A Daily news digest by Jasper van Santen

Pink Slime – the lesser of the “edible” evils? – The Atlantic

In News, Really?!? on March 24, 2012 at 08:10

 If you averse to ingesting spinal fluid, beef-based pink slime is actually a better bet than chicken nuggets  or hotdogs containing pork or poultry.


If there’s one thing America can agree on at the moment, it’s that “pink slime” is scary. The hamburger filler made from processed beef trimmings has been in use for decades, but now, thanks to social media-fueled campaigns and traditional media coverage from Fox News to MSNBC, we’re suddenly terrified of the stuff. Is pink slime really any worse than pink cylinders like hot dogs, or yellow nuggets of mechanically separated poultry? Probably not.

After having quietly infiltrated pre-made beef patties in the United States starting in the early 1990s, pink slime hit the mainstream in the 2008 documentary Food, Inc. An exec from Beef Products Inc. (BPI), which makes the pink product officially known as Lean Finely Trimmed Beef (LFTB) proudly welcomed cameras into his futuristic facility, and said that the product is in 70 percent of America’s pre-made burger patties.

Then, a 2009 Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times expose that reported BPI had been lowering the levels of ammonium hydroxide used to treat LFTB, in response to complaints about the product’s strong ammonia smell. These reductions in treatment caused several batches of burger destined for school lunches to test positive for E. coli and Salmonella.

 

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