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posted by chromas on Friday February 15 2019, @03:10PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the squash-the-beef dept.

https://newfoodeconomy.org/bpi-pink-slime-ground-beef-usda-reclassifed/

Beef Products Inc. (BPI), the South Dakota-based meat processing company at the center of 2012’s “pink slime” controversy, just won a long-sought semantic victory. For years, the company has argued that its signature product is safe, wholesome, and not unlike everyday burger meat. Now, BPI has enlisted a powerful ally in its effort to recoup its image and reclassify its product: the federal government.

After a months-long evaluation, the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) determined in December that BPI’s signature product—the offering famously called “pink slime” in an ABC News exposé that got the network in a lot of trouble—can be labeled “ground beef.” Legally speaking, it’s now no different from ordinary hamburger, and could even be sold directly to the public.


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Meat Industry PR Campaign Bashes Plant-Based Meat Alternatives 58 comments

Plant-based burgers are "ultra-processed" like dog food, meat-backed ads say

A public-relations firm backed by meat producers has unleashed a savage marketing campaign that claims plant-based meat alternatives are unhealthy, "ultra-processed imitations" similar to dog food.

The campaign rolled out in recent weeks from the industry-funded firm Center for Consumer Freedom, according to The New York Times. So far, it has included full-page ads and opinion pieces in mainstream newspapers, including The New York Times, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal. All the marketing material raises health concerns about trendy meat alternatives, such as the Impossible Burger and Beyond Burger.

One ad posed the question "What's hiding in your plant-based meat?" Another directed readers to take the quiz "Veggie Burger or Dog Food?"

In an op-ed, the managing director of the Center for Consumer Freedom, Will Coggin, labeled meat alternatives as "ultra-processed" foods and noted that a recent study led by the researchers at the National Institutes of Health linked ultra-processed foods to weight gain.

The negative marketing campaign comes amid soaring popularity of meat alternatives, which threaten to slice into the meat market's sales and profits. In recent months, big players in the meat industry had tried a different—some might say hypocritical—tactic to compete with the new comers—that is, they released their own lines of meat alternatives. Now, the industry wants consumers to think such alternatives are unhealthy.

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  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Phoenix666 on Friday February 15 2019, @03:26PM (26 children)

    by Phoenix666 (552) on Friday February 15 2019, @03:26PM (#801561) Journal

    These stories lead me to conclude we should grow our own food. A decade ago I listened to a summer series lecture on Governor's Island by a professor from Brooklyn College who ran a thriving aquaculture setup [nytimes.com] in the basement of his building. It didn't take up much room, and it was so successful he almost couldn't give the fish away.

    It seems like anybody who has a basement can do the same thing, and then you'd know exactly where the fish has been and what they've been exposed to.

    Some people also connect the fish to a hydroponics setup [wikipedia.org] to grow greens. The water from the fish is full of nutrients that the plants use, and after they've filtered it it goes back to the fish.

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    • (Score: 3, Funny) by DannyB on Friday February 15 2019, @03:42PM (3 children)

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 15 2019, @03:42PM (#801573) Journal

      Growing our own food is better. Free Range Soylent Green is better than the kind grown in "for profit" prisons.

      (obviously I have little faith in the future of humanity coexisting with global mega corporations are people too)

      --
      The opposite of Pro is Con. The opposite of Progress is ___gress.
      • (Score: 2) by stretch611 on Saturday February 16 2019, @04:34AM (2 children)

        by stretch611 (6199) Subscriber Badge on Saturday February 16 2019, @04:34AM (#801929)

        So, you plan to eat your own kids?

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        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 16 2019, @06:02AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 16 2019, @06:02AM (#801956)

          Grow your own / Eat your own.

        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by DannyB on Saturday February 16 2019, @10:14PM

          by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Saturday February 16 2019, @10:14PM (#802202) Journal

          Kids: not just for unlimited free agricultural labor anymore!

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          The opposite of Pro is Con. The opposite of Progress is ___gress.
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by takyon on Friday February 15 2019, @03:42PM (1 child)

      by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Friday February 15 2019, @03:42PM (#801574) Journal

      If I eat 2 pounds of raw Agaricus bisporus every day, will I die [soylentnews.org] (because of it)?

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      • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Friday February 15 2019, @03:53PM

        by Phoenix666 (552) on Friday February 15 2019, @03:53PM (#801589) Journal

        Holy cow that's a lot of mushrooms.

        I think the idea is that you filter the water before it enters your aquaculture/aquaponics setup. If toxins don't enter the water, then toxins can't build up in the fish, or you.

        I think that's what you're getting at...

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        Washington DC delenda est.
    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Thexalon on Friday February 15 2019, @03:48PM (12 children)

      by Thexalon (636) on Friday February 15 2019, @03:48PM (#801580)

      The next best thing is to get to know some farmers and buy from them. For example, when my buddies down the road are selling me chicken, it's easy for me to see how that chicken was raised, and I can probably observe them doing the processing if I want to.

      --
      The inverse of "I told you so" is "Nobody could have predicted"
      • (Score: 5, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 15 2019, @03:53PM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 15 2019, @03:53PM (#801588)

        Even better, you get to know your neighbours and you scale your production so you can sell cheaper to them than they can produce. And at that point, maybe pre-process the product a little, because they want it already ground and things. .. Maybe somewhat increase efficiency and reduce waste ... make sure people don't get sick from disease .... oh wait....

        Fuck back to square 1.

        • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 15 2019, @07:37PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 15 2019, @07:37PM (#801738)

          Get to know my neighbors? As an asocial recluse, I'd rather eat the pink slime.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 15 2019, @11:19PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 15 2019, @11:19PM (#801817)

            Sorry, but I am an invegan (involuntarily vegan). Hopefully I will not drive a vehicle into a herd to express my frustration.

        • (Score: 2) by RedIsNotGreen on Saturday February 16 2019, @12:00AM

          by RedIsNotGreen (2191) on Saturday February 16 2019, @12:00AM (#801846) Homepage Journal

          You touch upon an important trend, one that it's good to be mindful for when acquiring things that should be of high quality, such as food:

          It's easy to make one, or ten, or even a thousand of high-quality somethings, but when you start making ten-thousand, or a million, the quality is almost certain to drop.

      • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Phoenix666 on Friday February 15 2019, @03:58PM (7 children)

        by Phoenix666 (552) on Friday February 15 2019, @03:58PM (#801596) Journal

        Through my eco-activism I have come to know people who raise their own chickens. Occasionally they give me eggs. Sometimes they look weird on the outside but they are so rich and creamy there is no comparison to factory-farmed eggs you get in the grocery store. Kind of the same thing with people who raise their own milk-producing livestock. The cream on the top of a fresh pint of milk is so rich it's better than a bar of Belgian chocolate.

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        • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Runaway1956 on Friday February 15 2019, @04:36PM (2 children)

          by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 15 2019, @04:36PM (#801634) Homepage Journal

          Goat milk. The poorest goat milk is equal to the best of cow's milk, in terms of nutrients. You've got to get used to it, the flavor is quite different.

          --
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          • (Score: 2) by Knowledge Troll on Friday February 15 2019, @04:42PM

            by Knowledge Troll (5948) on Friday February 15 2019, @04:42PM (#801641) Homepage Journal

            I wanted to find the goat cheese pizza scene from The Great Outdoors but didn't see it. So have an Ole 96er [youtube.com] instead.

          • (Score: 2) by TheReaperD on Saturday February 16 2019, @08:05AM

            by TheReaperD (5556) on Saturday February 16 2019, @08:05AM (#801976)

            Drinking goat milk is equivalent to getting punched in the face and I have about an equal desire to repeat both experiences.

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        • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 15 2019, @04:55PM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 15 2019, @04:55PM (#801648)

          This. Fresh eggs and fresh milk made me reject veganism.

          I had a glass of store skim "recently." How do people drink that?!

          • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Friday February 15 2019, @06:14PM (1 child)

            by Freeman (732) on Friday February 15 2019, @06:14PM (#801694) Journal

            Skim milk / 2% milk is 99% or 98% water, respectively. It certainly tastes like it. For some reason, I can also drink a little whole milk without issues, but a little skim or 2% usually gives me an upset stomach.

            --
            "I said in my haste, All men are liars." Psalm 116:11
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 16 2019, @06:07AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 16 2019, @06:07AM (#801958)

              2% or skim milk is basically sugar water. You remove the good fat and leave protein and mostly (~2/3) sugar.

        • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 15 2019, @07:42PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 15 2019, @07:42PM (#801740)

          Through my eco-activism I have come to know people who raise their own chickens

          I raise my own chickens and the yolks are orange. And I do it not because of eco-anything, but because it's fun and I want to. If your purpose of having chickens or goats or whatever is because "eco", then don't do it. You have wrong motivation. Better just to buy bio freerange stuff instead. Better for you and for the animals.

    • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Friday February 15 2019, @09:24PM (4 children)

      I know it sounds nasty because of the word "slime" but pink slime is ounce for ounce the most nutritious substance in a beef processing plant by a long shot. There's nothing nefarious about it, it's just what leaks out of cut muscle and fat cells over a lot of meat processing. I'm not saying you should or shouldn't want them adding it back to ground beef, I'm just saying you should know what you're talking about and use this information and your intellect rather than your gag reflex at the term "slime" to decide.

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      • (Score: 4, Informative) by aristarchus on Friday February 15 2019, @11:23PM (1 child)

        by aristarchus (2645) on Friday February 15 2019, @11:23PM (#801822) Journal

        It's not the slime, Buzzard, it's the disinfectants, the ammonia, the sodium hypochlorite, and so on, that makes it disgusting. And what would we expect from a carrion-feeder, other than a defense of carrion? Let me guess, as a buzzard, you have no gag reflex, at all?

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        • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Sunday February 17 2019, @01:56AM

          No, I just know plenty of west Texas cattle folks and know the truth of the matter. Cleaning substances are not left on anything that meat will be touching except in barely detectable trace amounts that are utterly harmless. They do that much for anything even cattle feed is being made in.

          --
          When responding to comments, please do not use phrases like "just how stupid can you be". Some take that as a challenge.
      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Ethanol-fueled on Friday February 15 2019, @11:28PM (1 child)

        by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Friday February 15 2019, @11:28PM (#801826) Homepage

        It's not the "slime" part that gets me, it's the ammonia.

        I'm not a meat-slaughtering expert so perhaps I could be enlightened, but if there's any reason why that shit needs to be treated with a harsh chemical after the slaughter to kill bacteria while your other cuts of meat don't, then sorry, I'm a pussy and will avoid it when I can. I can tolerate a burger patty dropped on a somewhat recently-mopped floor and then served to me at the place it's being cooked (yes, they do this, and they do it a lot) but pink slime brings to mind ball-scratching illegal immigrants with typhoid snow-shoveling the rancid trimmings that have sat at room-temperature on a 2000 square-foot floor for 8-12 hours into being processed as pink slime.

        • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Sunday February 17 2019, @02:01AM

          That's gas not liquid. It takes care of any bacteria that may have snuck in over hours of machine use while not mixing with the product in any noticeable quantities. And ammonia levels below your ability to notice (it's not by any means a subtle chemical) are also not harmful.

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    • (Score: 2) by jdavidb on Sunday February 17 2019, @06:37PM (1 child)

      by jdavidb (5690) on Sunday February 17 2019, @06:37PM (#802578) Homepage Journal
      Thanks to your comment my kids and wife and I have been research aquaponics for three days now. My 14 yo son is wanting to build a test setup today and start raising fish and vegetables.
      --
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      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 18 2019, @04:53AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 18 2019, @04:53AM (#802769)

        awww heartwarming!

  • (Score: 5, Funny) by DannyB on Friday February 15 2019, @03:35PM (4 children)

    by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 15 2019, @03:35PM (#801567) Journal

    (to the tune of Greensleeves)

    Alas my love you do me wrong
    To cast me off with pinkish slips
    And I have loved you oh so long
    To build profit in your company

    Pink Slime that lovely goo
    Pink Slime with growth of mold anew
    Pink Slime I could keep it down
    And digest it into some lovely poo

    I have been ready at your hand
    To sell Pink Slime at your command
    I've feigned to like that horrid goup
    And pretend that I didn't need to puke

    Pink Slime was my delight
    Each bite I ate with a horrid fright
    Pink Slime what a horrid blight
    It would turn my stomach in the night

    --
    The opposite of Pro is Con. The opposite of Progress is ___gress.
    • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Friday February 15 2019, @03:38PM (3 children)

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 15 2019, @03:38PM (#801570) Journal

      Just for clarification I put this into the public domain, or if copyright is mandatory in any jurisdiction, grant anyone a perpetual copyright license permission to use it in any possible way without permission from me or any compensation to me of any kind.

      --
      The opposite of Pro is Con. The opposite of Progress is ___gress.
      • (Score: 5, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 15 2019, @03:54PM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 15 2019, @03:54PM (#801593)

        Thank you for putting this into the public domain, but the public now politely asks that you please take it back and dispose of it properly.

        • (Score: 3, Touché) by DannyB on Friday February 15 2019, @05:11PM (1 child)

          by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 15 2019, @05:11PM (#801659) Journal

          If the Pink Slime is ended, I'll recant.

          --
          The opposite of Pro is Con. The opposite of Progress is ___gress.
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 15 2019, @06:21PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 15 2019, @06:21PM (#801697)

            In this political climate it is probably safer to decant instead.

            : to draw off without disturbing the sediment or the lower layers

  • (Score: 5, Funny) by Arik on Friday February 15 2019, @03:59PM (5 children)

    by Arik (4543) on Friday February 15 2019, @03:59PM (#801598) Journal
    They should have called it "Soylent Pink."

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    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 15 2019, @04:21PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 15 2019, @04:21PM (#801621)

      ^I thought that was something else.

    • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Friday February 15 2019, @05:14PM (3 children)

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 15 2019, @05:14PM (#801661) Journal

      Modded Funny. But actually, in a way, insightful. That might have been a better name to refer to it by.

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      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 15 2019, @06:10PM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 15 2019, @06:10PM (#801692)

        They found a better name: Ground Beef ;)

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 15 2019, @06:32PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 15 2019, @06:32PM (#801704)

          As in "beef better thrown on the ground"

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 15 2019, @07:41PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 15 2019, @07:41PM (#801739)

            so I threw it ON THE GROUND

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 15 2019, @06:15PM (4 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 15 2019, @06:15PM (#801695)

    I like that it "could even be sold directly to the public". This should have been the case before.

    Calling it "ground beef" is another matter entirely. That is shameful, unethical, immoral... and damn well ought to be illegal.

    It was pretty messed up that the product couldn't be sold as is, yet somehow was legal to add to real ground beef.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by edIII on Friday February 15 2019, @09:05PM (3 children)

      by edIII (791) on Friday February 15 2019, @09:05PM (#801772)

      This may be a little bit overblown. Technically, it really is ground beef. There are no bones, and unlike some other meat byproducts (hot dogs), doesn't contain non-meat. Allegedly it's advanced recovery processes not unlike using your teeth to get at the very last scraps of meat on a rib. Centrifuges and heat remove nearly all the fat. The controversial part of it is the ammonia. The pink slime aspect comes from how the meat trimmings were processed, and that's the unappealing part, and most of the controversy too. As an additive it had benefits because of the anti-microbial properties, although it's debatable if we want our food to really start having that considering how super-bugs evolve. Reducing the fat content is a good thing anyway. If they removed the antimicrobial part, this would just be an additive that makes the hamburger patty have less fat. For some people, the antimicrobial part really is a bonus considering how much E. Coli sucks ass. Makes the cooking environment a little more forgiving.

      I think pink slime is much less controversial than adding "cellulose fiber", aka wood particles. Even then I object to the labeling and pricing, and daring to deliver me something that isn't 100% hamburger. Yet at the same time, appreciative they found even another way to make the hamburger a little more healthy with the added fiber. If I was eating hamburgers multiple times per week though, I know I would better off with the additives.

      All of that being said, if I'm going to blow my diet for a hamburger anyways, it's not going to be a health conscious one filled with additives. Healthy or not.

      --
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      • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 15 2019, @11:07PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 15 2019, @11:07PM (#801809)

        What is "meat" anyway? If you mean muscle fibers, then even a sirloin steak isn't meat. Clearly, it is allowable to have non-muscle.

        The trouble here is that the ratio has changed. You can even see it in the color. Pink slime is loaded with connective tissue.

        That in turn changes the ratio of amino acids and the amount of iron. There is a real nutritional difference.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 16 2019, @06:10AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 16 2019, @06:10AM (#801959)

        Reducing the fat is good?!?!? Do you also take your steaks well done?

        • (Score: 2) by edIII on Saturday February 16 2019, @11:13PM

          by edIII (791) on Saturday February 16 2019, @11:13PM (#802233)

          No you illiterate dipshit. Read the bottom sentence where I very clearly said that my hamburger wouldn't be anywhere in the vicinity of health conscious food.

          --
          Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
  • (Score: 2) by CZB on Friday February 15 2019, @07:45PM (3 children)

    by CZB (6457) on Friday February 15 2019, @07:45PM (#801743)

    Its horrid, but people who eat processed meat have always been eating such whatever gets thrown in the grinder.

    You can buy whole, half, and quarter beefs from me or whoever is on your local craigslist. It typically costs $3 to $5 a pound.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by takyon on Friday February 15 2019, @07:53PM

      by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Friday February 15 2019, @07:53PM (#801748) Journal

      people who eat processed meat have always been eating such whatever gets thrown in the grinder.

      Eating 100% of the animal is virtuous! Not being able to tell you are is convenient!

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 15 2019, @09:48PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 15 2019, @09:48PM (#801785)

      from me or whoever is on your local craigslist

      Craigslist? Um, so, are you guys actually butchers? Is that really beef that I'd be getting from you?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 15 2019, @11:28PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 15 2019, @11:28PM (#801827)

        They have a special on "long pig" this week. No halves or quarters, though, too easily identifiable. Only available as pink slime, pinkish ground, or Soylent Pink.

  • (Score: 2) by looorg on Friday February 15 2019, @09:25PM (1 child)

    by looorg (578) on Friday February 15 2019, @09:25PM (#801777)

    Tyson’s beef trim is ferried over from the kill floor to BPI’s plant by conveyor, where it’s warmed to about 100 degrees and sent through a centrifuge that separates the fat from the meat. The liquified fat can then be sold as tallow, while the resulting meat—which the industry has called “lean finely textured beef,” or “boneless beef trimmings” in the past—is nearly fatless.

    "Pink Slime", ok that sounds yummy. I think I would rather buy pet-food and eat that. They at least have standards about what they put in those cans.

    This just isn't ground beef, it's something they add to ground beef. So if they add something to something it can't be the same thing as it was before. This isn't homepathic beef, or is it? Did it become more beef then before due to the beef dilution?

    Just call it something else and make sure the public knows and that they can choose between products while actually knowing what they are buying, if it's all so great and customers won't mind then there really is no problem.

    • (Score: 2) by Username on Friday February 15 2019, @11:38PM

      by Username (4557) on Friday February 15 2019, @11:38PM (#801834)

      I think I would rather buy pet-food and eat that. They at least have standards about what they put in those cans.

      It all comes from the same place. The dog food is the meat that hit the ground. It's scooped up with a shovel (with the blood water that is usually present on the floor), put into a bin, then ran through a metal detector, emptied into a larger bin that gets loaded onto a machine that process and cans it for dogs.

  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 15 2019, @09:41PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 15 2019, @09:41PM (#801780)

    If I understand the articles, isn't "pink slime" still just muscle tissue? It isn't like they're throwing in the hooves and snouts in there. Is most of the "ick" factor just the fact that someone called it "pink slime"? I appreciate that people may not want something that has been through so much processing, and I don't think that it should be called "ground beef", but people seem to think that this is something that comes from various parts that aren't muscle tissue.

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 15 2019, @11:03PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 15 2019, @11:03PM (#801806)

      Pink slime has a different ratio of components. This is tilted toward connective tissue.

      It's pretty obvious why the slime is pink, not red. It mostly isn't muscle.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 15 2019, @11:08PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 15 2019, @11:08PM (#801811)

      Is most of the "ick" factor just the fact that someone called it "pink slime"?

      Basically, yes. It is exactly the same stuff as regular ground beef. It's ground so finely that it doesn't have the same texture, but then regular ground beef doesn't have the same texture as chopped steak. That doesn't make it bad, just different.

      The closest thing to an actual problem here is that it might (or might not) be different enough from regular ground beef that buyers might be confused as to what they are getting. I'm not overly concerned about this since if you buy ground beef in the grocery store you can get a pretty good idea of what you are getting just by inspecting the package. The meat is biologically the same, so if it meets your physical expectations there's no problem.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 16 2019, @06:12AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 16 2019, @06:12AM (#801960)

        That "biologically same meat" is thoroughly rinsed in ammonia too?

  • (Score: 2) by linkdude64 on Saturday February 16 2019, @02:04AM

    by linkdude64 (5482) Subscriber Badge on Saturday February 16 2019, @02:04AM (#801886)

    go on Arby's sandwiches for all of the beta-orbiters to chew on for eternity.

  • (Score: 2) by realDonaldTrump on Saturday February 16 2019, @02:13AM

    by realDonaldTrump (6614) on Saturday February 16 2019, @02:13AM (#801891) Homepage Journal

    Now go eat your favorite food at McDonald's, Burger King, or Wendy's!!

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