Musings of a Malcontent: I Heart Pink Slime!

Musings of a Malcontent: Environmental Irony in an Imperfect (but humorous?) World“Musings of a Malcontent” is a weekly op-ed by GlobalWarmingisReal contributor Carlyle Coash

It’s all connected.

Everything we do leads to something else.

Ripples in the water, baby.

Toss the rock and see the reaction. You never know how far those ripples will reach or in what ways they will affect the system as a whole. One simple ripple can turn into a great wave given enough distance. So it is important to look at how the parts fit together.

My ripple of the week?

Pink Slime.

Yeah – I know. Blog about global warming.

As you read on just contemplate how something like Pink Slime is connected. Humor me. What else are you going to do on a Friday?

Anyway – Pink Slime.

For you and me that is beef that contains ammonium hydroxide-treated ground connective tissue and meat scraps officially known as “Lean Beef Trimmings”. However a more popular name is Pink Slime. Not unlike the pink goo that is used in the making of chicken nuggets and other “chicken items” that you find at fast food places. In the case of the goo – and, I believe, the Pink Slime – the left over parts of the chicken (or cow) are all smooshed together – tendons, bones, eyeballs – into a pinkish paste (partially that way because of the blood – mmmm) and soaked in ammonia to kill all the horrible parasites. Then it is dyed and flavored to look and taste like white chicken meat. Or beef.

Sounds pretty good, eh?

One could venture a statement that to some extent the meat industry is being very recycling mindful by using every last piece of the animals they slaughter. Instead of tossing the carcasses, they are processing them into a tasty, chemically bleached fun-time meat product that the world can enjoy. That shows some care for the greater good. Right? There are likely more bottles in landfills than animal parts thanks to the recycling acumen of the meat industry. Wow they know how to care for the planet – and for us!

For those wondering what ammonium hydroxide is, well that’s ammonia. You know, the stuff you use to clean your kitchen and bathroom. That stuff. Kills germs. Fights bacteria. Good for all sorts of things and keeps things clean.

When I think of slapping a paddy of meat on the grill I think – ammonia. Heck, who doesn’t! They are so natural together. I can see why the meat industry has embraced this amazing substance as a key player in their development of such a prevalent meat by-product food item. I’ll even use ammonia in the marinade if I have any in the house. Add a little Trader Joe’s Soyaki sauce – magic. In a pinch Windex will do, although it tends to leave a blue stain. Luckily bleach gets that right out. Serve with some fries and a nice tossed salad and that’s one happy family afterwards.

Thank you ammonia.

So why is this in the news lately? Well the Pink Slime is used in about 70% of the ground beef in the U.S. Not long ago the United Department of Agriculture decided purchasing 7 million pounds of it to serve to schoolchildren through the National School Lunch Program. Since there are no requirements to label meat that contains the Pink Slime, there is really no way of knowing how much is used or even where it is being served.

So that’s great.

I guess McDonalds – and others – have stopped using it because of all the bad press it was getting. Not to mention several groups that think it is fairly unsafe to eat. Luckily for us the USDA has stepped in to assure all that good mushy ammonia filled beef goes to good use in our nation’s school system. Beef – a substance that growing bodies need to stay pure and healthy. Beef – that nourishes the soul and sparks the imagination thanks to that amazing ammonia additive. Beef – so that the youth of America can strive to bring this country back from the brink.

The children are our future after all.


Image source: The Alopecian Muse

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