What is Pink Slime And Is It Safe?


What is pink slime? My social media timelines have been filled with these stories since late last week, but honestly I have not had much time to respond. And honestly, I do not feel qualified to respond. However, thanks to the wonder of social networking, I have friends who have expressed their opinions.

Last Wednesday, ABC News aired a Special Investigation into what a “whistleblower” termed pink slime. The product referred to is beef trimmings. The lean meat portion of these trimmings is mechanically separated from the fat to produce lean ground beef.

I have taken many meats courses in college, but that makes me no expert on the topic. Instead of my regurgitating facts, I thought it would be good if I passed on links to a few friends who will be able to answer your questions and give better insight on the process.

Jamie Oliver – disagrees with of “pink slime” Photo from google images

Dr Janeal Yancy is a mom blogger from Arkansas. She is also a meat scientists who works regularly with these lean ground beef products. She explains some of this process in her blog.

Jenny Dewey of Chico Locker and Sausage Company works with her family as a butcher. If anyone is able to share some insight on meat products, it should be your butcher. Jenny was also featured in this month’s AgProud series.

Amanda Radke, editor of BEEF Daily, shares an insight from the community in her update.

Hyatt Frobose, Kansas State student shares his thoughts at Food For Thought after seeing the process of making lean beef products at Beef Products Inc.

Travis Arp, student in Colorado also shares his experience of the processes at BPI.

Food Insight answers some good questions on the use of Ammonium Hydroxide as it relates to food safety.

Jeff Fowle, California rancher shares his thoughts and adds a little “Common Sense” to the conversation as he addresses the situation.

Bottom line, we’re not talking about pink slime. We’re talking about some one who saw an opportunity to reduce waste and turn that opportunity into a safe, lean, nutritious product in high demand on grocery store shelves. Please don’t sell out to the emotional hype being drummed up by the media until you do a little more research on the topic. The links above are from people who are very good resources on the topic. We do have a safe food supply.

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About Ryan Goodman (956 Articles)
Ryan Goodman lives in Helena, MT and comes from an Arkansas cattle ranching family. Since growing up on a family cow/calf and stocker-calf operation, he has spent the last several years learning about farming systems across the country. A graduate of Oklahoma State, Ryan is currently working on a Master's degree from the University of Tennessee. He works continuously to share his story of ranch life through community outreach and social media, all while encouraging others in agriculture to do the same.

8 Comments on What is Pink Slime And Is It Safe?

  1. Caryl Veliseik // March 12, 2012 at 6:07 PM // Reply

    Farmers are constantly under attack by a number of groups, many of which have no facts to back up what they are saying about farmers and our food supply. We, in Maryland, not only have groups like PETA to contend with but we are also under attack by those who purport to be trying to “Save the Bay” and blame farmers, in error, for most of the Bay and water pollution in the area. Because farmers are few in number today, due mostly to their own expertise in what they do and their ability to do so much, so well, ag has a much smaller (quieter) voice. We were told recently, at a very good first-time conference at the local community college here in Frederick, which is a large agricultural county, that “farming has a very bright future in Maryland – because everyone has to eat”. The problem is, so many consumers have a disconnect as to where their food comes from.
    We need to get much louder and do a lot more education at all levels.

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    • Caryl, We are not blaming the farmers. It is the packing houses and unscrupulous stores trying to make more money to be competitive. Some fat in ground beef is OK and some of it isn’t and that’s the problem. Why does the US Government authorize it for schools?

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  2. Virtuallyjm // March 12, 2012 at 11:54 PM // Reply

    Thanks for posting these resources, Ryan. I’m going to read them and hope to have a better understanding of the issue. It was certainly scary to hear the news stories. The announcers speak in tones of urgency — which scares the living heck out of us!

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    • No problem Janice. Meat science and food safety are definitely complicated topics. I didn’t even want to start because I knew I would get my terminology mixed up. These folks listed will be able to answer any questions you may have.

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  3. Thank you for setting the facts straight about pink slime. I have seen it all over Facebook and Twitter and people are getting the wrong idea about it. Now I can just direct them to these links! Regardless of it’s silly name, it’s still beef and that is what people need to know. Way to get the word out about our beef!

    -Nicole
    Where the Blacktop Begins

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  4. The pink slime is a ridiculous concept. Thank god for social media to spread the word of this “falsetto meat!” All of these articles are incredible and very informational about the facts. I have heard that they have started implementing this pink slime into cafeteria food in schools?

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    • If you’ll take a look at the articles, you will see it is just another beef product. I’m not afraid to eat to it, which I have and so has most every one else. But that’s the great thing about choice in this country. If we want something different, and can afford to do so, by all means, go ahead and buy a different product.

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  5. Lean finely textured beef is great for lowfat casseroles!

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