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Holly Moore

Pink Slime

155 posts in this topic

Selling this stuff in ground beef is misleading. Yes, technically it is beef, but it is not what the average consumer expects to be in their ground beef. When I buy ground beef, I expect that it was processed in a grinder, not a centrifuge.

If I was aware, especially on this forum, of all forums, of any post, by anyone, who ever said that "my ground beef from this market had too much pink slime", I might be concerned. But no one has.

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IndyRob, thanks for providing the logical counter argument to our immediate, negative reaction to this subject. I think a lot of us (me included) don't know much about commercial meat processing. I'm easy to spook, I'll admit. This does sound like just another means of "maximizing" a product.

Still. I'm looking forward to that meat grinder attachment!

Thanks, LindaK. I don't mean to seem argumentative or combative. Yes, I am a logical person in a world where logical people sometimes make decisions for those of a more passionate bent.

Douglas Baldwin, for instance, helped to show us that we could cook meat to a desireable temp without needless worry. [ETA] He was just more public than others.

I worry that Jaime Oliver, while lamenting the paltry sums allocated to the nutritional sustenance of our youths, may be torpedoing that goal with pseudoscience.


Edited by IndyRob (log)

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You're not argumentative or combative, Rob.

I agree about Jamie Oliver and most other cooks, chefs and politicians who are not trained as dieticians passing along pseudoscience as fact. Too many people latch on to an idea about food and/or its preparation and ride that hobbyhorse for all the little guy is worth.

Children and adults have different dietary needs. Pregnant and nursing women have different dietary needs than their mothers and grandmothers. The elderly need to eat differently than a young man who in turn eats differently than a middle-aged man. There's no one size fits all diet plan.

About the water as a sanitizer idea, I'll run that one past my supervisor at the hospital lab. :unsure:

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Selling this stuff in ground beef is misleading. Yes, technically it is beef, but it is not what the average consumer expects to be in their ground beef. When I buy ground beef, I expect that it was processed in a grinder, not a centrifuge.

If I was aware, especially on this forum, of all forums, of any post, by anyone, who ever said that "my ground beef from this market had too much pink slime", I might be concerned. But no one has.

The problem is that we don't KNOW what is in the ground beef at our market. That is the biggest problem, to me. I want to know what is in the food I am buying, so I can better make purchasing decisions. Is the "pink slime" harmful? I honestly don't know. The lack of bacterial testing certainly makes me uncomfortable. Honestly, whether it is or isn't, the concept grosses me out, so I don't want to eat it, and I don't want my kids eating it. As a consumer, I should be able to know what is in the ground beef that I purchase. I don't think that is unreasonable. And if I can't get that information, I will just need to plan ahead and defrost some of our cow and grind it myself (we have used up all the pre-ground beef from that particular beast).

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there are so many reasons i won't buy pre-ground meat. E .Coli (i like my occasional burger rare in the center), and now pink slime.

sorry--it may be perfectly safe, but i don't want ammonia-washed beef by-product in my beef. when i want ground beef for something, i either buy it someplace where they will sell me a hunk of chuck and grind it for me right then, or i will either use the kitchen-aid grinder or just pulse it in the food processor, depending on its intended use. just my solution.


"Laughter is brightest where food is best."

www.chezcherie.com

Author of The I Love Trader Joe's Cookbook ,The I Love Trader Joe's Party Cookbook and The I Love Trader Joe's Around the World Cookbook

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there are so many reasons i won't buy pre-ground meat. E .Coli (i like my occasional burger rare in the center), and now pink slime.

sorry--it may be perfectly safe, but i don't want ammonia-washed beef by-product in my beef. when i want ground beef for something, i either buy it someplace where they will sell me a hunk of chuck and grind it for me right then, or i will either use the kitchen-aid grinder or just pulse it in the food processor, depending on its intended use. just my solution.

Your diligence is admirable. But I'll trust my grandchildren to the folks with the lab coats. It's not a new science, and it feeds millions.

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In Canada , as of right now, ammonia has not been approved for use in ground beef by Health Canada. No pink slime here, but I have heard from a friend that works in a Cargil plant here, that trimmings from packing plants here are sent to the USA so that they can be processed and used down there. I don't want to gross people out too much but from what I understand included in those "trimmings" is beef Anus, which would explain why they need to use the ammonia process to make it safe to eat .


Edited by Ashen (log)

"Why is the rum always gone?"

Captain Jack Sparrow

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still .... ground chuck is just that as is ground round and sirloin.

ground beef ... is ground beef. the price will tell you.

some food stores will still grind to order a piece of meat you take out of the meat case before your very eyes.

probably not so many these days.

this was the hallmark of a good grocery store back in the day. I remember my mother doing this 60 years ago.

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some food stores will still grind to order a piece of meat you take out of the meat case before your very eyes.

probably not so many these days.

this was the hallmark of a good grocery store back in the day. I remember my mother doing this 60 years ago.

In the little crossroads town near to us there is still a butcher in the local chain grocery store. Dave. And why does this tiny store still have a butcher? Well, Dave owns the building. And Alas! He retires in May and then there will be no butcher again. Ever. :sad:


Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

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In some school districts, yes.

No, that did not happen the way it was reported on Fox, etc. The child was asked if he/she (I don't remember) whether he/she wanted some fruit and salad to go with her/his lunch and thought that the teacher meant he/she had to get rid of the homemade lunch. No one took the child's lunch away.

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there are so many reasons i won't buy pre-ground meat. E .Coli (i like my occasional burger rare in the center), and now pink slime.

sorry--it may be perfectly safe, but i don't want ammonia-washed beef by-product in my beef. when i want ground beef for something, i either buy it someplace where they will sell me a hunk of chuck and grind it for me right then, or i will either use the kitchen-aid grinder or just pulse it in the food processor, depending on its intended use. just my solution.

Your diligence is admirable. But I'll trust my grandchildren to the folks with the lab coats. It's not a new science, and it feeds millions.

I get your point about the folks with the lab coats knowing what they're doing when it comes to the science of producing edible meat. The ammonia solution used as an antimicrobial is "generally recognized as safe" by the USDA, and clearly scores of people have been eating meat containing pink slime and not getting sick (i.e. there is no epidemic of illness resulting from using it).

On the other hand, a report by ABC says that the USDA's own scientists suggested the use of pink slime should be labelled. Clearly, they don't think it's just the same as ground beef. That's because it's not ground beef. Ground beef is beef that has been ground in a grinder, not meat particles separated from fat by a centrifuge, then treated with ammonia because it is safe to assume the stuff is riddled with bacteria. Pink slime and ground beef aren't the same, so I agree with the scientists that it should be labelled as such.

There's a reason why people don't like the idea of something like this, even beyond the fact that it is not labelled (a sin of omission). It's because when people think of ground beef, they think of ground beef. When it comes down to it, I don't want to eat a meat-product. I want to eat meat. If the meat has to be produced by means other than growing an animal and butchering it, I become suspicious of it. It's pretty clear that producers with a profit motive will do anything to wring that last bit of value out of their raw material (the cow). That profit motive will drive them up to the limit, just this side of safety. The issue with feeding this to kids is that we typically think we take extra safety measures to protect them (and we do). In this case, using pink slime seems to run counter to that. Just because using pink slime is possible and cheap, doesn't mean we should use it.

I also think Jaime Oliver's methods are absurd. Dousing meat with ammonia is over the top. This is an issue that requires careful consideration, like we're doing here, not made for TV antics.


nunc est bibendum...

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there are so many reasons i won't buy pre-ground meat. E .Coli (i like my occasional burger rare in the center), and now pink slime.

sorry--it may be perfectly safe, but i don't want ammonia-washed beef by-product in my beef. when i want ground beef for something, i either buy it someplace where they will sell me a hunk of chuck and grind it for me right then, or i will either use the kitchen-aid grinder or just pulse it in the food processor, depending on its intended use. just my solution.

Your diligence is admirable. But I'll trust my grandchildren to the folks with the lab coats. It's not a new science, and it feeds millions.

I get your point about the folks with the lab coats knowing what they're doing when it comes to the science of producing edible meat. The ammonia solution used as an antimicrobial is "generally recognized as safe" by the USDA, and clearly scores of people have been eating meat containing pink slime and not getting sick (i.e. there is no epidemic of illness resulting from using it).

. . . .

The accumulation of toxins (such as ammonia) or their effects in the body can take a number of years to be clearly evident/identifiable, if it posed a problem; you wouldn't be that likely to see a sudden outbreak of acute illness.

As for the people in lab coats knowing what they're doing, well, maybe, but they're working for enormous industries, and the profits these businesses make from producing cheap product offsets the costs of reimbursing even several thousand parents for potential harmed/dead kids. A few heads might roll, but... that's it.

I personally wouldn't care to take for granted the level of safety involved in producing something that massively profitable (I can't get too worked up about the 'ick' factor, the components don't sound that different from what is in a lot of hot dogs, which don't seem to have experienced a massive downswing in popularity).


Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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Just a complete anecdote here, but I think its relevant to the discussion. A couple of years ago, I was behind schedule, and was passing through a smallish town. There was a local BBQ that had really good food, but was often slow. I opted for a burger from a chain. I had not had a burger from that chain for at least 4 years, mostly because I was trying to avoid the large fries, which are a personal weakness.

After 1 bite, I almost spit the stuff out. I remember thinking "What the H did they do to this?" Sliders I'd eaten at 3 a.m. were significantly better. It wasn't grease. It was just "ick."

A few weeks later I read the first article I've seen about the "pink slime,"and how it was being used at the chain I visited. Couldn't help connecting that ingredient with the nasty, nasty stuff I had put in my mouth. It may have been perfectly safe, but "Eeeeuww!"

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That is what's in hot dogs. Seasonings adjusted, and Kosher issues solved if need be.

We get what we put up with.

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Yes, that's what's in hot dogs. I don't like hot dogs. I think what goes into hot dogs is nasty. I don't want that crap in my burger. And if it goes in to burger meat it should be appropriately labeled as an additive. Honestly, I don't care if they continue to add it to ground beef in the store, as long as it is disclosed. You get what you pay for. And I do have a problem with it being fed in public schools.

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The issue is that a school, that is tax payer funded, has overstepped itself in confiscating homemade lunches in a number of school districts, not one incident in particular, but the whole idea. If I want to send my kid to school with a bag of candy bars, that is my business, not the schools. Schools require that all students who are enrolled in public schools in the US complete forms about their eligability for the federal school lunch program, regardless of whether or not the child will ever eat a meal at the school or is eligable for a free or reduced lunch.

I taught public school for a number of years and I'd rather my children ate something that I had packed from home (and I did do so for many years and it wasn't candy bars, either) than whatever happened to be on the menu that day. Especially now that we know about the pink slime.

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The crap they feed in the school lunch programs is horrible. My husband, the junk food junkie, and I get into it all the time on this topic. They offer breakfast at my daughter's elementary school. The kids are allowed to choose what they want, and cellophane wrapped "vitamin enriched" donuts are among the choices. They also have some decent choices like some healthier cereals and reduced fat milk. But the kindergarteners decide what food they want. What do you think the 6 year olds out of the eye of their parents usually choose? The highly-sweetened-loaded-with-preservatives crap.

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Very little surprises me these days, especially if there is money involved.

But if ' a number of school districts ' are doing this, and i don't contest it ... (as this is a food site) this would 'take the cake' and be the Top of the Surprises.

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rotuts, there was a thread here a few months back (I am not good with the eG search function, sorry) about the Chicago Public Schools and their decision to ban home-packed lunches. There is evidently only one school district in Chicago, so the ban is citywide. It was bad enough when little kids were pilloried, figuratively, for bringing peanut butter sandwiches because somewhere a child might have an allergy. Yes, there are children with terrible nut allergies, but let them eat in the classroom or something, don't punish the whole school. Anyone who has had a child who went through a stubborn food choices period (and haven't we all?) knows what it's like to have a kid who won't eat anything except peanutbutter, or in the case of my middle son, ham and cheese sandwiches, for a couple of years.

I had read that the Los Angeles Schools were planning to do the same along with many others. There is a poster here who was in charge of school lunch programs for many years. I can't remember her name, but she had a lot of terrific information.

Tikidoc: My teen's high school has the same breakfast program. It's either all sugar (doughnuts) or all fat (sausage, bacon, sausage gravy) or cereal. He's a cereal eater or a bacon and eggs kid, so I don't worry about him too much in that regard. I do remember getting into it with the lower elementary school about their crappy meals when he was in kindergarten and we decided he was going to pack his lunch. We've been following the pink slime story in the news and he's as appalled as we are about it.

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For those interested in the school lunch issue here is the topic mentioned that you may want to review and comment in.

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Thank you for that Chicago Ref. I look forward to seeing it.

'Pink Slime' wont go away. It has to do with squeezing that last profit cent.

but would be nice if there were a way to demand 'full disclosure' on what we buy.

never going to happen. There is too much money involved.

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Thank you, Heidi.

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If pink slime is a reasonable thing to eat, how come it isn't available in pure form? Has anyone managed to try it to see how it tastes? I come down on the side of it not being ground beef, rather an additive that should be labelled.


It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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This is one modern food process that is highly unlikely to appear in Modernist Cuisine, thankfully. In Australia, we've always called sausages "mystery bags." Seems the secret is out. I always wondered where the pink colour came from in frankfurters.


Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four.
Unless there are three other people." Orson Welles
My eG Foodblog

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