This Article is About
slime
school lunch program
ammonium hydroxide
connective tissues
fruits and vegetables
school lunches
Pink Slime May Not Be Fit For Fast Food But It Is Coming To A School Near You
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Pink Slime May Not Be Fit for Fast Food But It is Coming to A School Near You

Ronald McDonald and his peers might have nixed the use of pink slime, otherwise known as "lean beef trimmings" but according to a new report, that neon pink mess is heading to a local school near you. A reported seven million pounds of slime has been bought by the US Department of Agriculture, earmarked for the school lunch program. Ironically, that information comes just weeks after the announcement that new school lunch guidelines are going to be instituted. Those guidelines are meant to reduce the amount of fat and sodium in school lunches and increase the number of fruits and vegetables that are served.

Pink slime is technically beef scraps, connective tissues and other pieces that are the result of the butchering process. Those scraps are then blended together, pulped and treated with ammonium hydroxide which is supposed to kill off salmonella, e. coli and a number of other pathogens. After processing, the slime is typically force shaped and then given a more meat like coloring to make it more palatable. In 2009, it was discovered that despite the levels of ammonium hydroxide the slime still revealed both salmonella and e.coli in a number of different, random samples.

Carl Custer, a microbiologist who has worked for over three decades at the Food Safety Inspection Service, said that the slime is not nutritionally the same as ground beef because it contains more connective tissue than it does muscle. Custer also labeled it a "high risk" product. Despite that and the warnings of its safety, scientists in Washington DC were told to approve it anyway under pressure from the administration of former President George H.W. Bush.

Under rising criticisms, the USDA announced new school lunch guidelines noting that most students were getting too much sodium and fat in the foods they were eating. More attention was going to be paid to the variety of foods that were being served. Under protests from schools and student groups, the guidelines were amended to allow certain favorites to remain on the market, including pizza and french fries.

Parents, many who have avoided fast food restaurants over the pink slime in the first place have openly voiced their disgust that this product will be allowed in their children's schools. Some have vowed that they will only be packing lunches from now on. However, even that might not be a perfect answer. Reports that some schools are taking home packed lunches and substituting them with their own food have made national headlines as well.


Street Talk

Absolutely gross! I couldn't imagine giving my child this mess, and to think that the new school luch programs are supposed to be healthier... No wonder cancer rates are spiking!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Great to know. It makes me glad that I have long since graduated from public school. Congratulations on being #5!!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Thanks! It scares me- this stuff is so gross. I am glad that my little girl always packs her lunch so I know what she is getting!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
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