, also believes the food industry has got a lot to learn about modern consumers.

He says: “The heightened nature of consumer awareness means that food manufacturers must look at every component of their end user product and imagine public reaction to it. Predict and prepare for public reaction.”

The next ‘pink slime’?

Butchers across America have spotted a marketing opportunity

Meat processors have been adding beef scraps to burgers and other products since the 1970s to keep costs down – but they will now have to come with a replacement “that can withstand lay person scrutiny,” says Mr Karpf.

“They are going to have to think about the product itself before they try to come up with a name, and a campaign, that – dare I say – the public will swallow.”

Source: BBC News Read more

*My caption

Opinion:

After my Pink Slime – Update on 27th March there was a lengthy comment posted, that was blatantly industry initiated, by beefisbeef.com. Before replying I checked the site out, it was pure damage control.

But, not being churlish, I allowed the comment to stand and wrote a rebuttal. I have even given you the link to see for yourself.

The fact that “Meat processors have been adding beef scraps to burgers and other products since the 1970s to keep costs down…” only serves to tighten the noose already around the neck of the pink slime producers. Because it shows that for 40+ years the industry has got away with pulling the wool over the eyes of the consumers. The industry never had a brand name for this product, because the moment they had would have highlighted the products inclusion as an additive. So this wasn’t an oversight by the industry, it was pure deception.

This product or any future facsimile of the same will never succeed in this day and age of social media where you have a whole new generation of more aware people. In the past you could bluff your way through almost anything, even bribe the mainstream media not to mention it (governaments do that all the time).

Social media has put an end to that.

Jason Karpf (above) is right, the food industry, and all other producers, have a lot to learn about the new consumer. You can’t dodge issues as in the past, the game isn’t baseball anymore, it’s a whole new ball game.

I certainly feel sorry for the 850 workers who have lost their jobs, especially in these times of economic woes. But the blame can be squarely placed on the companies whose lust for profits have put them on the dole (unemployment, not sure if Americans use the term ‘dole’) line. There is no fault with Jamie Oliver, nor anyone who has spread the word.

As advice to anyone in the job market, you can see that there are now  new consideration; is the company honest? Do I want to work for a company that is not transparent? Is the product safe? Moral issues, instead of I need a job, any job will do.

The fate of pink slime should serve as a lesson to other food manufacturers. You can’t hide it anymore, come clean, clean up your act, or go out of business.

Basically, the answer to the question is, if it is rebranded the news would spread like wildfire, so best not to try. Forget it, put it in the too hard basket, find another way to make money.

NB: I am still uncertain about the possibility of ammonium hydroxide, that innocent sounding little ‘puff’ to kill bacteria, lingering in pink slime. “So, I cannot say that ammonium hydroxide is a bad thing in meat.  I can say that no one should be claiming it’s been proven to be a good thing.”Alternative Holistic Health Answers is a good article to read.

Monday Moaning

WTF is this?

Squeez Bacon!!!

And they can’t even spell it properly.

Is it any wonder why the world is imploding in its own dung heap?

Do we need this?

No!

Another waste of resources and energy. Think about the machines that are needed to produce this crap. Think about the raw materials that were used to make those machines. Think about the power that was required to manufacture those machines.

Now, think about the diminishing oil resources and the amount of unwanted plastic packaging for this product that was made from petroleum. Think about the electricity used to produce this pink bacon flavoured slime.

Because as sure as ducks quack, this is not bacon. It is my guessing that this product uses the scrag ends of bacon that can’t be sold. Someone had a wonderful idea of how to make money from the shitty scraps of bacon.

Once again, profits reign.

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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