Pink Slime Controversy

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Kathleen Forsyth
The Truth about "Pink Slime"
In recent months there has been a massive number of debates, protests, and uproar about what has been dubbed "pink slime." The technical name for this substance is "lean, finely textured beef" or LFTB. LFTB is added to ground beef as filler and is made up of beef trimmings and connective tissue. This is then treated with ammonium hydroxide in order to protect against diseases such as E. Coli and Salmonella. Beef Products, Inc. (BPI), the product's manufacturer, has come under fire by the public after it was revealed that LFTB is an ingredient in the beef served in school lunches and much of the ground beef available in restaurants and major grocery chains, without being included on the label. This meat filler is in fact a perfectly acceptable ingredient and has been backed up by the USDA and many other private, unbiased sources. It may be too late to save LFTB from total eradication, but it is not too late to educate the consumer market on what they have been ingesting in their beef for the past two decades. There will be substantial consequences to losing LFTB as a beef filler and they will affect the beef market financially, socially, and legally. Lean, finely textured beef has been demonized by misinformation and despite the numerous studies proving it safe to be consumed, the filler will soon be completely eradicated, having impacts socially and economically.

LFTB has been a traditional filler ingredient since 1991 and is composed of the leftover beef trimmings. The trimmings are sanitized with food-grade ammonium hydroxide to protect against food-borne illnesses as part of a USDA inspected and approved process. (CITATION NEEDED) LFTB has been under speculation for many years, but only became a national hot topic recently. Gerald Zirnstein is the man who coined the phrase "pink slime," and used to be a scientist for the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). He was one of the first people to...
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