Thousands of people have begun to take notice of a pink slimy goo on ground hamburger beef. There has been a lot of media buzz about exactly what it is and if it's harmful or not. Many food advocates want it off our shelves and off the menu whatever it is. Hopefully this story will shed a little insight on what the pink slime is.
Dr. Marion Nestle, professor of nutrition, food studies, and public health at New York University comments on the goo:
"It sounds disgusting, a lot of people have been writing about it. Therefore, more people know about it, therefore more people are queasy about it, particularly when you start thinking about how this stuff turns up in school lunches,"
According to the professor, it is a fine layer of fatty beef trimmings which come from not-so appetizing parts of the cow. It is cooked, processed, and sprayed with ammonia hydroxide to kill any bacteria that live in the mixture. It is then cut into solid blocks which can be mixed with the ground beef to give it more substance; in other words, it's a filler.
According to a 2012 ABC News Investigation, the United States Agricultural Department (USDA) knows about the pink slime, commonly called boneless lean beef trimmings, but doesn't require processors and manufacturers to label it with the other ingredients. The report also revealed that pink slime exists in as much as 70% of America's ground beef.
Sound pretty appetizing, doesn't it? It isn't to me either. I think adding extra ammonia and fat to our bodies that isn't disclosed on the label of ground beef products is bad, right? Who knows, but I don't want it and I have a list of places that promise they don't use the pink filler in their beef products including several fast food chains and a few select grocers.
Pink slime free ground beef locations:
4). Whole Foods
7). Burger King
8). Taco Bell
Apparently many school systems are taking efforts to ban it from their cafeterias as well. There really hasn't been any reports of negative health benefits as a result of eating pink slime, but again, why are we being sold an ingredient that isn't listed on the packaging and consists of fat and chemicals? Not good!
Fillers are bad and a blatant misrepresentation of what a product is. Be especially weary of anything called 'hamburger' rather than ground beef. Organic, of course is the best choice as the regulations don't allow for any added fillers or chemicals. Be on the look out for pink slime.