Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Institutional Food and Pink Slime

I had the unfortunate experience for 2-3 weeks of "Meals on Wheels" about 5 years ago when I was recuperating from surgery. It was disgusting stuff, like all institutional food, whether for nursing homes, hospitals, or school cafeterias. I hope to die quickly so never have to eat that crap again!

I read Water for Elephants last week while sitting in waiting rooms for medical appointments. The main character Jacob says: "I am ninety. Or ninety-three. One or the other." At the beginning of Water for Elephants, he is living out his days in a nursing home, hating every second of it, but especially the institutional "food". (The book is mainly flashback stories about his days working in a circus as a young man, and is an interesting look at circus life.)

Remember Pink Slime (lean, finely textured beef)? Well.... it's coming back, sort of anyway, possibly from a new player: Cargill. When the reports about it from ABC News surfaced last spring, many institutional customers stopped buying the stuff, forcing one of its main makers, Beef Products International, to shut down three of its four plants.

"But now pink slime, or at least the company most associated with it, is back yet again, and with a vengeance. The Twitterverse is atwitter with news that BPI is launching a $1.2 billion defamation suit against ABC News and three whistleblowers—two federal employees and a former BPI worker —who spoke to the news network. 

ABC News is calling the suit "frivolous,"  AP reports, and that seems right. All ABC and the whistleblowers did was to describe in detail how the stuff is made. You can't convincingly blame the messenger because you don't like how the message went over with the public.

Meanwhile, Cargill, the vast agribiz company, is quietly contemplating ramping up its own production of "lean, finely textured beef." A company spokesperson recently told the trade journal Food Navigator (registration required) that it had done focus groups on the stuff shortly after the media storm last spring, and found that concern over it was already "in consumers' rearview mirror and fading fast." The spokesperson added that some of its customers—big institutional buyers of ground beef—have expressed interest in buying pink slime again. Cargill is even prepared to start labeling products containing the elixir with the phrase, "includes finely textured beef," it told the trade journal.

Whereas BPI famously uses ammonia to kill the pathogens lurking in the meat scraps that go into pink slime, Cargill uses citric acid, Food Navigator reports. That strikes me as a bit more palatable than ammonia." Source


  1. It's to bad that the modern food production has to use such nasty chemicals to kill the people killing bacteria's but I wonder if they eat their own shit products that they are feeding the rest of the world I'll bet NOT but their so dam cheap they can not take the extra time to do the job right but they don't think twice about feeding the rest of food eating world I think they should be dipped in their own AMNONIA Tanks and see if they get sickened by their own food products. Most of our meat is treated in the same way it does not matter if it is chicken,beef or pork and we wonder why the illness in this country is a problem

    1. I think it;s a plan to reduce the population, LOL.

  2. I did notice a bit of news the other day saying the life expectancy of uneducated women dropped five years since 1990. So the government plan to reduce the population is working. Pink Slime is the new Soylent Green.

    1. Yup. But maybe GMO's are also the new Soylent Green...


I'd love to hear what you think about my posts! We all learn together.