|A product shot of what Beef Products Inc. calls "lean beef" and others call "pink slime."|
Pink slime -- aka "lean finely textured beef," meat salvaged off the carcass through a process of heat, centrifuging, and ammonia-gassing -- is the bugaboo of the day, as impossible to avoid in the media as it apparently is in hamburgers. It's a story that hits most of the sustainable food movement's talking points: the unappetizing secrets behind many processed foods, the lengths to which the meat industry takes to keep costs low, the close ties between government and industry (the USDA undersecretary who allowed pink slime to become an unlabeled ingredient
later made $1.2 million as a BPI board member). And the children! Think of the children.
did a survey of major grocery stores and reported that, if you want to eliminate pink slime from your hamburger meat, Whole Foods and Costco are safe to buy ground beef from
, but Safeway and Albertson's aren't. That's, of course, provided you also avoid pre-made chili, pepperoni, meatballs, taco meat, and dozens of other products that manufacturer BPI proudly claims lean finely textured beef is good in
. (SFoodie's favorite section of the BPI website: a PDF titled "Ammonia: Essential for Life."
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