March 8, 2012

Pink Slime

Is this a new HackMaster monster?

Nope, just a colloquial term for a meat by-product that evidently is being added to a large portion of the ground beef being made available for retail.

ABC News posted an article yesterday about how some USDA scientists objected to what the industry loving calls "pink slime".  Of course, the call it something innocuous when speaking to the public.  The scientists were overruled by the head of the USDA who, when she stepped down, immediately took a position with the manufacturer of pink slime.

To be fair, she "only" made at least $1.2M over the last 17 years.  That means selling the country out only costs $70K a year.  That's chump change, wait...that's change made from chumps, and we're the chumps.

Now I used to work in a grocery store meat department.  Granted this was 22 years ago, but at least back then we got our meat packaged for grinding.  It wasn't flash-frozen bricks of pre-ground which could be passed off as "fresh" because it wasn't "technically" frozen and wasn't very old.  The grinding meat looked just like the meat sent for butchering except it was de-boned and had the appropriate amount of fat added so all we had to do was rough cut it and grind.  The meat was usually a set fat percentage, which we verified, and if we needed fattier ground beef we had to add fat from our cutting line in the store.

People always ask for the leanest ground beef, but if given a taste-test, which we did sometimes in the store, they always chose the 70% lean beef.  Go figure.

If you want the good stuff, most meat departments in grocery stores still grind their own meat.  Quite a few do it where they are visible to the public.  Feel free to ask your butcher about their ground beef.  Odds are, they don't use any pink slime in their local grind, but who knows in the prepacked stuff.

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