1 April 2012 - Pink Slime is BEEF!

I agree, they could have given it a much better sounding term. There is not much positive you can say about the term ‘Pink Slime’. I understand it originated with a scientist at USDA who did not like the product. I prefer calling the product LFTT - ‘Lean Finely Textured Trimmings’ or LFTB - ‘Lean Finely Textured Beef’, because that is what it is. Some people are concerned about what is in the product. Others are concerned about the ammonia treatment used in the process. South Dakota-based Beef Products, Inc. developed the process back in the 1980’s and this is how it works.

Meat processing companies trim excess fat from tenderloin steaks, roasts, briskets and other beef cuts before packaging the cuts for the meat counter, and there is inevitably some meat included in the fat. The company developed a method to take those trimmings and heat them, which separates the fat from the lean meat, and then use the LFTT or LFTB meat in sausage, hot dogs and hamburger. It is not a “filler“, it is 100% USDA approved, 90% lean beef. It is not an additive, so it does not need to be labeled. After the separation, it is exposed to a puff of ammonia gas which reacts with water in the beef to form a trace amount of ammonium hydroxide which kills any pathogen bacteria. In other words, it’s purpose is make the product safer for consumers!

Now, McDonald’s, Super Valu and Safeway stores have all stopped selling products that contain LFTT, they say because of consumer concerns. Some school lunch programs have also turned it away. But here’s my message for McDonald’s, Super Valu, Safeway and anyone else saying they are not going to sell products with ‘pink slime’. First of all, let’s call it what it is….not a filler or additive, but ‘Lean Finely Textured Beef’. Then, hear this, the ammonia process is also used in breads, pastries, cheeses, chocolates, breakfast cereals, sports drinks, fruits and vegetables. So will you also stop selling all those products?

Beef Products, Inc. has been severely impacted by the more than 2,000 negative stories that have appeared in all forms of media. They have closed three of their four plants producing the product for 60 days and laid off hundreds of workers They say the closings could be permanent….and they have done nothing wrong!

C’mon, when are we going to start doing in-depth research before we start spreading “panic” messages that are unfounded, untrue and destroy not only good industries, but affect the livelihood of hundreds of hard working individuals for no good reason other than ‘sensationalism’ .

Let’s get back to using common sense!

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