This just creeps me out. ABC News is reporting on the processed beef trimmings that are sprayed with ammonia and squeezed out into worm-like pellets and then mixed in with supermarket ground beef. The product is called Lean Textured Beef manufactured by Beef Products Inc. It's also known to many as pink slime.
There are so many things wrong with this story. Not in the telling of it so much as the truths uncovered by it. I am greatly disturbed, though I suppose not all that surprised, that this stuff used to be sold to dog food manufacturers.
As J. Patrick Boyle, president of the American Meat Institute argues in the ABC article, pink slime is actually great! It's sustainable, responsible meat making. I guess one could argue that it's using leftover parts from the already butchered cow so it's in some ways a twisted "waste not, want not" polemic.
However, the ABC story goes on to say that the "trimmings" used in pink slime actually come from an area of the animal that is highly prone to contamination - near the hide, where the meat is often in contact with fecal matter. The only reason why the USDA deems this an acceptable practice is because manufacturers spray ammonia gas over the trimmings before grinding them into a paste and reforming it to get mixed in with ground beef. *shudder*
When considering that the so-called meat that finds its way onto the conveyor belt headed over to be slimed was unfit to eat as actual steak of some kind, does it really seem okay to you to grind it up, bleach it, and mix it in with batches of soon-to-be frozen hamburger patties? It makes a little more sense now why the military-industrial hamburger complex demands that all burgers be cooked to between 150 and 160 degrees F.
Do not despair, dear readers, because there is change in the air, along with spring thaw. A new opt-out provision has been passed in Congress allowing schools in the National Lunch Program to choose slightly less lean beef patties as opposed to those made with the pink slime filler. We have champions standing up to Big Beef. Individuals like Jamie Oliver have mounted campaigns against the use of pink slime. His cause became so well known that last year McDonalds began making their patties without the filler.
If anyone is interested, here is the website set up by Beef Products Inc. pinkslimeisamyth.com (No joke, that's really what they called it.)