“Pink Slime” Optional According to USDA
After a media outrage on March 17, the USDA gave schools the option of opting out of using ground beef with the filler “pink slime”. The agency provided the following media statement, “USDA will provide schools with a choice to order product either with or without Lean Finely Textured Beef”. Lean Finely Textured Beef is the official product name for what most call “pink slime“.
I know, some are heralding this action as proof that consumer concerns change public policy. Honestly, I hope that’s accurate.
But, the option is only valid for product the USDA purchases for the National School Lunch Program. That’s only about 20% of the food that kids actually get served. Everything else individual school districts procure through USDA-approved vendors, who are not being required to eliminate “pink slime”. So we are not quite out of the woods yet, to getting “pink slime” actually removed. It’s still important to tell your local school district your desires.
“Pink Slime” Will Most Likely Still Be In The System
Can school districts sustain the additional costs? Most have already purchased commodities for next school year – will they be able to “opt-out” of already placed orders? Is this just another luxury that only wealthy school districts can afford?
“Pink slime” is already in the industrial chain. What’s the plan to get it out? The requirements for high yield and cheap food products haven’t disappeared in the last two weeks.
“Pink Slime” Is In More Than You Probably Realized
The USDA announcement sounds great. But, according to Beef Product International’s website “pink slime” is used in many other school lunchroom foods, such as taco meat, hot dogs, lunchmeat, chili, sausages, pepperoni, retail frozen entrées, roast beef, and canned foods.
The public outcry has been great, but it’s a lot worse than just hamburger patties folks. “Pink slime” is lots of other foods and still is being required to be labeled.
I do appreciate the people are actually discussing nutrition and agribusiness because of “pink slime”. Hopefully this is a wake-up call for Americans to realize that Big Food has a tremendous influence over the content of our food supply. People should be outraged! Perhaps Americans are finally beginning to see who the men are behind the curtains pulling our strings.