Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Pink Slime is Packed with Protein

When you see this picture, what comes to mind?

A. Pink slime
B. Lean beef - full of protein, iron, B vitamins, magnesium and other nutrients

If you said B, you're correct.

The photo is lean finely textured beef - a mix of fatty beef by-products and connective tissue, ground up and treated with ammonium hydroxide (used commonly to also make foods such as chocolate) and then blended with ground beef. It is completely safe and natural, according to the USDA.  It is cheaper than other beef, too.

Yet many national news sources have portrayed it to be as disgusting and harmful as it looks.

Because it is all over the news, the USDA has now given in and told schools that they don't have to serve the product - it is their choice. Several grocery chains have chosen to stop selling the meat. The plant that makes it has temporarily suspended production at 3 of 4 plants, to try to deal with their loss in revenue.

Come on people, just because something looks gross doesn't mean it is harmful or not nutritious. A few examples:

Chicken gizzards: high in protein and potassium and low in fat

Low fat cottage cheese: High in protein, minerals and B vitamins

This week, the manufacturer of "pink slime" created a new website BeefIsBeef.com, to try to set the facts straight about their product.

Here is my attempt to spread the word:

A few quotes:
“It’s safe, it’s leaner than other beef sources on the market, and it’s less costly.” - Kevin Concannon, USDA undersecretary for food, nutrition and consumer sciences

"The process used to produce LFTB is safe and has been used for a very long time. And adding LFTB to ground beef does not make that ground beef any less safe to consume." USDA, Dr. Elisabeth Hagen

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