I worry so much about the food my family eats but in our area we don’t have places like Whole Foods right around the corner. And even if we did, who can afford to shop exclusively at a Whole Foods – though I would love to.
Have you seen Food Inc.? If you haven’t – you should. It will change the way you view food forever. Unfortunately, it does very little to provide guidance on what is safe – just everything that is wrong – leaving the viewer lost in a world of “everything is poison”.
(DO NOT READ THIS PARAGRAPH IF YOU HAVE A WEAK STOMACH!)
This post however is specifically about that nasty pink slime. According to Wikipedia, pink slime is basically meat, bits of sinew and trimmings otherwise deemed inedible. These scraps are put into a centrifuge to separate fat from the meat and ammonium hydroxide is added to kill the germs, remove E.coli, Salmonella and other bacteria, minced and then used as “filler”. The ammonia treatment “allows for the use of older, more decomposed, less-fresh meat after adding the treated recovered product to a bulk volume of ground beef.” OOOooooo. Yuck! Pink Slime is actually not the official term – the official term is Lean Finely Textured Beef (doesn’t sound bad with that phrase does it).
Up to 70% of the ground beef you purchase (depending on where you purchase it) is this substance/filler. Yet – the USDA continues to argue that this substance/filler is safe although it has been banned in Canada and Great Britain and is banned in the US for any product labeled “organic”. The USDA does not require suppliers to label products that have “pink slime.
Some supermarkets have refused to sell beef that contains the filler “lean finely textured beef” or pink slim whether treated with ammonia or any other pathogen killer.
Stores that do not sell beef with pink slime include: Whole Foods, Costco, Publix, H-E-B, Waldbaum’s, Stop and Shop, Krogers, BJs and Price Chopper.
Stores that do not have pink slime in their store-ground meat, but sell pre-packaged ground beef from other suppliers that do contain pink slime include: Jewel-Osco, Food Lion, Winco, and Fred Meyer.
Stores that sell store ground meat with pink slime: Target, Hy-Vee, Safeway, Walmart, Albertsons, and Zaycon Foods.
For other stores like Shaws, Big Y etc… please check directly with the butcher who should know the answer and if they don’t – use the information above as a basis for your decisions.
Taco Bell, Burger King and McDonalds also no longer use the pink slime beef thanks to celebrity chef Jamie Oliver.