The Scoop on the Slime
An estimated 70% of ground beef consumed in the U.S. contains something called pink slime.
Ammonium-hydroxide is an ingredient in the treatment used to kill bacteria in the slime which consists of beef by-products (intestines, tissues, etc.). Pink slime is found in hamburgers all across America’s school cafeterias and was, until recently, found in fast food chains such as McDonald’s.
The USDA’s recent statement to “The Daily” came under sharp criticism when it announced the purchase of seven million pounds of pink slime in order to support school lunches across the country. There’s even a petition you can sign online to put an end to the slime. With enough public outrage, even big corporations can make big changes (see: Ben and Jerry’s Taste the Lin-Sanity).
McDonald’s Takes Action
McDonald’s is one of the first to eliminate the use of pink slime. Ian Simpson of Rueters explains,
Fast-food chain McDonald’s stopped putting the USDA-approved ammonium-treated meat into its hamburgers in August after a number of food activists, including celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, drew attention to the additive.
It’s easier for corporations to make changes than the government. When the USDA is involved, there’s also issues concerning finances. How much cheaper is it to use pink slime for beef in school cafeterias than 93% lean ground beef that you’d make for your own children for dinner? When the quality of any food goes up even a penny and the amount of children you need to serve is equal to seven million pounds, you better get ready to shell out your own money for increased taxes.
Americans are showing their concern and disdain for the USDA’s actions, however a percentage of these complainers have children who are considered obese. The CDC reports approximately 17% or 12.5 million of children and adolescents aged 2—19 years are obese. What we have a nation of complainers who are really good at signing petitions and yelling at the government while they walk by their child who’s been sedentary since he/she came home from school. The pink slime is probably not the healthiest option, but one must consider what he/she is willing to sacrifice to improve the quality of food in schools or fast food restaurants. If it’s money out of their own pockets, then the USDA should determine the costs of bettering school lunches and pass this information on to the tax payers. Let them vote- that is our right, right?
Between health care, rising fuel costs and unemployment and the huge national debt crisis, it’s not looking to good for extra money laying around these days.
What do you think about this slimy mess? Leave your thoughts below!