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Pink Slime in 70% of Ground Beef

March 11, 2012

pink slime

Bearing an uncanny resemblance to strawberry soft-serve ice cream, the presence of "Pink Slime" in our ground beef is making big headlines. An ABC News investigation exposed the hidden practice many beef suppliers are using without consumer knowledge. It's a filler ingredient being added to ground beef made of connective tissue and low grade beef trimmings (the parts of the cow most susceptible to contamination).

... basically, meat scraps. The by-product is then treated with ammonia to kill bacteria. This filler can be found in a staggering 70% of ground beef.

Ground beef containing the filler does not come labeled. So the question is ... is it fair to call this beef? The USDA seems to think so. In fact, they bought 7 million pounds to distribute to schools around the country. This appears to be another case where corporate special interests have swayed government agencies at the cost of public health. At the center of this controversy is Beef Products Inc., the same large-scale supplier cited in our February report of a Salmonella outbreak.

A few major fast food chains have steered away from using it under consumer pressure. The attention has now turned to its sale in schools and grocery chains. Whole Foods, Costco, Publix, and Kroger are the only stores among the top 10 grocery chains that affirmatively stated they do not use pink slime. You can expect higher quality ground beef at these stores. Also, any ground beef that is certified organic will be free of pink slime.

Or if you’re otherwise inclined, for pink slime recipes visit the Beef Products website. (daily humor)