For centuries, people have consumed chopped up animal parts. The simple cuts were called steak and chops etc. The more finely chopped up foods were called sausage and ground beef.
But now, thanks to Jamie Oliver and the paranoid "foodies," people think even more finely chopped up beef - with undesired fat conveniently removed - should be called "pink slime" and therefore be banned from consumption. Isn't it amazing what a gross name can accomplish in a sea of ignorant people looking for the next trend in outrage?
I'm a vegetarian, so I don't have a hot dog in this fight. So maybe that helps me take a step back and see how silly the "pink slime" debate has become.
The facts show that the processed beef product derided as "pink slime" is indeed beef. In fact, it's highly lean beef. It's not much different than the beef version of a Pringle (a yummy potato snack made from mashed up potatoes that get reconstituted into uniform sized chips for easy stacking.)
So once it became clear that there's nothing evil about reformulated beef, the food fear mongers started worrying about the fact that ammonium hydroxide is added to the product. Hey isn't that the stuff they put in Windex? Must be poison, right? Therefore, "pink slime" is not only gross, it's dangerous.
Ammonium hydroxide is a fancy word for small amounts of ammonia plus water. Small amounts of this chemical are sprayed on the beef during processing to change the Ph level of the food and kill microbes that otherwise could be dangerous. The ammonia in this case makes the food SAFER to eat, not less safe. But don't bother putting facts in front of the organotroids. They're not interested.
What clowns-with-agendas, like Jamie Oliver, won't tell you is that ammonium hydroxide has been SAFELY added to a large number of other foods including: baked goods, cheeses, chocolates, caramel, puddings, relishes, soy protein concentrates (yuck!), snack foods, jams, jellies, sports drinks, beer, breakfast cereals, eggs and fish.
Why? Because "natural" bacteria can be very dangerous. Just ask the folks affected by the Jack-in-the-Box disaster.
For a balanced take on pink slime hysteria issue, read this.
On one level, I keep wanting to be "green" because I believe in energy efficiency and I don't like pollution, and history has shown what happens when we let big businesses run around un-regulated. But when so MANY eco-priests drop so many half-truths and lies upon their believers, I cannot see them as any better than the Big Oil, Big Coal and Big Agra interests they profess to oppose.