More on that Pink Stuff
Pink slime is so yesterday… What’s this we hear about white slime?
Back in February we wrote about the furore surrounding the revelation that fast food restaurants were using mechanically separated meat (dubbed “pink slime” by the popular press). The frenzy continued as people “discovered” that this type of ammonia-treated meat product made from scraps (including tallow, connective tissue, intestinal linings, and may also contain bits of bone) is widely used in a variety of other commercially available processed meats (such as hamburger and sausages). Although some of the public outrage and revulsion has dissipated, there are some people who continue to point out that ammonia hydroxide is not the only thing consumers should be aware of.
Health and science writer Lena Groeger reminds us that meat processing is not a new practice and offers a handy guide (complete with methods, alternative names, and photos) to the types of meat products available at your local supermarket.
Writing for the Huffington Post, Andy Bellati urges consumers to take a look at the bigger picture of industrial farming. His conclusion?
“Even if the meat industry were to announce the end of ammonia-treated beef, they should continue to be held accountable for a multitude of atrocious practices as well as a food product that poses various health risks.”
Tom Laskawy, executive director of the Food & Environment Reporting Network and food politics writer, posted a thought-provoking piece on Grist about the potentially harmful chemicals used in meat processing.
While the debate about meat continues to simmer, we do want to point out that we applaud the whole-beast-butchery movement, or what some refer to as nose-to-tail eating, which is a return to ancient forms of cuisine that used the entire animal (such as charcuterie).
The bottom line is, if you want meat that’s safe for consumption; grow your own free-range, organic livestock; do your own butchering; and prepare the meat yourself. If you’re unable to do that, look for local butchers who source fresh, locally-grown, free-range, organic animals. Ask lots of questions and watch them prepare the cuts you want. And whatever you do, avoid the processed meats.