Schools In Three States Will Still Allow Pink Slime Lunches
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced that pink slime is on its way out in America’s school programs, however the National School Lunch Program still has a few states holding onto “finely textured beef” product.
According to a recent report Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota have not opted out of the pink slime lunch program, choosing instead to serve their school aged children beef product that contains beef “filler.”
Pink slime is not a new product, it has been used for decades but recently came to light when a New York Times article referred to the product as “pink slime” and then revealed that it is made of fatty bits of beef that are heated and then treated with ammonia to kill potential bacteria.
After public outrage reached the USDA it announced in March that schools would have the option to purchase beef made without the filler and going into the 2012-2013 school year only the three states listed above will continue carrying the pink slime product.
For its part the USDA says the product they call finely textured beef is nutritious and reduces overall fat content.
Putting beef vs. finely textured beef sales into perspective, schools have ordered 20 million pounds of the non-filler beef and just 1 million founds of finely textured beef. Because states were not given a choice their supplies over the last school year were likely a mixture of pink slime and pure beef products.
The cost for non-pink slime beef is approximately 3 percent higher.
Even before the ban on pink slime products beef could carry no more than 15% of the manufactured product.
While 60 percent of ground beef is purchased through the USDA public schools buy 40% of their remaining beef from private vendors.
Supermarkets, fast food chains and various other buyers have stopped accepting pink slime infused products which has led to almost all pink slime manufacturing facilities shutting down in the United States.