The irony of ‘slime’
April 19, 2012 4 Comments
Well, even though it’s settled down some, there is a huge ‘dent’ of damage left over the so-called ‘pink slime’ debate held recently. People lost their jobs. Businesses closed. Consumers were scared. And all for nothing.
But one of the biggest parts is the irony of the entire issue of finely textured beef. Opponents, just as it is many times when people knee-jerk react before they look at facts or think about consequences, actually hurt their own cause.
Now I know you should never assume, but just for grins, let’s say these finely textured beef opponents also claim to care about the environment and food safety.
What are they fighting against? Finely textured beef is perfectly safe. When steaks and roasts are cut, it creates the “trim” that becomes ground beef. The compaines supplying lean finely textured beef use a process to remove a lot of the fat from the lean beef in the trim, which is then added to ground beef as a concentrated, lean source of protein. It may also be SAFELY treated, just as many other foods are today, to eliminate possible bacteria contamination. In short, the beef is safe, so says the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service.
Here’s more. Finely textured beef eliminates waste because it uses all the true beef available. If it’s not used, the extra lean beef is thrown away. Is that good for the earth, or for hungry people?
According to the amount gained, if finely textured beef isn’t used, beef demand would require another 1.5 million cattle. Let’s see, 1.5 million times all the extra feed, water, extra space, etc. etc. etc. Does that make sense?
None of this yet deals with the bottom line. Without finely textured beef, the price of your hamburger goes up, for no reason.
Then there is the issue of labeling. Finely textured beef is just that…beef. I guess the label could say “beef, with added beef.” Would that be better?
Finely textured beef has been around for more than two decades, when the technology and idea became available to not waste this valuable lean protein. All these folks who jumped on the ‘slime’ bandwagon so fast, without looking at facts or consequences should know this. Lean finely textured beef is not necessarily ‘pink,’ It’s actually very environmentally ‘green.’ Next time, they should stop and think before their actions damage an industry, hurt other people, and hurt the environment they claim to care so much about.
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