Pink Slime, I’m Going to Miss You

Looks like frozen yogurt! How can it be all bad. (photo courtesy of Elevation Burger.)

Poor Pink Slime. The frappéed beef scraps and connective tissues doused in ammonia used in food production has been called to the front of the class for being gross in a room full of politically correct food experts. What took you people so long to get all worked up about Pink Slime? Did you miss The Omnivore’s Dilemna? Fast Food Nation? Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle?

What’s next? Nasty Nitrates? According to the Food Chemical Codex,  sodium nitrite, used to cure meat and prolong the shelf life of food, contains residual heavy metals, arsenic, and lead. Will you think about that the next time you bite into a Yu Dog at the Ballpark?

What is my point? I think Pink Slime got a raw deal. Anyone who pays attention to what they eat already knows about this crap. But somebody came up with a catchy name to grab the headlines and—BOOM—Pink Slime is public enemy number one.

My inbox is full of messages from burger joints now touting they are “Pink-Slime-free.” (Good news for marketing folks.) Locally, Elevation Burger has declared its 28 restaurants as “Pink Slime Free Zones.” Goody for them. They were smart enough to start by serving 100% USDA-certified organic and 100% grass-fed beef. Just be prepared to put your money where the pink slime was. (Check out City of Ate’s breakdown on the economics of  a slime-free market.)

Carry on do-gooders. There are important battles to fight for healthy food. Just don’t get all high and mighty. Some of us still like to enjoy food in foreign countries that are lucky to have beef scraps to cook.

14 comments on “Pink Slime, I’m Going to Miss You

  1. Tom… wait… I am SO confused! Are you attacking Nancy? Or other journalists?

    I wish you would of read the article… and just not the headline. If more people did that they would be more educated.

  2. Uuh, gotta disagree with you Nancy. How can it possibly be a bad thing if more people are educated and informed about stuff like this?

    I see your point…if more people probably knew what was in a hot dog, for example, they would probably stop eating it. Heck, if most people ever visited a slaughterhouse they might be very tempted to stop eating meat altogether.

    But a lot of people put blind faith in the system–the government/FDA, the farmers, the meat packers, etc. So much faith, in fact, that they are ignorant of things like this happening all the time.

    Maybe the journey to get to a place where more people are informed starts with news stories like the “Pink slime.” It’s not, by itself, probably going to change much in the long run, but it might be a step or two in the right direction towards fixing this countries ass-backwards approach to food consumerism and production.

  3. Uuh, gotta disagree with you Nancy. How can it possibly be a bad thing if more people are educated and informed about stuff like this?

    Because people aren’t being educated and informed. They are being miseducated, misinformed and manipulated.

  4. I’m not saying it is bad to get educated. I am all for it. But calling out one without pointing out the other crap is what I have a problem with. Somebody came up with a catchy name and that is what it took to get it out of the schools when people like Jamie Oliver have been ranting against it for years. I’m just tired of people who get all high and mighty about an issue that has been reported on for years. The picture was supplied by Elevation Burger and I’m sorry I assumed it was pink slime. I’ve googled and found the same picture identified as pink slime along with PS in other forms. If you want to argue over the picture, then fine. Phelps. I like the Big Lebowski more than you do!

  5. Because people aren’t being educated and informed. They are being miseducated, misinformed and manipulated. THIS.

  6. Well, “pink slime” seems to be going away. Does it really matter how it happens? Isn’t it a good thing, no matter what the reason behind it?

    I agree, it’s annoying when people seemingly jump on bandwagons…but, in this case, the bandwagon is a good one, so I think we should be happy about it.

    Not everyone in America has read Michael Pollan, or Fast Food Nation, unfortunately, so it seems to me that putting a big magnifying glass over this issue is, at the least, a good thing in itself, and at worst, a start of something bigger.

  7. “Boohoo, Pink Slime! It’s not fair.”

    How about we call it what it is, Flavorless Filler? I bet the public reaction would be about the same.

  8. To be fair, this is what I’ve heard often about the actual term “Pink Slime” – it was a term that originated from an internal email a USDA official wrote about a decade ago.

    So it’s not the zealous “do-gooders” that came up with the name – it was the meat industry’s own brilliant idea.