Perhaps you’ve had your fill of news stories detailing the recent revolt against “lean finely textured beef” — now known to the world as pink slime (bad band name). With retailers — including major grocers like Safeway and Giant — public schools, and even sodium-swollen McDonald’s swearing off the stuff, sludge manufacturer Beef Products, Inc. plans to close three of its four enormous plants.
A picky (read neurotic) eater who shuns all but the very occasional organic ground beef bite, I wasn’t a blink surprised to read about pink slime’s secret history (lean beef “trimmings” and other parts washed in a disinfecting solution of water and ammonia and liquefied by centrifuge) nor its sneaky function (to bulk up ground beef on the cheap).
But I have been intrigued and engaged by the larger country-wide conversation this controversy’s spurring. Parents up in arms. Nutritionists making their pro/con cases. Smart, nuanced blog entries reminding us to consider the obvious evils of other popular/processed American meat products, like the common cold cut, for instance.