Outrage Reduces Industry Need for Pink Slime
By Lacy J. Hansen for DietsInReview.com
Once consumers learned the truth about “Lean Finely Textured Beef,” or pink slime, it seems that every distributor is discontinuing its use. Safeway announced its plan to stop sales this week and Walmart has made statements regarding their future sales as well.
As a refresher, pink slime consists of ground-up beef scraps, cow connective tissues and other beef trimmings. The meat is treated with ammonium hydroxide to kill bacteria, and then blended into traditional meat products, like hamburger patties.
This product has been served in the U.S. for over 20 years. The filler was labeled as “Lean Finely Textured Beef,” even though the industry nickname has always been pink slime. When the truth about this product was exposed and the fact that it was an ingredient in over half of the burgers sold and served in this country, the people spoke up and they spoke up loudly.
Due to negative publicity and concerns, three major fast-food chains were the first to announce their discontinuation of the product. McDonald’s, Taco Bell, and Burger King made the first news as they now reject the product.
After our government ordered 7 million pounds of pink slime for the schools, a huge public outcry and online campaign brought change. Starting this fall, schools now have the choice of using pink slime or filler-free beef.
Now the refusals are getting closer to home. California-based grocery store chain Safeway and chain grocer Alberston’s announced it would no longer use pink slime.
In addition, many other grocery chains are being questioned regarding their use of pink slime and many are making certain to at least offer consumers a choice. Walmart was specifically questioned about their meat products and what they plan to do about pink slime. They stated that while their ground beef does contain pink slime filler, they will soon offer customers options, including beef that is pink slime-free.
Even with all this news of discontinuation, the USDA assures that the filler is safe.
“USDA continues to affirm the safety of Lean Finely Textured Beef product for all consumers and urges customers to consult science-based information on the safety and quality of this product.”
If the trends remain, it seems clear that the people have spoken, science-based information, or not, we want pink slime far away from our meat.