Government Purchases 7 Million Pounds of Pink Slime For School Lunches

H. Scott English - Author
By

Jun. 16 2013, Updated 12:03 a.m. ET

Pink slime, ammonia-treated meat,may have been rejected by fast food joints like McDonald’s, Taco Bell and Burger King. But no one sent the government the memo. 7 million pounds of the stuff is being purchased by the U.S Department of Agriculture.

Pink Slime is officially termed “Lean Beef Trimmings,” the product is a ground-up combination of beef scraps, cow connective tissues and other beef trimmings that are treated with ammonium hydroxide to kill pathogens like salmonella and E. coli.

Microbiologist Carl Custer, who worked at the Food Safety Inspection Service for 35 years, told The Daily.

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“We originally called it soylent pink. We looked at the product and we objected to it because it used connective tissues instead of muscle. It was simply not nutritionally equivalent [to ground beef]. My main objection was that it was not meat.”

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Controversy surrounding “pink slime” stems from various safety concerns, particularly dangers associated with ammonium hydroxide, which can both be harmful to eat and has potential to turn into ammonium nitrate — a common component in homemade bombs..

Between 2005 and 2009, E. coli was found three times and salmonella 48 times, according to the Times, including two contaminated batches of 27,000 pounds of meat.

A recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that more than a third of high school students were eating vegetables less than once a day — “considerably below” recommended levels of intake for a healthy lifestyle that supports weight management and could reduce risks for chronic diseases and some cancers.

Do you think the Government should allow the sale of Pink Slime?

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