Have you been slimed?

I don’t know which rock I have been living under for the last few eons, but apparently this pink slime has been in the news and is a really creepy issue….and one that makes me infinitely happy that I do not eat fast food and/or over processed foods.  There are a lot of issues with this being added to meats, and do you know what it is made of?  You may want to rethink eating some of the meats you are ingesting.

What is Pink Slime?

Pink slime is also known as Lean Finely Textured Beef (LFTB) or Boneless Lean Beef Trimmings (BLFT), and it is basically a processed beef product that was originally created for dog foods and/or cooking oils. In 2004 the USDA made it legal for humans to consume small amounts, but many companies started to add it as a filler to beef products to keep the fat content lower.  It is created by putting the meat trimmings/cartilage/sinew/connective tissues  in a centrifuge, the fat is spun off at low heat.  The heating process melts the fat and it is spun off, and the resulting product is mixed with ammonia and/or citric acid to kill off the bacteria. Once the process is finished, it is usually put into blocks, flash frozen, and shipped off as an additive. So, it is technically a lower fat product, but it is truly a byproduct, it is not natural meat after that processing. Apparently the USDA feels that way as well, as now it is required that companies that use these fillers must label their products as such, IF it is more than 15% of the product.  I feel like any bit of pink slime added to my mat should be labelled….but that’s just me!

What is the controversy?

It is sold in the US as a filler to many beef companies, and it was found that almost 70% of all meats found sold in the US had pink slime as an ingredient, and consumers had no idea.  It became big news a few months ago, and since then SOME companies have decided not to use the byproduct in their meats.  The companies that create these fillers claim they are healthy low fat, high protein meats and perfectly safe, whereas others see them as over processed additives. The USDA has made statements that it is safe and has been used in many products for years, yet Canada, along with other countries, have made pink slime illegal due to mixing the meat/product with ammonia. In the spring of 2012, despite the USDA saying the product is safe, 3 major national grocery chains made the decision to no longer carry products that contain pink slime. Consumer advocacy groups are lobbying for full disclosure of any pink slime additives, but the companies that create the product and the USDA think its OK to add this byproduct (or additive) to up to 15% of our meat and still call it 100% beef.

my local market!

I don’t know about you, but I really do try hard to eat organically and minimally processed foods as much as possible, so it really creeps me out when there is this conspiracy to label food as 100% natural product when it clearly isn’t.  We all know no one would buy meat if it said 85% Beef, 15% pink slime, right?  So don’t use it in our food!!  But hearing things like this reinforces my reasons for buying meat at local farms that are humanely treated, with no antibiotics or hormones.  And, it makes me so happy that I say no to fast food. Jus keep your eyes peeled, and check up on your favorite meat brands to find out what their practices are; you may be surprised, either happy or sad, at what they do or do not add to their meat! And, that sign at my local market made me elated!

Yours in Good Health