Posts tagged Pink Slime
Pink slime surprise
Last week, NTEB News reported on the 7,000,000 pounds of ‘pink slime’ that the Federal Government had purchased for use in public school lunchrooms across America. Since then, a petition to stop pink slime has gathered 170,000+ signatures, and the USDA has launched a website defending the slime. We invite you to read this article and decide of YOUR kids should be eating this in their cafeteria lunch program.
FROM YAHOO NEWS: On March 8, Bettina Siegel, the food columnist and mom of two who launched the petition to ban ground beef containing “pink slime” from the National School Lunch Program, wrote on her blog TheLunchTray.com, “I’m awestruck that we’ve reached this point [of 3,600 signatures].” As of Monday, March 12, the number has topped 170,000.
The meat industry and the United States Department of Agriculture are fighting back. In an interview with The Daily, which broke the story, Beef Products Incorporated (BPI) spokesperson Rich Jochum said: “Including LFTB [lean finely textured beef, otherwise known as 'pink slime'] in the National School Lunch Program’s beef products accomplishes three important goals on behalf of 32 million kids. It 1) improves the nutritional profile, 2) increases the safety of the products and 3) meets the budget parameters that allow the school lunch program to feed kids nationwide every day.” They have also launched a website and twitter campaign “Pink Slime is a Myth.”
What they fail to explain is that mixing “pink slime” into ground beef earns the industry about 3 cents for every pound of meat produced. Some advocates for using LFTB have praised BPI for their “tip to tail” approach, for example, not wasting any part of the cow. Siegel counters that any meat scraps were already being used in pet food and cooking oil.
“Pink slime” is a ground mixture of bovine waste trimmings that are disinfected with ammonium hydroxide to kill pathogens such as salmonella and E. coli. These bacteria are more likely to be present in these scraps than in muscle. McDonald’s, Burger King, and Taco Bell have all stopped using it due to public outcry. “It’s economic fraud,” Gerald Zirstein, the microbiologist who coined the name “pink slime,” told ABC News. “It’s not fresh ground beef. It’s a cheap substitute being added in.”
Defending its purchase of 7 million pounds of ground meat containing the product, the USDA said in a statement, “All USDA ground beef purchases must meet the highest standards for food safety.” Reportedly, the use of “pink slime” was given the thumbs up by former undersecretary of agriculture, Joanne Smith, who also served as president of both the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Florida Cattlemen’s Association. She determined that the USDA would not require it to be labeled. According to Carl Custer, a colleague of Zirnstein’s who worked for the Food Safety Inspection Service for 35 years, Smith told USDA scientists, “It’s pink, therefore it’s meat.” When Smith left the administration in 1993, she was appointed to the BPI board of directors.
About 70% of all ground beef in the U.S. contains LFTB. At present, the USDA hasn’t backed down from purchasing it for the school lunch program nor is it changing its labeling policy. If consumers choose not to buy ground meat containing “pink slime,” Costco, Whole Foods, Krogers, Publix, and Tops Markets all say they don’t sell it. Beef labeled “organic” is also 100% pure meat with no fillers. source – Yahoo News
They call it Pink Slime
McDonald’s and Taco Bell have banned it, but now the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is picking up 7 million pounds of beef containing ammonium hydroxide-treated ground connective tissue and meat scraps and serving it up to America’s school kids. If you thought cafeteria food was gross before….
According to TheDaily.com, the term “pink slime” was coined by microbiologist Gerald Zirnstein, formerly of the USDA Food Safety Inspection Service. He first saw it being mixed into burger meat when he was touring a Beef Products Inc (BPI) facility in 2002 after an outbreak of salmonella. “Scientists in D.C. were pressured to approve this stuff with minimal safety approval,” Zirnstein told The Daily.
“Pink slime,” which is officially called “Lean Beef Trimmings,” is banned for human consumption in the United Kingdom. It is commonly used in dog and chicken food. Celebrity chef and safe food advocate Jamie Oliver featured the substance and called for its ban on the April 12, 2011 episode of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, which may have influenced McDonald’s to stop using beef patties containing the filler.
Reportedly, Zirnstein and his colleague Carl Custer studied the substance and classified it as a “high risk product.” Custer, who worked at the Food Safety Inspection service for 35 years, says, “We looked at the product and we objected to it because it used connective tissues instead of muscle. It was simply not nutritionally equivalent [to ground beef]. My main objection was that it was not meat.”
Another issue is the ammonium hydroxide, a chemical that is used to kill pathogens such as E. coli. The FDA considers it safe for human consumption but a 2009 expose by the New York Times questioned its safety and efficacy. Some food advocates are asking for meat containing “pink slime” to be labeled. It’s used in about 70% of ground beef in the US. “We don’t know which districts are receiving what meat, and this meat isn’t labeled to show pink slime. They don’t have to under federal law,” Bettina Siegal, a writer and mother of two who created TheLunchTray.com told NBC. Siegel has started a petition to demand the USDA stop using the product in the National School Lunch Program. source – Yahoo News
Would you allow your kids to eat ground beef mixed with “pink slime?” Let us know in the comments below.