Thoughts on pink slime

First, let’s get straight how this stuff is actually made. This quote is from

In order to extract pricier lean beef from less valuable, fattier trimmings,

So, when you buy a steak or roast, you have mostly meat with a marbling of fat. Depending on the cut of the meat, you either trim off the fat, or it renders into the steak to make it even more delicious. As I understand it, there are parts of the cow that are mostly fat with a little meat. It’s much harder to get that useful meat out.

centrifuges are used to separate the fat out of the meat trimmings,

How clever, we’re finding a way to use more of the cow!

and the resulting lean beef is then squeezed through small tubes, where it is exposed to a small amount of ammonia gas, producing a pinkish substance.

Contrary to what Jamie Oliver would have you believe, they do not, in fact pour in a bottle of your household ammonia. A puff of ammonia gas to kill the bugs sounds like a good idea to me. The article goes on to say that this substance is usually mixed in at about 25% of the total final product.

While I may not like burgers that contain pink slime because they aren’t quite as delicious, my opinion is that refusing to eat this food item is wasteful. We have the technology to waste less. Let’s use it. If you want to conserve the world’s resources don’t buy a Prius (whose manufacturing process produces more hazardous pollution than a regular car will emit in it’s entire lifetime, but that’s a whole separate topic), eat this stuff in your occasional burger. The earth would probably better off if you just gave up beef, but to some of us that’s not an option.

If you have health concerns about pink slime, again, you’d probably be best off giving up beef. We had a packet of ready-made lentil goop for dinner last night that was utterly tasteless and horrible, but it’s probably better for you than any beef. We have three packets left if you want to get started avoiding pink slime. Current plan is to take them backpacking because EVERYTHING tastes good while backpacking, but I would be quite delighted to not have to eat them even while backpacking.


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