“…Burger lovers are not having an easy time lately.
Last month, news broke that the USDA’s National School Lunch Program had recently purchased seven million pounds of something delectably called “pink slime.”
Soon thereafter, news reports trumpeted that pink slime hasn’t just been making its way into school lunches – as bad as that sounds.
In recent years, nearly a billion pounds of this ammonia-laced burger filler have been mixed annually into the ground beef sold in the U.S.
As a result, more than two-thirds of the nation’s pre-made burger patties have contained pink slime.
The name “pink slime” sounds, well, slimy, but what exactly is it?
The answer isn’t reassuring.
In fact, it’s as gross as it seems.
Just 10 years ago, according to Mary Jane’s Farm, “the rejected fat, sinew, bloody effluvia, and occasional bits of meat cut from carcasses in the slaughterhouse were a low-value waste product called ‘trimmings’ that were sold primarily as pet food.”
But then Beef Products, Inc. began converting the stuff into a mash and treating it with ammonium hydroxide to kill bacteria.
The resulting product was given the name pink slime by Gerald Zirnstein, a microbiologist working for the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service.
He said it was “not meat,” – but “salvage.”
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