Beef in this country terrifies me. When mad cow disease was hitting the press I remained unconvinced that it had never broken out in the United States. People called me paranoid. Then of course mad cow finally was discovered way back in 2003 and still shows up occasionally. The statistic that only 1-2000 cows are tested by the toothless USDA, and the lovely nickname that the beef industry gives to cows that literally drop dead for seemingly no reason, downer cows, continues making eating beef a game of Russian roulette. If the notion that my food could actually kill me isn’t enough all I have to do is look at any footage from any CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation.)
Then came the cherry on the beef sundae. Pink Slime. The New York Times ran an article last December about the safety of beef processing in which the company Beef Products Inc, who created the stuff, was highlighted. “Pink slime is a product that includes the fatty trimmings that were once relegated to pet food and cooking oil. It is ground into a mashlike substance, laced with ammonia to kill pathogens, frozen into blocks or chips and is then used as a cheap additive in industrial ground beef.” Gross. There is no expert in any known universe who is going to convince me that ingesting ammonia is healthy. Pink slime is in industrial hamburger patties, industrial ground beef that is sold in grocery stores, in our schools and not only is it legal the ammonia treatment isn’t all that effective.
For me, that was it. We all have to make our food choices based on a variety of factors. If you are going to eat beef please make sure that it is grass-fed and finished. Without a doubt it’s going to cost more, but given what is at stake, it’s a small price to pay.
- Ask Umbra on avoiding pink slime in ground beef and flushing kitty litter (grist.org)
- Safeway Recalls Butcher’s Cut Frozen Ground Beef Patties (eon.businesswire.com)
- Pink Slime in Fast Food Burgers (eatdrinkbetter.com)
- Illinois-based Valley Meats Issues Customer and Media Clarification (prnewswire.com)
- New Recall: 1 Million Pounds of Ground Beef (organicauthority.com)