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‘Pink Slime’ Meat Will Still Be Served in Schools

‘Pink Slime’ Meat Will Still Be Served in Schools

The USDA announced this week that schools have the right to choose whether they wish to purchase ground beef that contains so-called “pink slime.”

Pink slime is a low-cost product that is rendered from the fatty outside trim of the cow, combined with connective tissue and cartilage, heated up to remove most of the fat, then treated with ammonia to kill E. coli. It is a very scary product that no child – or adult, for that matter – should be expected to eat. Even many fast food chains like have stopped using it. Microbiologists have called pink slime a “high risk” product.

The USDA was set to purchase 7 million pounds of ground beef containing pink slime for use in public school lunches. In response, Bettina Siegel, a Houston mother of two, started an online petition through the website protesting the use of pink slime in schools. The petition garnered a quarter of a million signatures. In turn, the USDA decided to let schools make the call. In other words, they’re passing the buck. (Sign here to tell USDA that NO pink slime should be in schools!)

On one hand, the USDA’s change of heart is a success story. It demonstrates the power of public outcry. By making their voices heard, everyday people truly can affect real change.

On the other hand, however, the USDA’s decision constitutes a failure. The fact that the USDA was even considering feeding pink slime to our children demonstrates that it is not adequately concerned with the health of the very people it is supposed to protect. And while giving schools the option is a step in the right direction, it is really more of band-aid fix intended to cast the USDA in a more favorable light. As anyone who has watched Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution knows, many schools are likely to opt for the cheaper option. If the USDA really cares about protecting our nation’s children, it will ban pink slime all together.

This decision is another in the long line of decisions made by both the USDA and the FDA that demonstrate those organizations’ unwillingness to do what it takes to ensure the safety of our nation’s food supply. They allow animals raised for food to be kept in such close quarters and fed such inappropriate food that they become sick without antibiotics. They allow those same animals to be injected with hormones. They allow our crops to be sprayed with dangerous pesticides, and they do not require the labeling of genetically modified foods.

Part of the problem, of course, is that executives from companies like Monsanto are routinely given government appointments. This is a practice that can no longer be tolerated. The FDA and the USDA need to become more proactive when it comes to making decisions that are truly in the best interest of the American people.


Read more: Eating for Health, Food, Health

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Sarah Cooke

Sarah Cooke is a writer living in California. She is interested in organic food and green living. Sarah holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Naropa University, an M.A. in Humanities from NYU, and a B.A. in Political Science from Loyola Marymount University. She has written for a number of publications, and she studied Pastry Arts at the Institute for Culinary Education. Her interests include running, yoga, baking, and poetry. Read more on her blog.


+ add your own
4:03PM PDT on May 19, 2015

Thank you Sarah.

11:05AM PST on Dec 6, 2014

Stop the madness!

5:56AM PDT on Oct 14, 2013

Yuck ! I wouldn't eat that ! Thanks for the info.

7:09PM PDT on Apr 14, 2013

This is very scary, feeding majority of the kids with this thing.
Its like we are gradually destroying the healths and giving very slow-suicide to the next generation

4:04PM PDT on Oct 4, 2012


5:38AM PDT on Oct 3, 2012

This is the matter of earnings, and those who share the
profits from the trash that give children to eat.

10:41AM PDT on Apr 10, 2012

What we have all been exposed to here is a classic example of media sensationalism aimed at ratings rather than facts. Let's all be good consumers and educate ourselves before we jump on the ban wagon. There are a plenty of credible sources out there we can use to make our own decisions. "A well informed consumer has the tools to, and will, make good decisions".

10:22AM PDT on Apr 10, 2012

I am afraid you all have misconstrued ammonium hydroxide(naturally occurring in ground beef and in the human body) and the household cleaner. The household cleaner has many additives to it to make it a cleaner. Ammonium hydroxide is formed the ammonia gas and water meet. The media has fed us all false information! We should be angry at the media not the people who are trying to keep America healthy.

12:42AM PDT on Apr 9, 2012


11:43AM PDT on Apr 6, 2012

Make sure you child isn't eating this at school -- the problem is there are a lot of parents who are low income and rely on lunches for their children. Start a campaign at your school so the other people know what is in the food being served to those growing bodies.

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