There been a sharp uptick of people searching google for “pink slime”. What is “pink slime”? You probably don’t want to know but you probably should know.
Gerald Zirnstein grinds his own hamburger these days. Why? Because this former United States Department of Agriculture scientist and, now, whistleblower, knows that 70 percent of the ground beef we buy at the supermarket contains something he calls “pink slime.”
“Pink slime” is beef trimmings. Once only used in dog food and cooking oil, the trimmings are now sprayed with ammonia so they are safe to eat and added to most ground beef as a cheaper filler.
And that’s just for starters. Here’s more:
It was only a month ago that McDonald’s came under fire for selling ‘pink slime’ chicken nuggets to their customers. When consumers found out about the process that the meat goes through to become nuggets that never deteriorate, they took to Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets to showcase their displeasure at being duped.
McDonald’s, in order to please their customer base, decided that it would no longer use the ‘pink slime’ in the chicken nuggets they serve to the public. But now, meat consumers have another reason to consider going vegetarian if not all the way vegan.
Personally, I don’t want to be a human guinea pig for ammonia ingestion. It seems intuitive that schoolkids shouldn’t be, either. The fact that they have to use ammonia in the first place is a symptom of the larger problem of industrial meat production. That these scraps are teeming with deadly bacteria in the first place is a result of the appalling conditions in feedlots (or CAFOs). The meat industry, in defense of pink slime, laughably touts the “sustainability” of using all parts of the cow, as though these people give one whit about environmentally-friendly farming practices. And then there’s the fact that the stuff is just low-quality, non-nutritious crap, the logical endpoint of a system built on layers and layers of crap. Is this really the best we can do for our kids?
Carl S. Custer, a former U.S.D.A. microbiologist, said he and other scientists were concerned that the department had approved the treated beef for sale without obtaining independent validation of the potential safety risk. Another department microbiologist, Gerald Zirnstein, called the processed beef “pink slime” in a 2002 e-mail message to colleagues and said, “I do not consider the stuff to be ground beef, and I consider allowing it in ground beef to be a form of fraudulent labeling.”