British celebrity chef and food activist Jamie Oliver has been fighting fast food conglomerate McDonalds for months over what he calls “pink slime”, and as it turns out, he’s won! You won’t be finding Oliver’s least favorite brand of mystery meat under the golden arches ever again.
Wait, rewind. What is “pink slime” anyway? Pink slime, careful reader, is beef trimmings from strange parts of a cow that are treated with ammonium hydroxide to be made relatively safe and edible. It is used in 70% of ground beef, and is probably the basis upon which we understand the concept of “mystery meat”.
Wondering why we pay for this crap? Probably because the USDA approved “pink slime” in 2007, after which the New York Times and the documentary Food Inc. blew the whistle on it, raising serious doubts about its safety. On the other side of the aisle, Food Safety News has said that the public backlash against “pink slime” was unfair, but the Times linked the beef to dozens of cases of E. coli and salmonella, which is, in my opinion, a pretty sound “shut up”.
McDonalds has announced last week that it will stop using the controversial beef. Jamie Oliver, of course, is understandably incensed by the announcement. According to Oliver: “We’re taking a product that would be sold in its cheaper form for dogs and after this process, we can give it to humans,” Oliver said, adding that he’s “thrilled” by McD’s decision.
So what do you think? Did Jamie Oliver lead a good campaign here or what? Will McDonalds burgers start tasting a little different (read: better)?