It was only a month ago that McDonald’s came under fire for selling ‘pink slime’ chicken nuggets to their customers. When consumers found out about the process that the meat goes through to become nuggets that never deteriorate, they took to Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets to showcase their displeasure at being duped.
McDonald’s, in order to please their customer base, decided that it would no longer use the ‘pink slime’ in the chicken nuggets they serve to the public. But now, meat consumers have another reason to consider going vegetarian if not all the way vegan.
According to a recent ABC News report, 70 percent of ground beef sold in supermarkets contains beef trimmings better known as ‘pink slime.’ Whistleblower and former United States Department of Agriculture scientist, Gerald Zirnstein, claims, “It’s economic fraud. It’s not fresh ground beef… It’s a cheap substitute being added in.”
Zirstein claims that he and other USDA scientists warned against using the substitute, but that government bosses overruled their objections.
‘Pink slime’ is beef trimmings. It is made from waste trimmings that are simmered at a low heat until the fat separates from the muscle. It is run through a machine to separate the fat and muscle then it is sent through pipes where it is sprayed with ammonia before being packaged into meat bricks. The bricks are then frozen and sent to grocery stores where it is added to most ground beef as a filler.
The ABC News report claims that there are no labels on ground beef packages at the supermarket to warn consumers of the ‘pink slime’ because of USDA links to the beef industry which has labeled the product as meat.
The woman who approved of the mix, over the objections of scientists, was former undersecretary of agriculture, Joann Smith. Beef Products, Inc., the suppliers of ‘pink slime,’ made millions off of Smith’s decision. After leaving the USDA, Smith was appointed to BPI’s Board of Directors.
The USDA claims that Smith’s appointment to BPI’s board was “legal at the time,” but that under new ethics rules she would not have been able to join the board immediately. BPI told ABC News that her approval of ‘pink slime’ had nothing to do with her appointment to the board.