Pink Slime: It’s What’s for Dinner

It’s no longer good enough for fast food chains, but it continues to be fed to children as part of their school lunches. We’re talking about “pink slime.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture told “The Daily” online newspaper that it’s buying 7 million more pounds of the “slime” for school lunch programs across the country.

Ground Beef USDA

The picture above is a public domain file from Wikipedia’s pink slime entry. It is a USDA file described as the beef grinding process. It is not described as a picture of pink slime.

That USA Today report is from March 9 and it appears the negative reactions to ‘pink slime’ will keep the debate going for at least a while longer. As noted on this site’s main page the USDA will be holding a teleconference on the issue at the end of this month.

A Reuters’ report, also from March 9, states the Department of Agriculture (USDA) defends the use of pink slime in school meals. It is the view on this blog that food processing scraps previously destined for pet food was bad enough. Why should pets have to eat this? A report not linked to here suggests a company interested in expanding its market proposed ammonia hydroxide to eliminate e-coli and other contamination in processed meat. Soon pink slime was invented as has been served for at least a decade in what has been estimated as more than half of all beef consumed in the US.

“Pink Slime” Petition Tops 170,000, Meat Industry Claims It’s Safe

As of this writing the petition has about a quarter-million signers. The report above cites a blog and a post on this topic from March 8. So the US government defends it. The meat industry defends it. But many consumers reject it. To be fair, I have seen comments asking what the big deal is about pink slime. Sure, this is not the only risk in our food chain but it merits further discussion and an effective solution.

Just in case you missed it fast food chains like McDonald’s, Burger King and Taco Bell claim they no longer use pink slime. If you’re like me you stopped consuming fast food years ago. I have also severely limited my ‘meals out’ habits. Unfortunately I still have not come up with a solution for grocery stores that sell produce grown outside the US. Maybe it doesn’t matter since it seems the food supply is suspect no matter where it comes from except maybe your own garden. That option is not problem-free either.

This should not be a political problem. It is one of those subjects for which we should all share an opinion. We need to eat healthy food. This idea demonstrates the fact Michelle Obama and her food police have missed the point entirely. That may have been by design.

Stanford Matthews