Pink slime is scientifically known as lean finely textured beef. While that sounds good and nice and delicious, let's look into it just a little further. It is processed beef trimmings and the parts used in this aren't necessarily parts of a cow you would sit down to a meal and feast on. Using heat and centrifuges, the lean meat is separated from the fat. However, because of the cow parts being used in lean finely textured beef (pink slime), need to have potential bacteria residing on these trimmings, killed by something. E coli and salmonella would be of major concern.
As this process unfolds, the pink slime is exposed to Ammonia. Ammonia is a compound of nitrogen and hydrogen with a chemical formula of NH3. Although ammonia has many uses and my most common recollection is in fertilizer applications, it is caustic and hazardous. As most people would know, you really would not pick up a bottle at your grocery store and drink it. Unfortunately, we feel that it is okay to put it into food products and somehow we have convinced ourselves in this world that adding caustic and hazardous substances is not really a bad thing. I say this with a sarcastic emphasis.
I've read and heard from the industry that this has been going on for many years, possibly longer than most of us even realize. The industry claims it is safe and there is too big of a deal made over pink slime. They claim that it is overblown and misinterpreted. It has even been stated that if we take pink slime out of our food supply, that we will have a shortage of beef and be required to import more beef from around the world.
If you look at the statistics, the US beef consumption in 2010 was approximate 26.4 billion pounds (source: http://www.ers.usda.gov/news/BSECoverage.htm ) Per capita beef consumption in the US for 2010 was 59 pounds. I'm not sure about everyone else, but that seems like a lot of beef getting consumed. Maybe it is just my rusty math skills making that assumption. Again, a sarcastic emphasis could be used.
Regardless, a food source that requires us to add a caustic chemical to it, in order to consume it is about as intelligent in my view as saying drinking gasoline will give you energy. If it is that necessary and safe for us, than why not develop nutritious drinks with ammonia in them. Yes, I realize that the amount of ammonia is probably below the federally approved levels, but in my estimation that is not saying much. If you do your research, you will see many other ways where we are adding chemicals into our daily lives that are not human mind and body friendly.
What angers me the most in this entire situation is that you don't know what products have this as an ingredient and which products don't. From reports that I have read, it extends far beyond a package of ground beef or a burger at a fast food restaurant. If this is such a safe thing, than why is it not on the labels of the products we buy? It really makes you wonder. Of course, when you are trying to squeeze every ounce of profit out of your product, ethics tend to be talked about more than practiced. It angers me that greed (also known as corporate profits) are put before what is right and healthy to our bodies. I'm not against anyone making money or profit, but I am against corporations that do it at the expense of our civilization.
Fortunately, not all places are using pink slime from what I can tell. Several major grocery store chains have stopped selling it or are making plans to stop it. Even Walmart finally and reluctantly joined in to say they were going to offer beef without pink slime. My concern though is what will they do next or what is the industry already doing that may be far more harmful than pink slime? We may never know until many years have passed.
I contacted my local grocery store, Publix, and asked if they used this product. Their response was as follows and I quote from the email I received.
Thank you for your email. We appreciate our customers taking the time to contact us.
Publix Ground Beef specifications clearly call out that NO "Lean Finely Textured Beef" is to be added to Publix Ground Beef. The product, "Lean Finely Textured Beef", is a derivative of fatty beef trimmings, which are warmed and put through a centrifuge to remove fat and treated with citric acid or ammonia to kill bacteria. It is then frozen into pellets and added to ground beef production. The pellets are pink in color, thus the term "Pink Slime."
Again, thank you for taking the time to contact us. If we can be of any further assistance regarding this matter, please either call our Consumer Relations toll-free number at 1-800-242-1227, write us at the Publix Super Markets Corporate Office, PO Box 407, Lakeland, FL 33802, ATTN: Consumer Relations, or contact us at our website, publix.com and mention your reference number, # 954149.
Each one of us has the ability to make choices and decisions for our life. We are all connected to one another and so when we make decisions that affects what the world eats, it should not be made lightly. It should not be made with only profits in mind. I grew up in a career that involved the meat industry and to be honest, I am shocked to hear about the pink slime. Not once, did this ever get discussed or disclosed. Of course, maybe it should not shock and surprise me.
I'm glad to see the market place rising up and exposing this practice. You can't ask for much more than that, but I'm in disbelief of how an industry can claim, that ammonia treated beef products are a good thing! It doesn't make sense, unless you are like the person that hides under the rock. At some point, each of us has to reconcile our awareness with what we do in our lives. If we fail to evolve our consciousness as a human, than the question has to be asked, are we truly human?
After I wrote this blog post, it looks like the meat industry council along with Gov Rick Perry, Gov Terry Brandstad and others are trying to convince everyone how safe this is to eat. Sure, say what you want to say, but I for one will not be eating it! I see that HyVee has went from not selling it to backing off of their claim and saying they will post signs identifying it as lean finely textured beef. Oh doesn't that term sound so nice and appealing. Here, have a drink of ammonia while you're at it! Honestly, I realize everyone is entitled to their own opinion but if the Good Lord wanted us to eat and drink ammonia, he would have built it into the cow! I have absolutely no trust in our meat industry or food supply chain because these guys will stop at nothing just to turn a profit.
Care to know more about how chemicals impact our daily lives? Click this link to read more about household cleaning products.
Another example that you may be interested in is in regards to Fluoride. To read more, click this link.
Blog Post And Images (c) 3/28/12 Don Shetterly - use and reprint by permission only
You are welcomed to share the link to this blog post, but ask for for permission before reprinting this article. Thanks!