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Pink Slime: It’s Whats for Dinner….and School Lunch


It used to be beef was what was for dinner.  Not exactly, anymore and that goes for school lunches, too. Now the mystery meat that  kids have joked about for so long in school cafeterias isn’t a mystery anymore.  Recently, we have realized how disgusting the stuff really is – and what grossness lurks, unlabeled, in many school lunches and grocery-store packs of ground beef.

Pink slime is made from slaughterhouse scraps: fatty cuttings and bits of connective tissue, mostly from the outside parts of the cow, the bits most likely to be contaminated by excrement. First the scraps are warmed and spun to remove the fat. Then the goo that remains is sprayed with ammonia to kill nasties such as E. coli and salmonella. But did you know the actual Chemical Encyclopedia states ammonia is actually “highly toxic” in the event that its swallowed. What’s the opposite of a win-win situation?

The USDA continues to affirm the safety of Lean Finely Textured Beef product (pink slime) for all consumers and urges customers to consult science based information on the safety and quality of this product. As opposed to innate, common sense? They have, however, announced they will offer more choices to schools in the National School Lunch Program when it comes to purchases of ground beef products. Although the USDA’s National School Lunch Program, last week, reportedly purchased 7 million lbs of pink slime in order to serve to students. Suspicious much?

Pink slime is not only a major concern in school lunches; According to an ABC news report, 70 percent of supermarket ground beef contains pink slime! Now all concerned consumers are trying to learn if their grocery stores sell ground beef with LFTB filler. According to the report, Where you can get ‘pink-slime’ free beef.”, Costco, Publix, H-E-B, Kroger, Whole Foods, and Tops Markets all adamantly stated they do not use beef laced with ‘pink slime’, while several major national chains just as adamantly defended it. To find out the responses from the actual grocery chain, check out the article here.

One of the worst things about this for consumers who are aware and do not want to eat pink slime is that the FDA puts pink slime in the same category as regular beef. The filler isn’t listed on package labels. As far as the FDA is concerned, ground beef plus pink slime is still 100 percent ground beef. “It’s economic fraud,” says Gerald Zirnstein, the whistleblower and former United States Department of Agriculture scientist. “It’s not fresh ground beef. … It’s a cheap substitute being added in.”

So what can we do? The best way to know for sure that your meat is ‘slime-free’ is to buy fresh, locally grown meat from someone you know or buy meat that is certified ‘USDA Organic.’ Vote with your wallets! A grocery store that wants to defend the practice of calling dog food laced with ammonia ‘good for kids’ is certainly not worthy of trust or patronage. Additionally, parents should contact the administrator of their child’s school lunch program to make them aware, if they are not already, of this outrage. Meanwhile, a sack-lunch is always a good idea. Finally,, has a petition for the USDA and FDA to get pink slime out of ground beef now, or at the very least require labels to list it as an ingredient so that we can decide not to buy it in the stores.


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