Pink Slime…meat production is gross

Have you guys heard about Pink Slime? Apparently, I am new to the outrage. It is an unappetizing appearing concoction created with leftover beef trimmings.  These trimmings were formerly only used in dog food because of their likelihood of containing e coli.In the 1990s, an industrial process was created to run the trimmings through a centrifuge (to separate the fat) and treat it with a “puff” of ammonia gas which increases the pH and kills bacteria. The resulting product is called boneless lean beef trimmings or pink slime. This is then used as filler in ground beef.  It looks pretty gross, but to be fair, raw hamburger, itself, isnt real appetizing.

The American Beef Institute says “The fact is, BPI’s Lean Beef Trimmings (BLBT) is beef. The beef trimmings that are used to make BLBT are absolutely edible. In fact, no process can somehow make inedible meat edible; it’s impossible. In reality, the BLBT production process simply removes fat and makes the remaining beef more lean and suited to a variety of beef products that satisfy consumers’ desire for leaner foods. In fact, BLBT is a sustainable product because it recovers lean meat that would otherwise be wasted. The beef industry is proud to efficiently produce as much lean meat as possible from the cattle we raise. It’s the right thing to do and it ensures that our products remain as affordable as we can make them while helping to feed America and the world.”

And the USDA says it is safe: “All USDA ground beef purchases must meet the highest standards for food safety,” the agency said in a statement. “USDA has strengthened ground beef food safety standards in recent years and only allows products into commerce that we have confidence are safe.”

Pink Slime is in apparently 70% of all ground beef sold in supermarkets.  It is in the National School Lunch Program though McDonald’s, Taco Bell and Burger King have announced that they will no longer use the filling. Here is the kicker for me… it is not required to be identified on food packaging.  Is Pink Slime probably ok to ingest, I am leaning toward yes, but still, consumers should be able to make that decision for themselves and avoid it.  If I was in the 30% of ground beef sellers that didn’t use it, I would put giant stickers on all my beef “Pink Slime FREE.”  I would then charge an extra dollar per pound for the sticker.  Haha.  Capitalism at work. You can read a review of the taste of a pink slime infused burger versus a burger sans pink slime here.

By the way, my grandfather was a cattle farmer. When you go to the cattle sale, if the cow is young and healthy, another cattle farmer buys it.  If it is old and decrepit, it is purchased for meat.  If you ever have the chance to buy meat from a farmer who has “fed it out” (in either grass or corn (with most farmers it will be both) but grass is leaner) for his personal consumption, jump on the opportunity. It is soooo much better.


12 comments on “Pink Slime…meat production is gross

  1. I’m not even sure how this is classified as ‘beef’ since it has cartilage and other materials in it. It’s so disgusting. Thank goodness I’ve learned this isn’t allowed in Canada, but I will be careful of what I eat when I travel to the U.S. this fall.

  2. I just saw a show about this like a week ago and its utterly disgusting.. it makes me not want to eat anything kind of processed meat at all, and just drink my shakeology!! But unfortunately I’m not allowed to do that so I will continue to eat it and block this out of my mind!

  3. OFitCarla says:

    I have been reading a lot about this lately. We don’t each much ground beef but I officially declared it an absolute no. I have a hard time believing that something even a fast food restaurant won’t use could be okay.

  4. Traci says:

    I may never eat beef again. I buy organic beef and use Jennie o turkey breast most if the time. But still…disguising! Is it any wonder why we arent surviving ourselves???

    …Steps off soapbox to hurl…

  5. martha84 says:

    Great post! My butcher is my best friend – and for good reason! In all actuality, it is so much more cost efficient to use one, supporting local business rules, and if they raise slaughter and process their own, you are likely getting a much better product sans plthe slime!

  6. spinmethin says:

    SO glad to be a vegetarian every time these nasty ass stories pop up. That said, if I were a meat eater, I’d either do it Martha’s way or even better buy half a moose, elk, or cow that someone else hunted. I have some friends who do that and it’s the least wasteful way to eat meat. Factory farms are the worst.

    • Half a cow is perfect if you have a small deep freeze!! And the meat actually tastes so much better. I will never buy ground “beef” again. I will pay a little more for ground chuck or ground sirloin… at least you know the cut of meat and can avoid the ammonia treated “beef.”

  7. bgddyjim says:

    I do it the old fashioned way. I go out to the woods (every October through November 15th – usually weekends only), set up my spot, shoot my soon to be dinner, clean it, drive it home, skin it, butcher it and package it myself. Nothing wasted but the bones.

    If God hadn’t intended on man eating animals, He wouldn’t have made them out of meat.

    As far as meat “factories” go, they may be crass and ugly but they feed the world. Who among us will choose the 3 Billion people that will have to die so the rest of us can eat organically and free range food? That’s a little over everyone’s pay grade.

    Really, having bought it at the local market a few times, the pink slime beef doesn’t taste bad at all, on the grill. Tastes like chicken. 😀

    • bgddyjim says:

      Oh, by the way, it’s not 70% of the beef sold, it’s IN 70% of the ground beef sold – if you’re buying pink slime beef in lieu of good ground beef, you will know it. It looks just like the picture and that does not look anything like ground beef – you can tell it’s been processed heavily.

      Often times it’s in 70% of the ground beef in trace amounts because they run the good beef after the PS version.

      • Thanks for the clarification…that is absolutely correct. Do they actually try to sell just the slime to the public??

      • bgddyjim says:

        Oh yes, you can find it in the (don’t cringe) “Family Packs” of 3 lbs or more, usually at about half price normal ground beef. It’s ground in with regular ground beef. When you look at it, it will be oddly pressed (like the photo) and it will be more pink than red. It is not as bad as everyone is making it out to be either, though it’s not all good either.

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