Is Pink Slime In Your Ground Beef?

Pink slime” is beef trimmings. Once only used in dog food and cooking oil, the trimmings are now sprayed with ammonia so they are safe to eat and added to most ground beef as a cheaper filler.

ABC News | 70 Percent of Ground Beef at Supermarkets Contains ‘Pink Slime’

“It kind of looks like play dough,” said Kit Foshee, who was a corporate quality assurance manager at Beef Products Inc., the company that makes pink slime. “It’s pink and frozen, it’s not what the typical person would consider meat.” Read more….

Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution 70% of America’s Beef is Treated with Ammonia
Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution filmed in Los Angeles and aired on April 12, 2011, Jamie demonstrates how 70% of America’s ground beef contains leftover cow parts (a.k.a. “pink slime”) containing e.coli and salmonella that has been treated with ammonia.

Ammonia treated meat can be found in virtually all conventional grocery stores, fast food restaurants, many national restaurant chains, and school cafeterias. The saddest part is that the USDA allows this ammonia treated meat to enter the marketplace and with no labeling requirement on the packaging to inform the consumer that the meat their about to buy contains ammonia, thus hiding the truth and pulling a wool over the consumer’s eye.

This is certainly a rude awakening to the majority of Americans that don’t know where the meat in their fridge, the meat in their conventional local grocery store, the meat in their fast food hamburger, and the meat in their restaurant made hamburger comes from. How do you avoid this poison? Buy beef that has come from grass fed cows, which can be found at natural and organic grocery stores and your local farmers market.

No matter the size of your town or city, grass fed beef (real beef) is not out of reach. Unlike ammonia treated beef, grass fed beef is clearly labeled and contains no ammonia.

MSNBC reports that the chemical, used in fertilizers, household cleaners and even homemade explosives, was also used to prepare McDonalds’ hamburger meat.
And while the announcement is making headlines, you may (or may not) want to know about some other unusual chemicals being used in the production of some of our most-popular foods:

The International Business Times lists some other questionable chemicals showing up in our foods:

Propylene glycol: This chemical is very similar to ethylene glycol, a dangerous anti-freeze. This less-toxic cousin prevents products from becoming too solid. Some ice creams have this ingredient; otherwise you’d be eating ice.

Carmine: Commonly found in red food coloring, this chemical comes from crushed cochineal, small red beetles that burrow into cacti. Husks of the beetle are ground up and forms the basis for red coloring found in foods ranging from cranberry juice to M&Ms.

Shellac: Yes, this chemical used to finish wood products also gives some candies their sheen. It comes from the female Lac beetle.

L-cycsteine: This common dough enhancer comes from hair, feathers, hooves and bristles.

Lanolin (gum base): Next time you chew on gum, remember this. The goopiness of gum comes from lanolin, oils from sheep’s wool that is also used for vitamin D3 supplements
.
Silicon dioxide: Nothing weird about eating sand, right? This anti-caking agent is found in many foods including shredded cheese and fast food chili.

So, what moved McDonald’s to make the change in their hamburger production? In a statement posted on its website, McDonald’s senior director of quality systems Todd Bacon wrote:

“At the beginning of 2011, we made a decision to discontinue the use of ammonia-treated beef in our hamburgers. This product has been out of our supply chain since August of last year. This decision was a result of our efforts to align our global standards for how we source beef around the world.”

The U.S. Agriculture Department classifies the chemical as “generally recognized as safe.” McDonald’s says they stopped using the chemical months ago and deny the move came after a public campaign against ammonium hydroxide by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver.
The food industry uses ammonium hydroxide as an anti-microbial agent in meats, which allows McDonald’s to use otherwise “inedible meat.”

On his show, Oliver said of the meat treatment: “Basically we’re taking a product that would be sold in the cheapest form for dogs and making it ‘fit’ for humans.”

Even more disturbing, St. Louis-based dietician Sarah Prochaska told NBC affiliate KSDK that because ammonium hydroxide is considered part of the “component in a production procedure” by the USDA, consumers may not know when the chemical is in their food.

“It’s a process, from what I understand, called ‘mechanically separated meat’ or ‘meat product,'” Prochaska said. “The only way to avoid it would be to choose fresher products, cook your meat at home, cook more meals at home.”

**UPDATE

Is ‘pink slime’ being unfairly demonised?

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About benvitalis

math grad - Interest: Number theory
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