Pink Slime: The Latest Assault on Public Health

Posted: 03/09/2012 in Politics
Tags: , , , ,

Not that anyone should be shocked by this, but it recently came out on ABC News that upwards of 70% of the ground beef purchased in American supermarkets may in fact be cheap, filler meat known as “pink slime”.

Gerald Zernstein, a scientist formerly with the USDA, first coined the term “pink slime” to describe the beef trimmings that make up the vast majority of consumer beef in the U.S. Once reserved for dog food, today the slop is given a good coating of ammonia hydroxide (formerly reserved for household cleaners, fertilizers, and bombs) before it’s ground into a “pink, meat-like paste” and shipped off to grocery stores and school districts, where it’s mixed with actual beef.

Hungry? But wait, there’s more! Here’s how ABC describes the production process for “pink slime”:

The “pink slime” is made by gathering waste trimmings, simmering them at low heat so the fat separates easily from the muscle, and spinning the trimmings using a centrifuge to complete the separation. Next, the mixture is sent through pipes where it is sprayed with ammonia gas to kill bacteria. The process is completed by packaging the meat into bricks. Then, it is frozen and shipped to grocery stores and meat packers, where it is added to most ground beef.

It was just last month that McDonalds vowed to stop using the filler meat in their hamburgers. Which means that the world’s largest and arguably least healthy fast food chain is using finer quality meat than the stuff you feed to your families.

But this is only the most recent development in a general war on food and public health. Monsanto and their GMO frankenfoods have largely been given a pass by the governmental agencies designed to protect us, and President Obama just recently appointed Monsanto’s Vice President to the position of senior advisor to the commissioner of the FDA. Meanwhile, Monsanto corporation as well as the Bush and Obama administrations outlawed GMO food in their cafeterias:

The Obama family has wisely opted out of exposing themselves to GM foods by requiring organic—and therefore non-GMO—foods served at the White House. They are even planting an organic garden on the south lawn of the White House, to feature 55 types of vegetables. The Bush family also had an organic kitchen policy. Laura Bush was “adamant” about it, but kept it all quiet.

And of course we all remember the scandal from about a year ago, involving Taco Bell. The largest Mexican food chain was charged with serving food containing less than 35% actual meat. What made up the rest, you ask? Cardboard, more or less. Well, no. That’s an oversimplification. The list of ingredients actually read: “water, wheat oats, soy lecithin, maltodrextrin, anti-dusting agent and modified corn starch.”

So while the elite dine on organic, we’re fed cardboard. Sad thing is, despite the “pink slime” story, Americans will forget. We’ll all be out grilling and grinning like idiots in about a month’s time, slurping down that pink, ammonia-soaked goo. The fact is, until the people finally act, what’s to stop the corporations from doing exactly as they please? Food for thought.

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  2. This is so horrible and disgusting. It amazes me that we just blindly eat whatever is in the grocery store or restaurant without asking any questions. I have always been one of those really annoying “why?” people. I want to know about all the details and reasons, just naturally curious I guess. I am so glad we buy 80% of our food from local farms, I would be devastated if I knew they were eating that garbage.

    Thank you, I am going to share this post with everyone I know who eats food!

    • Ian Driscoll says:

      It’s a disturbing world we live in. I agree with you – the answer is locally grown food. Even better: start a garden and produce it yourself, with seeds that aren’t sold by a Monsanto front. Glad you found the article useful!

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