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Pink Slime - Bad Product Or Bad Reputation?
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Pink Slime  -  Bad Product Or Bad Reputation?

What is "Pink Slime"?

"Pink Slime" is a slang term for the lean beef products that are added to many of our foods.

Recently, "pink slime" has gotten a lot of media attention, and I believe a lot of the truth surrounding this product has been hidden from us. Due to this deceptive media, many people are afraid to consume ground beef and are calling for an end to this "awful" additive.

Why "Pink Slime"?

I do not know where the term "pink slime" originated, but it certainly is not an appealing way to describe this product. For those who know little about it, it's easy to jump on the anti-pink slime bandwagon based solely on the name and the terms associated with this "cheap meat byproduct" as the media refers to it.

How is "Pink Slime" made?

After all the consumer desired cuts of beef are cut, the surrounding fat and meat is gathered and shipped to a meat processing plant. These beef trimmings are further trimmed to remove much of the fat, which leaves you with lean beef product. In most cases, the beef is 94-97% lean. This lean beef is then sent through tubes where the pH is increased using ammonia hydroxide to kill off e coli and other bacteria.

How is "Pink Slime" used?

Lean beef products are added to many of the foods that we eat on a daily basis. According to Beef Products, Inc, one of the leading manufacturers of this lean beef, their product is used in fresh retail ground beef, fresh and frozen hamburger patties, low-fat hot dogs, taco meats, lunch meats, chili, beef sticks/snacks, sausages, pepperoni, retail frozen entrees, meatballs, roast beef, and canned foods.

Fear of Ammonia Hydroxide

Why is everyone afraid of ammonia hydroxide being used to kill e coli in lean beef products? Not only does the human body produce ammonia naturally, but ammonia hydroxide is used to kill bacteria in most of the foods we eat. Dairy, grains, fruits, vegetables, eggs, chocolate and other candies all have traces of ammonia hydroxide.

People are boycotting "pink slime" because of their fear of ammonia hydroxide. Does that mean they are going to start boycotting these items too?

Bad Product or Bad Reputation?

I am certainly not one to applaud the use of chemicals in food. I do my best each and every day to eat food that is as natural as possible. I grow and preserve my own fruits and vegetables and cook or bake from scratch as much as I can.

However, lean beef products have been around since 1981 and is used in many products because we the consumer are demanding the leanest meat possible to eat. These lean beef products, or "pink slime" as it is better know, provides 94-97% lean beef for many of the foods we eat.

What do you think? Is "pink slime" a horrible additive that needs to be ended? Or are "lean beef trimmings" an okay way to reuse some of the small lean cuts of meat?

I want to hear your opinions!


Street Talk

This is very interesting, AJ. I had not heard about pink slime. If the "experts" say it's okay let's hope it really is. I'm not a fan of lean meat, especially hamburger meat. I've found that the more fat content it has, the better the taste!

Reply
  about 6 years ago
  

Thanks, Georgia. Unfortunately, all the bad press that the company has experienced has caused it to close 3 of 4 of it's manufacturing plants and file for bankruptcy last week. All because someone gave it a gross name like pink slime and decided to publicize that it's bad even though I don't think it is. It's a shame what bad media can do.

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Great article have not heard of it but seems to be ok by me. I watch food labels and such also

Reply
  about 6 years ago
  

Thanks for sharing your opinion, Sherry!

Reply
  about 6 years ago

AJ, Thanks for filling in the details! I do eat ground beef quite often. It's cooks up well with all kinds of seasonings, shallots, garlic, bits of red peppers and what not. blessings, Cynthia

Reply
  about 6 years ago
  

Sounds like my mother-in-law's peppers casserole (recipe on Squidoo if anyone wants to try it). It is delicious. Meatloaf, tacos, burgers, peppers casserole. Many of my favorite foods use ground beef (or ground turkey).

Reply
  about 6 years ago

AJ, Thanks! My sister makes wonderful meatloaf and burgers. I've tried cooking with ground turkey -- but prefer the whole bird! And leftover pieces. Especially basted the way my Dad does it. blessings, Cynthia

  
  about 6 years ago

AJ could they not have found a better way to name the product? it immediately put me off, till reading down to what it is. Education on chemical uses is something many companies avoid, yet for healthy consumption it has to (in some cases) happen. Ammonia hydroxide is used in many processes, completely safely. I am in agreement with using chemicals to purify etc, totally against chemical additives. What a lot of people forget that a lot of these chemicals disperse during the purifying process and never affect the food only the baddies.

Reply
  about 6 years ago
  

Rob, I'd love to find out who named this "pink slime". From what I read last night, the levels of ammonia hydroxide are low and they do disperse so that there is little that actually gets into our bodies. And it is used for safety reasons in so much of our food, I don't know why this food is being singled out. I wonder how many lives have been saved by the ammonia hydroxide killing the e coli in our ground beef.....

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Good point AJ I wonder how many other items or products would receive bad publicity if their production manner was advertised or disclosed?

  
  about 6 years ago

When I first heard the name my immediate reaction was eewww. I think that is the most common reason it turns people off.

Reply
  about 6 years ago
  

I agree, Shawn.

Reply
  about 6 years ago
Joan S  

I might be the wrong one to comment because I don't eat meat, but do eat fish. However, the name "pink slime" is off putting. Most of my family members and friends eat meat. I generally invite them over for seafood. On the rare occasions I prepare a meat dish, I get the meat from Whole Foods. If it's hamburger, I have them grind it for me.

Reply
  about 6 years ago
  

Joan, I never knew I could have the butcher grind my chosen meat for me! Makes me feel a little embarrassed to not have thought of it before, but that is definitely a great option! I agree, the product name is truly a problem.

Reply
  about 6 years ago

AJ it's difficult to find this appealing! lol However.... I'm a bit like you. I can so easily get caught up in these food issues I just try to do the healthiest I can on a daily basis. I just buy the best available and hope for... the best! ;-)

Reply
  about 6 years ago
  

Heather, I truly think the name is causing all this controversy! I read tons about it last night, but didn't see anything concerning except the name. I am always looking for the healthiest option within a budget. But, I can't figure out why this is supposed to be so awful.

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Great article! For me, education is a big thing. Now that I know what pink slime is, I don't want to purchase meat that contains it. I guess we as consumers should also do more to educate ourselves about what we're eating so things like this won't be an issue. I'm definitely going to pay more attention to labels and ingredients!

Reply
  about 6 years ago
  

Thank you for your opinion, Tonya. I'm curious, what is it about this lean beef product that concerns you? I feel like I'm missing a piece to this puzzle and would enjoy hearing your perspective if you choose to share it.

Reply
  about 6 years ago
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