Extruded, ammonia-laced meat product served up in school cafeterias
USDA plans to keep feeding ‘pink slime’ to your kids
Ethan A. Huff
2012 March 15
After garnering nationwide attention for being secretly added to processed hamburgers and beef products, including those served in school lunchrooms, “lean finely textured beef,” aka “pink slime,” is reportedly on its way out from the menu offerings of McDonald’s, Taco Bell, and Burger King. But according to Mother Jones, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) plans to keep ordering this imitation, ammonia-laced product for use in its National School Lunch Program (NSLP), a taxpayer-funded government food program that serves low-income students.
Pink slime gained much notoriety after being featured in the acclaimed 2008 documentary Food Inc.. Robert Kenner, the film’s director, revealed an inside look into Beef Products International (BPI), a South Sioux City, Neb.-based processing plant that produces most of the nation’s supply of pink slime. The product, which is composed of bovine connective tissue and random beef scraps doused in ammonia and formed into a paste, is commonly used as a beef filler because it is low-cost and supposedly less risky compared to conventional ground beef.
FDA, USDA say ammonia-laced ‘pink slime’ is safe for children
Though BPI claims that pink slime is safer than conventional ground beef because of the ammonia treatment, tests conducted by NSLP between 2005 and 2009 have revealed that the meat-like matter routinely tests positive for salmonella at four times the rate of conventional beef. Ammonia is also a highly-corrosive poison that is known to cause respiratory illness and lung damage, liver problems, and cancer. The Chemical Encyclopedia says ammonia is “highly toxic” if swallowed (http://healthychild.org/issues/chemical-pop/ammonia/).
Posted on 2012 March 15, in Health and tagged ammonia, beef products international, bpi, extruded meat, food inc, NSLP, pink slime, salmonella, school cafeteria, school lunch, USDA. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.