The Department of Agriculture has decided to allow the schools to decide for themselves if they will use meat that has been treated with ammonia gas.
-Brandon Malone,Healthy Ambassador Program 2011-2012
Lately there has been a lot of discussion over a product that has earned the name, “pink slime.” Pink slime was coined by Gerald Zirnstein and recognized in the documentary made by Michael Pollan called Food Inc..
The American Meat Institute refers to it as Boneless Lean Beef Trimmings (BLBT) or Finely Textured Lean Beef. However, many people seem to have a problem with referring to BLBT as the same as actual ground beef. The meat industry collects these trimmings from parts of the cow closer to the hide and to combat the possible bacterias, such as E. coli, or fecal matter, the trimmings are heated and sprayed with ammonia hydroxide.
Before the meat industry knew about how ammonia could kill off the bacteria and germs, the BLBT were put in dog food or used to turn fat into lard. Now, this pink slime is known to be in about 70% of all ground beef that is sold in most supermarkets. The USDA has approved these trimmings to be labeled as true ground beef without any need to indicate that BLBT are included, but there are people who still believe that the fact that these are typically low-grade trimmings that must be sprayed with ammonia gas before they can be deemed healthy or nutritious does not merit the product as safe.
Now, not only are these BLBT being sold in grocery stores, they were to be used in school lunches and this has sparked even more controversy. However, after much debate and the spread of information regarding pink slime by ABC news, the Department of Agriculture has decided to allow the schools to decide for themselves if they will use meat that has been treated with ammonia gas.
To find out more information regarding pink slime and what grocery stores use this product, you can watch the documentary Food Inc. or visit these links:
ABC News story: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2012/03/where-you-can-get-pink-slime-free-beef/
Food Inc. Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5eKYyD14d_0