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Mar 16, 2012 07:31 AM

Pink Slime = Good or Bad ?

Perhaps I missed reading what the problem is with pink slime.

Can anybody say what is wrong with it and where is the proof if it is bad ? If so, where did you get your facts? Did you read it on the internet and should we believe everything we read on the internet? Is it bad because of hearsay? We all know how inaccurate news outlets can be at times? Did the FDA release documents saying it was bad?

Why are so many people against pink slime when there is most likely worse things in your food them pink slime? Are foods going to cost more if companies do not use pink slime? If so, how much more are you willing to pay for food without pink slime? Please let us know. Thank you.

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  1. There are already about five active threads where this is being thoroughly discussed. Every viewpoint imaginable is already up, along with links to many articles.

    1. Pink Slime is "generally"safe, and that is not the whole story .

      The quest to know what is in the food you buy to eat and to know where it comes from and to know a lot of things we take for granted if you grew up in an Agrarian culture...Pure is the water we want to drink and also in what we eat. Having a choice is freedom of choice. We have to fight for our rights on and on it seems.

      1. Are you kidding? It's pink! It's slime! It's exposed to CHEMICAL GAS! Never mind that we've been eating it for years (well, those of us that eat commercially ground beef, that is)...I'm sure that eventually our eyes will bug out and hair will sprout from our ears!

        1. If you buy certified Kosher ground beef then you're safe from the perceived evils of pink slime. Maybe not safe from premium pricing, but that's another story.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ferret

            ferret, thanks for the humor...though pink slime is not funny, . Good to know Kosher is all good!

          2. There are already a bunch of threads on this, but my point of view in a nutshell: If I buy ground beef or a product made with ground beef, I expect it to contain ground beef. As a consumer, I feel extremely misled to now know that it also contains a large amount of filler product which is not ground beef (as that term is typically understood, i.e. chuck or other edible, conventional cuts of beef that have been ground up). Much of what's in "pink slime" is not "beef" but byproducts of beef production (i.e. the bits that weren't palatable in any other form), which are so high-risk of contamination that they have to be mass processed with ammonia gas to sanitize them. That's not what I expect when I purchase something ostensibly made with ground beef, like a burger or a package of supermarket ground beef, and certainly not what I expect my kids' school to be feeding them when they say that the lunch is "hamburgers" or "beef tacos."

            Is it "bad" from a health perspective? I don't think there's a clear answer; there's some concern about the ammonia and whether it is effective or remains present in the final product, but I don't know of any conclusive studies. As far as I'm concerned, though, if I'm purchasing something to put into my body, it's the burden of the producer to prove conclusively that their product is safe (and not my burden to prove that it's NOT safe, which the OP seems to be implying).

            But in the end, it's not really a health concern for me. It's that this product is inherently distasteful to a lot of people, yet has nevertheless been hidden from public view and incorporated into food (including school lunches) without any notice. If I buy ground beef at the supermarket, I think I should be able to expect that ground beef is all it contains (not ammonia-treated lean beef trimming product). If my kid's school-lunch calendar says that hamburgers are being served, I should be able to expect that those hamburgers contain ground beef and not other meat filler products (just as I'd want to know if they were mixing, say, ground pork in with the burgers). It's the mainstream meat industry's hide-the-ball tactics that concern me most, not whether the product is inherently "good" or "bad."

            Would food cost more without pink slime? Probably. I'd at least like to have the option to decide to purchase the higher-priced non-pink-slime product, though, rather than having it hidden in fine print somewhere or not disclosed at all. Food production regulations always end up making the end product cost more, yet most of us are happy to know that someone is keeping an eye on contamination, worker exploitation, accuracy of ingredient and nutritional statements, etc. and are willing to pay a little more for that - same thing applies here.

            2 Replies
            1. re: monopod


              Deceptive practices should never be shrugged off as "not a big deal".
              Although, we have no idea if it is really harmful to us- I am pretty sure that Pink slime has no added health benefit. This deception is fueled by profit alone. Maybe it will create a niche market for more expensive "Non Pink Slime" hamburgers :)

              1. re: sedimental

                "This deception is fueled by profit alone."

                Or possibly by demand for low-priced ground beef when the costs of beef have been sharply increasing over the past few years?

                I agree that the labeling should be changed but the uproar over it being something other than beef is unfounded. With meats costs spiking like they have it's a good thing that there are companies that can maximize the amount of usable meat that can be obtained from a carcass. May not appeal to everyone's tastes, but if you don't want to see $5-$6 a pound ground beef as the standard low price then this is a reasonable approach.