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'Pink Slime' in School Lunches Sparks Concern

The recent concern over the use of pink slime was instigated by the USDA’s plan to ship seven million pounds of this meat to schools across the nation; approximately 6.5 percent of this meat will have ammonium-hydroxide added.

Would you want your child to eat "pink slime"? 

“Pink slime” is scraps and bits of meat and muscle recovered from slaughterhouse floors and treated with a pink chemical to kill dangerous pathogens. The pink substance is regulated by the U.S. Agriculture Department and is classified as “generally recognized as safe.”  The recent concern over the use of pink slime was instigated by the USDA’s plan to ship seven million pounds of this meat to schools across the nation; approximately 6.5 percent of this meat will have ammonium-hydroxide added.

Would you knowingly eat food containing pink slime? Are you concerned about plans to serve this product in schools? Tell us in the comments.

According to an article, “Partners in Slime,” posted in The Daily on Monday, March 5, the meat described as pink slime “is made by grinding together connective tissue and beef scraps normally destined for dog food and rendering." Trimmings are then treated with ammonia hydroxide as part of a process that kills pathogens such as salmonella and E. Coli. The resulting product is then blended with ground beef.

In response to the “pink slime” debate, ABC News recently traveled across the country to grocery stores to find out where “Pink-Slime Free Meat” can be purchased.  At most stores, it is impossible to tell for sure whether beef contains pink slime since labels are not required to include this information. ABC News reports Costco, Publix, Whole Foods and Kroger do not use pink slime. Furthermore, according to ABC News, meat stamped USDA Organic is your best bet -- it is pure meat with no filler.

Recently, concerned citizens have started an online petition requesting the U.S. Government stop serving “pink slime” in schools and have collected over 150,000 signatures.  If you oppose the use of pink slime meat in schools, you can find the petition online by clicking here.

Mary Repko March 11, 2012 at 07:37 PM
Why does the USDA see this is ok? This is NOT where we cut costs. For many US children, these are the only healthy meals they receive!
Janet Riley March 11, 2012 at 07:44 PM
Oh my -- this post is so riddled with inaccuracies. The beef you call "pink slime" is simply meat that has had the fat removed by machine, just like milk is now machine milked instead of hand milked. But it's still milk and this is still beef. Check out what Wash Po said about the process in Engineering a Safer Burger. http://wapo.st/xgRgpI and did you see what Food Safety News quoted consumer groups and food safety experts saying? Pretty supportive stuff. http://bit.ly/zX53xQ Janet Riley, American Meat Institute
Real Meat Only March 11, 2012 at 08:03 PM
Perhaps Janet Riley can post a video of herself eating a pound of the pink slime and also cook and feed it to her family.
Terra C. March 11, 2012 at 08:08 PM
This is a prime example why I stopped eating meat. Let's wait 15 years and see what types of cancers and diseases develop from using these chemicals. Disgusting.
Kathy S? March 11, 2012 at 08:09 PM
I would never trust a comment from the American Meat Institute. Like the government saying, "We use youre tax dollars wisely."! I want to know if what I am buying contains ANY additives. I think I'm buying 100% beef, I don't want any "mystery meat" thrown in. Spraying ANYTHING with ammonia will add nitrates to the meat. I'm using ground turkey instead- until they tell me what's really in that.
Seth Cool March 11, 2012 at 08:12 PM
Janet, I don't think mechanical separation is an issue, it's the chemicals that worry people - the ammonia hydroxide - and the lack of transparency in labeling. I have not bought ground beef since I learned about pink slime. I'm happy to learn which retailers I can trust, I'll likely add ground beef to the menu again.
c176430 March 11, 2012 at 08:34 PM
Which part of "treated with" do you people fail to understand? Just because something is treated with something doesn't mean it contains it. You don't see "minimum wage Mexican immigrant" as ingredient anywhere either.
Dr. Morgan March 11, 2012 at 08:52 PM
What's happened to the world? I thought we were civilized!
Real Meat Only March 11, 2012 at 09:28 PM
Be sure to watch the video about this story: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n71i2we5z20 What do YOU want to put in your body and feed to your family? Chemicals?
craig hill March 11, 2012 at 09:56 PM
The government in general and the USDA in particular is a conduit for filthy corporate dumping on the public. The government, Democratic or Republican, it doesn't matter, they're both owned by pigs, is the national vehicle for forcing the likes of pink slime on, in this case, children. If you support either party, this continues. The only way to stop it is to stop supporting the government in every way, particularly through taxes. Only then will the government crumble, as we stand up to it and kick it in the gut, for a change. it doesn't represent us, unless you're part of the 1% who profit off of slimy meat.
CommonSenseSupersedesStupid March 11, 2012 at 10:03 PM
And tell me how it gets treated without it actually going INTO the meat? Answer that genius, and then maybe you'll understand!
Stephen Lock March 11, 2012 at 11:23 PM
Ammonium Hydroxide is Generally recognized as safe by the FDA and approved for use for treating food products. You will not get any "cancers" or diseases from eating food that has been treated with Amminum Hydroxide because it is an antimicrobial chemical substance that kills harmful bacteria and organisms on food. Food that is treated with it does not contain ammonium hydroxide after being treated.
Real Meat Only March 11, 2012 at 11:26 PM
Let's let the USDA and govt all eat the pink slime if they think it is safe and the American citizens can eat real organic beef. Sounds fair to me!
syreeta key March 11, 2012 at 11:49 PM
All food comes from animals so are we going to ridicule everything .The food tastes good that is all I got to say!
Brian Crawford March 12, 2012 at 12:00 AM
The funny thing is we've all been eating "the slime" for years an no one complained until someone took a picture of it and started calling it "slime". It's certainly no worse for you than the BHG altered milk we pour down our children every day or the genetically altered corn and veggies we all eat without second thought. Our entire food supply has been adulterated and until we go back to eating locally produced organically farmed foods we will continue eating ourselves sick.
David March 12, 2012 at 12:06 AM
Sounds like PETA is writing articles for the news again. If we weren't supposed to eat meat, it wouldn't taste so good and cows would be faster and more camoflaged.
Amy Weisent-Swinehart March 12, 2012 at 03:45 AM
one this is just straight up disgusting no two ways around it is NASTY
Gene March 12, 2012 at 03:48 AM
Pardon me Janet but when I grind my own beef, I don't have to add ammonium-hydroxide or any other chemicals because I don't scrape it off the floor. If I have to trim my beef, I give the scraps to my dogs and not my children! No wonder cancers have increased with crap like this going on.
Terri may March 12, 2012 at 05:45 AM
I buy organic meat for my family. my little boy will be starting k and i will send him too school with a veggie meal. i rather have my family eat organic veggies. we have start taking steps to stop eating so much meat. i like it and so do my family. i aways thought ground beef looked funny. my son seem to be an addict when we did eat it. its the USDA fault USA is FATTES COUNRTY IN THE WORLD. NOW I UNDERSTAND EVERYTHING. THE GOVERMENT , USDA and FDC CANT BE TRUSTED. ALL OF THEM DONT CARE A DAMN ABOUT CHILDREN, SCHOOL, YOUR HEALTH ARE ANYONE ELSE NOT EVEN THEIRS

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