With my partner Bob Hibbert …
Andrew Sullivan echoes some of our earlier comments in support of LFTB – aka ”pink slime.” Since our last post, this issue has cost jobs, will likely raise the price of beef, and sets a precedent for sloppy journalism. All of this without a single piece of evidence legitimately questioning the safety or nutritional value of the product.
In response to the massive publicity, much of which mis-characterizes the product (and often blatantly misrepresented the facts), USDA has issued a new policy allowing school lunch programs more choices in selecting beef, including the option that would exclude lean finely textured beef. A thought – as people decry the environmental issues of modern agriculture, this is a product that provided maximum use of a cow, resulting in a safe, lean beef product. I wonder what the same folks think about the lauded Native American use of every part of a hunted buffalo.
Original post -
The Huffington Post has posted an article regarding the use of lean trimmings in school lunches – a product that the press has derisively termed “pink slime.” ABC news has picked up the story as well, and has oddly identified former FSIS officials as “whistle blowers” for talking about a product that has been included in the publicly available definition for beef patty mix for years, as well as in FSIS’ regulations. ABC does accurately describe the use of ammonia gas to sanitize the product, unlike famous chef Jamie Oliver who dumped ammonia on meat in a misleading demonstration.
There may be an issue with respect to labeling disclosure deserving of further examination, as the general public is unlikely to explore the FSIS regulations and policy documents. However, the ammonia issue is misleading and ignores years of science demonstrating its safe use as a processing aid. It will be interesting to see if public pressure leads to rulemaking or policy change with respect to product produced using advanced meat recovery techniques.