US: A fight about beef: Why to avoid ‘pink slime’
Posted: May 22nd, 2012 - 5:30pm
Source: New York Times
To the Editor:
Philip M. Boffey believes that the maker of lean, finely textured beef suffered an “unfair” fate partly because of the use of the “pink slime” moniker (“What If It Weren’t Called Pink Slime?,” Sunday Observer, May 13).
While that name no doubt played a role in the negative reaction to “lean finely textured beef,” or L.F.T.B., widespread objection to the filler was nonetheless legitimate.
Simply put, when consumers picked up a package of “100 percent ground beef,” they certainly didn’t expect it to contain 15 percent gelatinous filler made from highly pathogenic slaughterhouse scrap (reportedly nutritionally inferior to regular ground beef) that had been heated, centrifuged and ammoniated to render it safe for human consumption.
And what about that name, “pink slime”? When a product has been passed on to consumers without labeling, the manufacturer can hardly complain when its own euphemistic term for it, lean finely textured beef — a name previously known only to beef industry insiders — is not widely used by the public.
Secrecy creates a vacuum, and The Times’s 2009 reporting on the processed meat of Beef Products Inc. — the first public use of “pink slime” — readily filled it.
Bettina Elias Siegel
Houston, May 13, 2012
The writer, author of a blog called The Lunch Tray, originated the petition seeking to end the use of government-procured L.F.T.B. in the National School Lunch Program.