The "pink slime" controversy is gaining momentum as more and more fast food chains and mega grocery stores are changing their perspective about offering hamburger made with the processed meat filler. The filler has been puffed with ammonium hydroxide to "prevent" the faux ground "beef" from passing on salomenella and E.coli bacteria to us.
After MacDonald’s, Wendy’s and Burger King pulled "pink slime" as an additive to their ground meat, whistleblowers came forward in a further expose which hit the airwaves. The controversy grew further when it was taken online, with a petition hosted by Change.org, hoping to get the glop out of our National School Lunch program. To date the petition has been signed by almost 251,600 advocates against the use of this potentially unsafe product. Is it any wonder that grocers are taking note of the public’s outrage? Now BJ’s Wholesale Club and Giant Food Stores are realizing this is gaining critical mass and they are joining the ban. Wal-Mart also is announcing it plans to carry alternatives to the stuff.
The product under siege,"pink slime" is a low cost meat filler. It is made from fatty bits of meat left over from other beef cuts (who knows from what part of the cow) including cartilege and connective tissue. After heated to about 100 degrees F, these fatty bits are then put in a centrifuge to tease out most of the fat. The result is compressed into blocks and added to ground meat as an extender. To make sure that pathogens like salmonella and E. coli are destroyed, the processed block of "lean beef trimmings" is treated to "a puff of ammonium hydroxide gas." This processed filler is made by Beef Products, Inc. of South Dakota. Jamie Oliver has reported that formerly the product was used in pet food and rendering.
According to reports, BJ’s Wholesale Club Inc. announced that it will no longer sell products with the filler beginning April 7 for fresh, and April 20 for frozen. Likewise, Giant Food Stores LLC in Carlisle, Pa. on Thursday said that because of concerns raised by its customers, it has decided to halt sales of products containing the gloop. This will range through and including the 144 Giant stores in Pennsylvania and the 39 Martin’s food stores it owns in Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia.
The problem is that the "lean finely textured beef trimmings" do not have to be labeled and the stuff can show up anywhere, even in COLD CUTS, according to reports. How is this possible? You can thank lobbyists and the USDA who has deemed questionable mixture safe, despite reports to the contrary. Beef processors are happy that the government has given them the OK to package ground beef (or some processed foods such as cold cuts) in which 15% of the “meat” in any package can be lean finely textured beef (LFTB) and that THE PUBLIC DOESN’T EVER HAVE TO KNOW that what they are eating is NOT beef, but a faux mixture that whistleblowers have noted as such to be a defrauding of the public.
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Carole Di Tosti, Ph.D. is a published writer, novelist and poet. She authors three blogs: 1) http://www.thefatandtheskinnyonwellness.com/ 2) http://www.achristianapologistssonnets.com/ 3) http://caroleditosti.com/ …