Pink Slime in your Ground Beef?

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Most of us are aware, that unless you grow your own food and raise your own livestock, you don’t really know for sure what all is in your food!  More concern lies in the processed foods and the meat you buy at the local market, and the produce is rarely organic, as well.

This post is mainly addressing beef, and more so, ground beef. As if the antibiotics and added hormones wasn’t enough, we run into something else, a cheap filler, known as “pink slime.” Before I say anymore, are you ready for a good ol’ supermarket hamburger?

pink_slime_beef

I’ll go ahead and copy & paste a quick excerpt from Wikipedia (including my occasional bouts of commentary within the excerpt) about this subject, to get the ball rolling:

“Pink slime, also known as lean finely textured beef (LFTB), boneless lean beef trimmings (BLBT), and soylent pink (Ha-ha! Have you ever seen the movie Soylent Green?), is a beef-based food additive that may be added to ground beef and beef-based processed meats as an inexpensive filler. It consists of finely ground beef scraps and connective tissue (sounds like reprocessed road kill, if ya ask me) which have been mechanically removed from the fat. The recovered material (Yikes!) is processed, heated, and treated with ammonia gas or citric acid to kill E. coli, salmonella, and other bacteria (Thank you very much for doing such!). It is finely ground, compressed into blocks and flash frozen for use as an additive to beef products.

In the United States, the additive itself cannot legally be sold directly to consumers, but can constitute up to 15% of ground beef without additional labeling (sort of like how they don’t have to list Trans fat if it doesn’t reach 0.5 grams per tiny serving), and can also be added to other meat products such as beef-based processed meats. Prior to the invention of the disinfection process, beef scraps could only be sold as pet food or as an ingredient for cooking oil. (That’s good news folks, we are now eating stuff they put in pet food!)

Widespread public attention was drawn to the product in March 2012 by a series of reports at ABC News, which reported at that time that 70 percent of ground beef sold in U.S. supermarkets contained the product. Subsequently, many grocery stores and supermarkets, including the nation’s three largest chains, announced that they would no longer sell products containing the additive.”

Please note:  Pink slime is not permitted in Canada. Also, Pink slime does not meet the legal requirements for sale in the United Kingdom.

What in the hell is going on here?

soylent_green

One of the main reasons I wanted to post this, was because I have recently ate some “real ground beef” that came from a farm-raised cow.  My mom and my step-dad usually buy half of a cow on occasions from a local farmer, get it processed, cut, packaged, and they freeze it in bulk.  I was over there the other day, and she gave me a few packages to sample.
Well, I generally try to buy good cuts of beef, pork, etc.  But, when it comes to ground beef, I usually just snag up whatever looks decent and go on my way. I figure that ground beef from the grocery store will still taste better than fast-food burgers, for example.

Anyway, upon eating some of this “real” hamburger meat, I was like: “What in the hell is this?  This taste like steak meat or something.  Dang, does hamburgers suppose to taste this good?” Ha-ha! It has been so long since I had “100% real” ground beef, that I evidently forgot what the stuff tasted like.

Oh, if you’d like to read about the controversy, consumer concerns and whatnot, go here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pink_Slime

People need to know more about what is going into their food.
And, if at all possible, grow your own edibles and either try to raise your chickens, cows, pigs, etc., or at least try to buy from a local farmer that you can trust.
This is just an informative post to help raise awareness about all the crap they are putting in our food, as if many of you didn’t already know…

All of this pink slime stuff reminds me of when I used to be a butcher.  When it came time to run the ground beef from the pre-bought tubes into the grinder, it would often look “different” when compared to the hamburger meat I’d make from beef trimmings.  I’m not sure if any of those cheap beef tubes had pink slime in them or not, but one thing is for sure, when I ground my own hamburger meat from  lean beef mixed in with fat trimmings, it just appeared and smelled more real as opposed to that other crap they had in the tubes.  Oh, and the better taste is usually a dead giveaway…

Update: Good News! There have been some recent efforts to eliminate pink slime in our ground beef in the U.S.  Even McDonald’s, Burger King and Taco Bell announced they would discontinue the use of BPI products in their food. I hope this trend continues… BUT, what will they think of next? I recently read on some science site that there are experiments going on right now, where they are trying to grow meat in the lab! My gawd!

—End of Post “Pink Slime in your Ground Beef?”

Random Blog Link:  “The Health Benefits of (Pepitas) Pumpkin Seeds

One Response to “Pink Slime in your Ground Beef?”

  1. […] Well, at least that job title was a little more honest, that is, if the patties are really made of beef; […]

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