Poor Pink Slime. The frappéed beef scraps and connective tissues doused in ammonia used in food production has been called to the front of the class for being gross in a room full of politically correct food experts. What took you people so long to get all worked up about Pink Slime? Did you miss The Omnivore’s Dilemna? Fast Food Nation? Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle?
What’s next? Nasty Nitrates? According to the Food Chemical Codex, sodium nitrite, used to cure meat and prolong the shelf life of food, contains residual heavy metals, arsenic, and lead. Will you think about that the next time you bite into a Yu Dog at the Ballpark?
What is my point? I think Pink Slime got a raw deal. Anyone who pays attention to what they eat already knows about this crap. But somebody came up with a catchy name to grab the headlines and—BOOM—Pink Slime is public enemy number one.
My inbox is full of messages from burger joints now touting they are “Pink-Slime-free.” (Good news for marketing folks.) Locally, Elevation Burger has declared its 28 restaurants as “Pink Slime Free Zones.” Goody for them. They were smart enough to start by serving 100% USDA-certified organic and 100% grass-fed beef. Just be prepared to put your money where the pink slime was. (Check out City of Ate’s breakdown on the economics of a slime-free market.)
Carry on do-gooders. There are important battles to fight for healthy food. Just don’t get all high and mighty. Some of us still like to enjoy food in foreign countries that are lucky to have beef scraps to cook.