C. E. Clark believes it is her duty and responsibility as a researcher and writer to bring important information to her readers.
Jamie Oliver demonstrates how Pink Slime is made.
The Issues with Pink Slime
Pink Slime is in our food. Pink Slime used to be used for dog foods and other animal foods. Read on and learn where it comes from and how it is processed, what foods it is in, and why you may not want it there. Why isn't the USDA requiring it to be on food labels? Is it in your child's school lunch?
Pink Slime is a filler used to make ground meats go further. Sort of like the oatmeal or crackers you may use to make meatloaf or salmon loaf so you will not need as much ground sirloin or salmon for your recipe.
Pink Slime is the ‘filler’ used in processed meats, which in turn are used in convenience foods, fast foods, and so forth. The process of making Pink Slime almost makes hot dogs and processed lunchmeats look wholesome! Except now it is in those meat products. So what exactly is Pink Slime?
What Exactly IS Pink Slime?
Wikipedia describes and defines Pink Slime as the following: “Pink slime is salvage meat that is a food additive consisting of heated and processed beef scraps largely waste material from connective tissue, integument (tough outer protective layer such as a skin, membrane, or cuticle), digestive and rectal tissue, and spinal scraps, treated with ammonium hydroxide to kill bacteria.”
These are the parts of cows that were previously not useable in human food. These are the parts of a cow that were previously used for dog and chicken food. With the invention of this process used to turn these undesirable meat scraps that previously were not even fit to be put in hot dogs or lunchmeat, garbage meat scraps can now be fed to people at a much higher profit than when they were turned into dog and chicken food.
Pink Slime is mass-produced by placing the above described scraps in a centrifuge not so different from your automatic washing machine. The scraps are spun at high speed, which separates the tiny meat scraps from the fat. Next, to kill the E.coli and salmonella that is invariably included in this scrap mix, a solution of chlorine bleach and water is used to wash it. It is drained, leaving only traces of the ammonia behind in the meat, and then minced/ground and prepared to be added to ground beef as a filler to make the ground beef go further.
Ammonia is toxic to the human body, so even though there is some ammonia in the blood stream of humans most of the time, those levels must be kept at what are considered safe levels. (For what are safe levels for adults, children, and babies, copy and paste this URL into your browser: http://www.highammonialevels.net/ )
Pink Slime Is In Our Food and There Is No Requirement To List It On the Label!
Pink Slime is used in ground beef that is put in convenience foods like chili, meat sauces that may include pasta, tacos, burgers, and TV dinners. Pink Slime is included in most fast food burgers from well-known fast food restaurants.
According to Jamie Oliver, famous English chef, our government allows ground beef to contain up to 15% of this Pink Slime. Oliver further says that Pink Slime is already in 70% of all ground beef products. The USDA allows Pink Slime to be in food served to children in school lunchrooms without informing parents or anyone that it is included in the food. The USDA does NOT require that the presence of Pink Slime, or the traces of ammonia still in it, be listed on product labels.
What a boon for the meat processing industry! Turning dog food and other animal food into people food! What’s next?
The Latest On This Issue
Associated Press writer, Candace Choi, writes in the Christian Science Monitor today, June 5, 2012, that the USDA provides up to 20% of the meat that is sold to schools for school lunches through contracts it makes directly with meat product companies.
Due to the recent controversy over “pink slime,” the USDA has given schools a choice this year as to whether they want to purchase meat containing pink slime, or not. All states except Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota, have declined to purchase meat products containing the filler known as pink slime.
As a result of the public outcry against pink slime, not only in conjunction with school lunches, but in products offered in grocery stores and fast food restaurants, companies that provide pink slime are reported to be “reeling.” Their business is being sharply curtailed by the public outcry.
One company, Choi reports, Beef Products, Inc., located in South Dakota, has been forced to close 3 of its 4 plants. The downside of that is, of course, job losses.
The fast food restaurant chain, Five Guys Burgers, is reported as saying they will continue to include pink slime in their meat offerings.
On June 5, 2017 a lawsuit began that has been brought against ABC News for what the petitioning company calls severely damaging reports that nearly destroyed it, as described above. The lawsuit is in progress at the time of this writing and the results will be shared as soon as they become available. This lawsuit could decide the future of Pink Slime.
Jamie Oliver Demonstrates How Pink Slime Is Made
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Anger that meat additive "Pink Slime" was used in U.S. public school lunches sparked a social networking campaign and a petition signed by 250,000 to put pressure on the USDA. It worked!
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on March 06, 2014:
Thank you for commenting Deborah-Diane. I don't go out of my way to eat meat and stopped doing that a long time ago. I still do eat meat occasionally, but very seldom anymore. It costs too much and if you think about it, meat is the cause more often than anything else, of food-born illness.
Deborah-Diane from Orange County, California on March 03, 2014:
This information is so shocking, and I appreciate your update. However, I was stunned to learn that chains, like Five Guys, continues to use pink slime in their meat. I'm glad we have cut out a lot of meat from our diet!
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on October 16, 2013:
Thank you Shyron, for letting me know about that issue with the photo labeling!
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on June 27, 2013:
KawikaChannm thank you for reading, commenting, voting on and sharing this hub! Vegetarianism is the most healthful and cost effective.
Kawika Chann from Northwest, Hawaii, Anykine place on June 23, 2013:
Oh my! My family and I used to be heavy beef eaters, but now - armed with information from writers such as yourself and other prominent sources, we have drastically cut our consumption and are very selective of where we get our meat from. Thanks for the info - I really like Chef Jamie. He always tries to do the right thing for people.
Upvoted/useful/follow. Peace. Kawi.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on May 10, 2013:
Thank you Aunt Jimi, for reading and commenting on this article and for sharing your thoughts. I suspect you're right, and I agree that vegetarianism would solve a lot of problems for individuals and world hunger.
Aunt Jimi from The reddest of the Red states! on May 09, 2013:
Seems to me that not eating meat at all would solve the problem of wondering if Pink Slime is in your food. Isn't pink slime what they make hot dogs, lunch meats, and sausage out of? I have read that some things that look like fish or chicken really aren't what they're marketed to be.
Excellent informative hub. Sharing.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on January 28, 2013:
Thank you for your comment Shyron. It's true that one must watch their ground beef/chuck/sirloin being ground to know for sure what's going into it.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on January 26, 2013:
AlliOop, thank you for reading and commenting on this hub! I grew up on a farm and we had all the livestock that you mention, but today I actually prefer to eat as little meat, poultry, and fish as possible. I think it's more efficient to eat the veggies before running them through another animal, and less expensive too.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on January 25, 2013:
Alecia, thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!
Shyron E Shenko from Texas on January 24, 2013:
You are fortunate AlliOop that you have hunting friends. My father and grandfather were hunters, my grandfather also had a farm with cows, pigs and chickens for meat.
AlliOop on January 24, 2013:
I don't hunt either Shyron, but thankfully I have lots of friends who do and when they kill more than they can eat, they always send the excess my way. I usually only have to buy red meat maybe two months out of the year. Healthy and cost effective. What could be better?
Shyron E Shenko from Texas on January 22, 2013:
Thank you Alicia for setting me straight, but I don't hunt, and if you buy from a meat market, you still don't know what your eating.
Alicia on January 22, 2013:
Another great alternative is game meats. Not only do you know exactly what you're getting, but they are typically leaner meats and the animals have fed on a natural diet, and not the processed feeds given to commercially raised animals.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on January 15, 2013:
Thank you for reading and commenting on this hub Aunt Jimi! Good question!
Aunt Jimi from The reddest of the Red states! on January 13, 2013:
Is this stuff really so different from what's been going into processed meats all along? Hotdogs, sausage, lunch meats and so forth?
Up and interesting.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on September 08, 2012:
Thank you for your interesting comment, Shyron. Quite a story!
Shyron E Shenko from Texas on September 07, 2012:
I am glad you found my comment,
Once I sent my two boys to summer camp for 2 weeks and I went with them becacuse they were small, several other mothers did the same thing.
You are going to say what has that to do with Pink Slime?
One of the other mothers was telling me about her in-laws who came to her house for dinner almost everyday.
She was so upset because they were eating all her food, I asked her what she did about it.
This was before Pink Slime was ever spoken of. The woman told me she bought dog food and prepaired it in several ways and served it to her in-laws who, were raving about the food they ate it all so that nothing was left for the woman and her husband.
When someone ask how she made the delicious food and she told them that it was dog food.
They stopped the daily visits.
I don't know if that contained Pink Slime, but it reminded me of, what that womsn told me.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on September 06, 2012:
Thank you for your comment from so long ago Shyron. I just now found your comment from 5 months ago! I have no idea why it was put in the folder I found it in, but it was not alone. Now I'm trying to respond to comments that were left in some cases months ago, like yours.
Yes, Pink Slime IS yucky!
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on June 05, 2012:
Just finished updating this hub due to the latest news from Associated Press and the Christian Science Monitor on the subject of Pink Slime.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on April 20, 2012:
70% of fast food containing ground beef), convenience foods (containingn ground beef), and packaged ground meat now contain Pink Slime, and it doesn't have to be listed in the ingredients. Like Jamie Oliver says, the only way you can be sure you aren't eating Pink Slime is to watch your butcher prepare the ground sirloin yourself. Thank you for your comments Shyron!
Shyron E Shenko from Texas on April 16, 2012:
yuck! That is all I have to say, makes me sick to think about it, almost like the song "Cats in the Kettle" that kept me from eating Chinese food for months.
It is just too gross!!!
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on April 11, 2012:
SUnshine: Thank you for your comments. Agree with you. I think Bob (Diogenes) put it so very eloquently. Just remember where most of the pink slime goes. Into convenience foods, fast foods, and foods that have only a trace of what passes for 'meat' in them.
If you're disgusted now, you should read the hub about how chickens are raised and fattened for market. The hub is titled: Chicken Factory Farms Are Shocking." Think you can find it by going to my profile page at the bottom where all the hubs I've commented on are listed. It's on page 2 of those listings.
SUnshine on April 11, 2012:
I am so happy I read this article, that is sooo disgusting. I can't believe our "Government" is allowing this to be fed to Americans, again I'm disgusted!!!!
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on April 06, 2012:
Blissfulwriter: Thank you for your comments. Meat, poultry, and fish, is where most food born illnesses/diseases are contracted.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on April 04, 2012:
Bob: Processed foods often have little surprises in them, that's a fact. You are so funny! I love your sense of humor. Thank you for reading and commenting on this hub!
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on April 03, 2012:
Aunt Jimi: Ammonia is toxic to the human body, and traces of it are left behind from the process used to kill the E. coli and salmonella.
Thank you for your comments!
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on April 02, 2012:
R2-D2-2: Agree. People should know what is in their food and they should be able to decide if they want to eat certain things. Food should be labeled clearly and there should always be alternatives for people who might not want certain things in their food.
Thank you for your comments!
Shyron E Shenko from Texas on April 02, 2012:
Yuck, gag, sick....
BlissfulWriter on April 02, 2012:
Thanks for informing us. Being health conscious, I'm not going to buy ground beef anymore.
diogenes from UK and Mexico on April 01, 2012:
Rectal tissue! From a pig!
Now I have to buy a new laptop, have just thrown up on this one.
I'll never eat anything processed again, I swear to you.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on April 01, 2012:
Tara: Thank you for your comments! I agree; eeeewwww!
Aunt Jimi from The reddest of the Red states! on March 31, 2012:
The bad part seems to be the ammonia that's left behind in the 'meat.' Otherwise it's no worse than hot dogs or processed lunch meats. Interesting.
R2-D2-2 from USA on March 31, 2012:
Watched the video you linked to about how Pink Slime is made. Agree that if Pink Slime is in school lunches or processed or fast food, it should say so on the label or somewhere so people know. People should be able to decide if they are going to eat Pink Slime or not.
Tara Miller from Port Charlotte, FL on March 31, 2012:
Great Hub and very informative and might i add eeeewwww!