An Anonymous Coward writes:
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.
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.
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.
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)
So, you plan to eat your own kids?
Grow your own / Eat your own.
Kids: not just for unlimited free agricultural labor anymore!
If I eat 2 pounds of raw Agaricus bisporus every day, will I die [soylentnews.org] (because of it)?
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...
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.
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.
Get to know my neighbors? As an asocial recluse, I'd rather eat the pink slime.
Sorry, but I am an invegan (involuntarily vegan). Hopefully I will not drive a vehicle into a herd to express my frustration.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Drinking goat milk is equivalent to getting punched in the face and I have about an equal desire to repeat both experiences.
This. Fresh eggs and fresh milk made me reject veganism.
I had a glass of store skim "recently." How do people drink that?!
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.
2% or skim milk is basically sugar water. You remove the good fat and leave protein and mostly (~2/3) sugar.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
(to the tune of Greensleeves)
Alas my love you do me wrongTo cast me off with pinkish slipsAnd I have loved you oh so longTo build profit in your company
Pink Slime that lovely gooPink Slime with growth of mold anewPink Slime I could keep it downAnd digest it into some lovely poo
I have been ready at your handTo sell Pink Slime at your commandI've feigned to like that horrid goupAnd pretend that I didn't need to puke
Pink Slime was my delightEach bite I ate with a horrid frightPink Slime what a horrid blightIt would turn my stomach in the night
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.
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.
If the Pink Slime is ended, I'll recant.
In this political climate it is probably safer to decant instead.
: to draw off without disturbing the sediment or the lower layers
^I thought that was something else.
Modded Funny. But actually, in a way, insightful. That might have been a better name to refer to it by.
They found a better name: Ground Beef ;)
As in "beef better thrown on the ground"
so I threw it ON THE GROUND
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.
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.
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.
Reducing the fat is good?!?!? Do you also take your steaks well done?
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.
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.
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!
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
That "biologically same meat" is thoroughly rinsed in ammonia too?
go on Arby's sandwiches for all of the beta-orbiters to chew on for eternity.
Now go eat your favorite food at McDonald's, Burger King, or Wendy's!!