Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Pink Slime?

I was cruising along the Internet highway this morning looking for something interesting to write about. The news generally is depressing and I am in need of a lighter subject to lift my spirits. Pink Slime is probably not exactly what I was looking for but as I, and most of you, have been eating it I thought maybe knowing more about it might be a good idea.

Supposedly Pink Slime is meat by products that have been treated with Ammonia Hydroxide that “creates an environment that is unfriendly to pathogenic bacteria” and “provides a significant food safety benefit “, according to MeatMythBusters.com. I always get a little queasy when I hear the words 'by products'.

Pink Slime sort of looks like pink play dough. Kind of looks harmless but do I really want it in my burger?

When I first heard about Pink Slime I pictured my children fighting it like Steve McQueen in the movie The Blob.

More like this:

WOW! A bath and dinner all in one bathtub sitting. Yummy to the max!

What is pink slime? Whenever a cow is butchered there are pieces that are cut off that aren’t considered for human consumption. There is a greater risk for E. coli and other nasty stuff in those parts of the cow. It use to be mainly just for pet food. A dog’s stomach can handle the kind of stuff ours can’t. However now this pink slime is ending up in our foods. Using a centrifuge they can separate the fat from the meat. Once they salvage this meat, there still is the concern of potential illness in humans. So to make sure that won’t be a problem, they pull out a chemical – ammonia. Yes, the meat industry actually uses ammonia to kill anything that might be in the meat and the United States Department of Agriculture is perfectly OK with this. In fact, they are so OK with it that no one has to list on their labels that ammonia was ever used. The meat industry convinced the USDA, that the ammonia is just a “processing agent”. There is some limits put on pink slime. You can’t use more than 15% of it in ground beef. So it’s basically just used as a filler, but the filler saves the meat industry some serious dough.

How Can You Avoid Pink Slime?So how do you avoid this kind of beef? Good news is that McDonald’s, Burger King, and Taco Bell have all stopped using pink slime (which means they were using it in the first place). But that doesn’t mean all fast food places stopped using it. You may also encounter it at the grocery store. You should never ever buy ground beef labeled as hamburger. That is almost a guarantee that you will be getting some grounded up pink slime in there. Recently, I have read reports about the USDA purchasing 7 million pounds of pink slime for school lunches.

ABC News did a follow-up report, asking some grocery stores if they use pink slime. According to that report, these stores claimed they do not use pink slime: Publix, Costco, HEB and Whole Foods. I am sure that there are others but you will need to ask them.

One way you can avoid Pink Slime at the grocery store is to purchase beef marked 100% ground chuck or 100% ground sirloin for example. An even better way is to by the meat whole and grind it yourself. Meats marked 'organic' do not contain Pink Slime.

                                     Poor Wimpy never knew what hit him


PS....Much of this information was gleamed from Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution.

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