Pink slime is the common name for a controversial beef product. The name used in the meat industry is lean fine textured beef (LFTB) and boneless lean beef trimmings (BLBT). Call it what you will, pink slime is a processed beef product that was originally used in pet food and cooking oil and later approved for PUBLIC CONSUMPTION. [source]
The United States approved it for human consumption in 2001 and it was added to ground beef and beef processed meats at a ratio reportedly anywhere from 15- 25%.
How? The process uses heat in a centrifuge to separate the fat from the meat. Because this ‘meat’ is from parts of the animal that are close to the guts, etc it is quite possibly contaminated with E Coli and bacteria.
So how was something fit for dogs made edible by the American consumer? With ammonia or citric acid of course.
Take a look:
WHEN DID ALL THIS START?
There is a man named Eldon Roth who invented a way of extracting lean beef from the scraps that would otherwise have been thrown away. It was too labor and time intensive to manually extract those trimmings by hand so he invented this centrifuge. He is the founder of Beef Products, Inc. (BFI). He was hailed a hero of sorts with this invention.
But it was during an outbreak of E Coli in a Jack in the Box Restaurant in 1993 that sickened 600 people and killed 4 children that changed things. BPI was not involved in the outbreak, but instead saw this as an advantage to make the food ‘safer’. In 1994 he began working on a way to treat pathogens in beef by giving them an ammonia bath. This was approved by both the FDA and the USDA in 2001.
I first heard about it by watching Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution and thought I was going to puke. Jamie Oliver for those of you who don’t know is a professional chef from Britain who is appalled at what we feed our children in this country in our school system. He is on a mission to change that. Please visit his site Jamie Oliver, Food Revolution. It will change how you view food forever.
Along with Jamie Oliver, in March 2012, ABC News ran an 11-segment series of reports, including the claim that approximately 70% of ground beef sold in the US contained pink slime. This, of course, sparked outraged and concern among consumers. It prompted some companies to stop using the pink slime, while others continue to use it. Soon after the series of slamming reports, Beef Products, Inc. (BPI) was forced to shut down 3 of its 4 plants after fast food chains, supermarkets and public schools STOPPED serving beef that contained LFTB. The company went from producing 5 million pounds of LFTB per week to less than 2 million. [source]. This also prompted a lawsuit again Jamie Oliver and Diane Sawyer of ABC specifically.
However, the coverage also completely changed ground beef in the United States. It is estimated to be in only 5% of our beef at this point.
But get this …..
The USDA (THE UNITED STATES DEPT OF AGRICULTURE PEOPLE!!!) PLANNED to purchase 7 million pounds of ground beef with LFTB for use in PUBLIC SCHOOLS during the Spring of 2012, but only 1.2 million pounds has been ordered for the 2012-2013 school year !!!
The USDA said in a statement all of its ground beef purchases “meet the highest standard for food safety”. This is outrageous!!!!
We are feeding our children connective tissues and beef scraps that were originally meant to be dog food. They are given a bath in ammonium hydroxide. And the USDA has cut back from 7 million pounds to 1.2 ?!!? There shouldn’t be ANY pink slime in our kids (or our) food!
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
- Change.org has a petition up on its site asking the USDA to STOP buying the slime and feeding it to our children. These kids have NO IDEA what they are eating, and neither did most of us until Jamie Oliver and ABC broke this disgusting story loose.
- Check with your school to see if they are using pink slime in their meat
- Buy your ground beef from your local butcher and ask him also how he processes it and what cuts of meat he uses.
- I personally called Laura’s Beef and was told they do NOT use pink slime in their beef.