Pink Slime

March 13,2012
Lindsay Hutton( )

Have you heard about pink slime?

At one time, pink slime was strictly used in dog food and cooking oil. Now, it's used for human consumption under the alias "lean finely textured beef."

Fast food giants like McDonald's and Burger King have stopped using pink slime in their products.

But it can be found in up to 70% of ground beef sold in supermarkets. It's also found in school lunches. In fact, most of the meat rejected by fast food chains is often purchased by the National School Lunch Program for hot lunches.

Some estimates believe pink slime makes up about 25% of each hamburger patty found in the U.S.

Do you have the stomach to read what exactly this "meat" actually is? Read on.

This "lean finely textured beef" is made by gathering waste trimmings (think excess fat and connective tissues) and simmering them at a low heat to separate the fat from muscle. It is then sprayed with ammonia gas to make it safe to eat.

Once it's had its chemical bath, the pink slime is packaged into bricks, frozen, and sent out to grocery stores and meat packers where it is added to most ground beef as a cheap filler.

You won't find "pink slime" as an ingredient, since USDA officials regard it as meat (even to the objections of some of their own scientists), so avoiding this nasty ingredient can be tricky.

Your best bet? Avoid store-bought ground beef. Send your child to school with a bag lunch. Only buy meat stamped USDA Organic, since this is pure meat with no filler.

Anything else can and probably does contain pink slime, and the USDA has given no indication that this will stop anytime soon, or that meats containing the filler will be labeled.

How do you feel about pink slime? Will you avoid store-bought meat and school lunches? Or become a vegetarian? Tell us your thoughts!