Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Why Are You Taking Away My Pink Slime?

Des Moines Register:
The social media-driven frenzy that caused supermarket chains and fast food purveyors to quit using so-called “pink slime” beef additives will likely drive up hamburger prices further, cattle traders and a supermarket spokeswoman said Tuesday.
“The industry is telling us that the removal of this filler is the equivalent of losing 1.5 million head of cattle, and cattle already are in tight supply,” said Hy-Vee spokeswoman Ruth Comer. Hy-Vee is pulling ground beef with the “lean finely textured trimmings,” also referred pejoratively as “pink slime” from its shelves.
Comer said industry guesses on hamburger price increases range from 3 cents per pound to 25 cents per pound. Hamburger prices already have risen by 70 cents per pound, about 25 percent, in the 24 months since February, 2010 because of tight U.S. cattle supplies.
Beef Products International of Dakota Dunes, S.D., said it was closing three of its four plants at least temporarily after a firestorm erupted on social media in the month over “pink slime,” the lean beef additives made from scraps at slaughterhouses.
Although there have been no reported cases of illness or disease traced to the product, a collective revulsion factor fed by postings on Facebook, You Tube and an ABC News series prompted the withspread halt to use of a product that has been on supermarket meat counters since the early 1990s.
“It’s crazy,” said Des Moines meat wholesale Phil Barber of Brewer Meats, which he said has not knowingly used meat with the filler. Barber nonetheless said of the fillings, “they’re free of e-coli, and they’re 95 percent fat free.”
I don't really get the outrage.  I mean, really, I eat sausage, hot dogs, bologna, chicken fingers, and I have apparently been eating "pink slime" in my burgers, which I love.  Sure, the process sounds gross, but come on, try describing sex to someone, it isn't exactly all neat and clean, but people really enjoy it.  This pink slime outrage is lost on me.  Give me some pnik slime in my burgers.

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