As a follow on to the comments I made on whether or not RED MEAT WILL KILL US ALL, I thought I’d chime in with some thoughts on the latest meat talk.
It’s all the rage, eh? Pink Slime… where is it? What is it? Why is it in our food? Since the USDA announced last week that it will disclose to school districts which of its suppliers use pink slime so administrators can decide if they want to buy it or not, pink slime has been more talked about than the Kardashian clan.
What is it? It is trimmings that used to be put in pet foods (rejected fat, connective tissues, blood). These trimmings are centrifuged to make a “product” that can be added back in to ground meats. Science food, anyone? Oh, and it’s sprayed with ammonia so that it doesn’t have E. coli coming to us in a shake form. MMM mmm.
Why is it in our food? MONEY. Isn’t that always the bottom line. Waste not, want not. It seems that it started as an innovation for freezing beef in a better way, using the ammonia to keep the E. coli at bay. However, a step back looking at what real food is should have halted this process, don’t you think?
So, how do we avoid this? What meats contain it? Perhaps where is it NOT is the better question. Here in the Puget Sound, stores that we shop in look like this: QFC and Fred Meyer are Kroger companies, and ABC news reports that Kroger says these are options for those who choose to avoid pink slime: Kroger’s Private Selection Angus Ground Chuck, Round and Sirloin; Private Selection All Natural Ground Beef and Private Selection Organic Ground Beef solid in 1 lb. packages, labeled 80% lean and above; Laura’s Lean Ground Beef; and ground beef prepared in store. Whole Foods doesn’t use pink slime. Costco does not use pink slime. Safeway chimed in today to say that they will STOP selling meat with pink slime mixed in with it. Thanks, Safeway! I can’t find information on Top Food and Drug stores and their “pink slime” status. PCC verified that their ground beef does NOT contain pink slime nor does the beef at Trader Joe’s.
School lunch, as mentioned earlier, is another place where this substance may be rearing it’s head. The Beef Products Inc. company that produces this stuff feels that it is good for your kids, too (see this article). SO, you can call your school district to see if this is included, or you can send lunch that you prepare. I choose the latter, as I’d like to know where my cavekids get their food.
Pink slime or more accurately but less colorful, “lean finely textured beef” (LFTB for short) does not appear on the labels of the meat that contains it. It’s not required by the regulators. Your best bet would be going organic, since the label organic is not allowed on meats that have been treated in this fashion OR go to your local butcher and ask for meats that are freshly ground or work with a local farmer to get your beef in a more “pasture to table” manner. This site helps you locate local farmers.
And, just to thoroughly gross you out, go read about the PINK SLIME TASTE TEST. Really, would you take part in this?