And like it or not, it’s on the market, deceptively called “lean, finely textured beef” aka "boneless lean beef trimmings.”
Except it’s really the remains of the animal after all the meat normally cut has been removed. Or something like that.
Pink slime is the pejorative term for "lean finely textured beef," a product designed to recover useful bits from carcass trimmings. These are warmed, centrifuged to remove the fat, treated with ammonium hydroxide gas to kill pathogens, and compressed into blocks that are frozen for later use.
There’s a brouhaha going on, apparently. About our children being fed this pink slimy stuff in school lunches.
School food advocate Bettina Siegel collected 230,000 signatures on a letter to the USDA to ban LFTB. She wrote, "It is simply wrong to feed our children connective tissues and beef scraps that were, in the past, destined for use in pet food and rendering, and were not considered fit for human consumption." The USDA buys loads of LFTB for school hamburger because it is cheap. Districts that choose higher-quality meat will have to pay more for meat. Can they afford to?
And then there’s the asshat politicians who’ve been paid off by the meat industry and are now calling for a congressional investigation into food safety?
Reports over weekend showed that Beef Products' top executives and workers have given $820,750 to congressional and presidential candidates over the past decade, with all but $28,400 going to Republicans. Branstad, a Republican, received $150,000 over the past two years from people tied to Beef Products, his spokesman Tim Albrecht said Monday.
Nope. If you thought it would be food safety, you were wrong. Instead, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad called for a Congressional investigation into who started the “smear campaign” against the pink slime. Seriously.
“Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad called Monday for a congressional investigation into how what he called ‘a smear campaign’ against the meat product commonly called ‘pink slime’ got started,” the New York Daily News writes. "‘We have a smear campaign going on against a product that is healthy and safe,’ Branstad said at his weekly news conference. ‘If they get by with this, what other food products are they going to attack next?’ … ‘It's clear this is a safe product. It's a lean product, it helps reduce obesity and there is a spurious attack being levied against it by some groups. You can suspect who they might be. They are people who do not like meat. … He also called on students at agricultural colleges in Iowa to use their social media skills ‘to counter what Hollywood and the media elites and the people who are spreading this misinformation are doing. It's their future that's being threatened by this.’”
So now, Republicans are waging a campaign against parents of schoolchildren, along with other well-meaning Americans, because they don’t think pink slime sounds entirely appetizing. And they’re apparently doing so in order to stop our protests against the pink slime.