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Avoid Pink Slime - Grind it Yourself


'Pink Slime' is the nickname given to what the American meat industry calls 'lean finely textured beef' that is: beef trimmings that have been heated, separated into fat and meat via centrifuge, then treated with ammonia to kill bacteria (as these particularly fatty pieces are more vulnerable to it). Essentially, it's a cost-efficient filler used in ground beef by the meat processing industry.

While it's been deemed safe by US Public Health Officials, the debate still rages on about whether or not it should be in our food. I won't take sides as to whether or not pink slime is okay for use in high-tech food production, as I'd rather opt out of 'big food' as much as possible anyway. I've heard suggestions that it is not only safer than the rest of the ground beef, but even 'wholesome' and 'nutritious.' I am by no stretch a scientist, so I can neither confirm nor deny. I can only say I'd rather not have ammonia added to my hamburger - even if it is added to many other industrial food products (never did understand the logic in that argument).

What I do feel qualified to say is that there is a larger issue here still not given the attention that is due: industrialized meat, wait: industrialized food as a whole. Chemical additives ...and we should stop to note that not all are bad (whatever that means today) and many are up for debate, but you should be permitted to know when they're in your food to make an informed decision for yourself... I digress: Chemical additives are pervasive in our food supply.

I'll be honest, I use cure (sodium nitrite) when I make sausage and a sterilizing agent (sodium metabisulfite) when I make wine. You can find articles all over the web about those too (albeit far less, as they seem to lack a fun nickname).

I would just rather know first-hand about the presence of ingredients in my food and the process used to make it than continue to charge the food processing industry with providing greater transparency. Like I said, just opt-out as much as possible.

And I'll admit - it's not easy - but the best flavors are earned. You can have ground meats that you feel confident about. Find a local farmer who you can trust, who will show you around and let you see how your meat is raised, or at least a nearby butcher who can give you a back story, and grind it yourself.

If pink slime is a topic you're still interested in, here are some resources that we found interesting:
Pink Slime Timeline (Food Safety News)
Jamie Oliver's Viral Video
ABC World News's Report

Sample Product Label
Norton
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