I'm sure you've read it or heard it on the news a lot recently, but parents are fighting to kick pink slime out of the school's kitchens.
I personally have not researched too much about it, but apparently "pink slime" is made of the leftover scraps of animal meat and connective tissue mixed with ammonia hydroxide. The leftover animal meat scraps and connective tissue was previously used to put in dog food. The government (or scientists) has figured out that if they mix ammonia hydroxide into the "meat" it helps to kill some of the harmful germs in it like E. coli, and salmonella.
First off, should we be feeding our children meat byproducts that before 2001 were useable for consumption only by dogs?
Secondly, ammonia hydroxide doesn't sound very safe to me: It's used in household cleaners, and fertilizers. According to Wikipedia "Household ammonia is dilute ammonium hydroxide" click here for source. Does that sound safe, or yummy to put into our food? They wouldn't even have to use the ammonia hydroxide if they used the good, quality part of the meat anyhow.
It's not just schools who use pink slim in their meat - according to this article, pink slime is in 70% of meat we purchase in the store. The article does point out that purchasing organic beef is one way to know you're not eating this gunk, as well as purchasing your meat at Costco, Publix, and Whole Foods (just to name a few, see article for more details).
Furthermore, some of the big fast food chains like Taco Bell, Burger King, and McDonalds have ditched the pink slime in their food. If the fast food industry says it's bad....it must be bad, hello!
Additionally, ".....mixing "pink slime" into ground beef earns the industry [Beef Products Incorporated] about 3 cents for every pound of meat produced" according to this article. So, they're making money by putting "beef substitute" into our meat.
Feel free to visit www.thelunchtray.com for more information. The owner of the blog has also created an online petition letter addressed to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to get pink slime out of our children's school cafeteria lunches.
I try not to be too political, or argumentative on my blog. However, I believe some of the things we're doing with our food these days to make it last longer, or cheaper to grow is getting a little out of hand.
I think it's our job as consumers and as responsible parents to make sure we protect ourselves and our children as best we can to make sure what they're eating is healthy. I understand it's expensive to buy only organic: we don't buy exclusively organic in our house, but we try to make the best decisions we can.
I'll get off my soap box now...enjoy the rest of your day :D
Here's a list of sources I looked at while researching this post: