"Fat, sinew, bloody effluvia, and bits of meat." Oh, and ammonia.
This is what you're eating when you buy and prepare ground beef from most grocery stores in the U.S. today. It's also what you're eating when you eat a fast food burger or grab a quick bite at your local diner, most likely.
The latest issue of Mary Jane's Farm spreads some light on what's really in our ground beef. And the results of what they found are enough to make this particular blogger swear off ground beef for good. The article isn't online yet, but here are a few choice quotes:
- "Ten years ago, the rejected fat, sinew, bloody effluvia, and occasional bits of meat cut from carcasses in the slaughterhouse were a low-value waste product called 'trimmings' that were sold primarily as pet food. No more. Now, Beef Products Inc. of South Dakota transforms trimmings into something they call 'boneless lean beef.' In huge factories, the company liquefies the trimmings and uses a spinning centrifuge to separate the sinews and fats from the meat, leaving a mash that has been described as 'pink slime,' which is then frozen into small squares and sold as a low-cost additive to hamburger."
- "BPI produces more than 7 million pounds of the mash per week, making it the world's largest manufacturer of this frozen product. BPI explains that its product is mixed into most of the ground beef sold in the U.S. - at major fast-food restaurants, supermarkets, and school lunch programs." (Emphasis mine.)
But that's not all! See, the problem when you turn garbage bits of animal carcasses into "pink slime" to sell as a food product is that there's an issue with pathogens, such as E. coli. And when samples of the pink slime were tested, the tests came back showing that the slime was rampant with harmful bacteria. Now, one might think that the best idea would be to decide not to sell pink slime to feed to humans, but there's no money in that, is there? So BPI cleverly started disinfecting the slime with ammonia. And convinced the FDA to allow them to list it as a "processing ingredient" so that we wouldn't know we were eating ammonia.
We're eating garbage, people. Literally -- garbage that's been "cleaned up" with ammonia and sold to us mixed with ground beef, shrink wrapped for convenience at our local megamart.
Watch Video: Why Grass Fed Beef?
What Can You Do?
The obvious step is to swear off ground beef. Becoming a vegetarian is looking better and better by the day, isn't it? If you can't live without your grilled burgers and meatloaf (and I can relate), look for sources of organic, local beef, and ask for it to be ground by your butcher or grind it yourself.
All I know is, I will never feed pink slime and ammonia to my family again.