‘Pink slime’ has been grossing people out all over the Internet world for the past few weeks. It started with McDonald’s ‘pink slime’ chicken and kept going with a former scientist for the FDA making public that the American government actually approved of and endorsed the use of ‘pink slime’ as an additive to ground beef. The public was outraged.
We are talking about a public that is now more aware of what they are eating and where it comes from. Many families are turning to vegetarianism, veganism or just attempting to eat in a more sustainable fashion. ‘Pink slime’ in the food supply came as a shock. Since the outcry, thanks to the powers of social media, Beef Products, Inc. has halted production of the ammonia hydroxide gas exposed lean finely textured beef at 3 of 4 plants.
The meat and beef corporations want people to believe that the widely spread information about ‘pink slime’ is a bunch of misconceptions. Craig Letch, director of food quality and assurance for Beef Products Inc., told the Huffington Post that business took a “substantial” hit after the explosion of social media and an online petition attempting to oust the product from schools. The petition drew thousands of supporters.
Letch said, “We feel like when people can start to understand the truth and reality then our business will come back. It’s 100% beef.”
Beef Products is apparently desperate to get buyers of the ammonia-treated beef product back. It went so far as to take out a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal defending the product and launch a website called beefisbeef.com to dispel what they have dubbed “myths about pink slime.”
The National Meat Association wants people to believe that the ammonia sprayed beef product being called ‘pink slime’ is actually healthy and nutritious. Barry Carpenter, CEO of the National Meat Association, told HuffPo, “At a time when so many Americans struggle to put a healthy, nutritious meal on their family’s dinner table, the unfounded mischaracterization of Lean Finely Textured Beef as `pink slime’ is unconscionable. I am sure the public is not aware of how widespread and potentially devastating the consequences of allowing public misperception to trump sound nutritional science are.”
Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver commended the public saying that “people power” was responsible for getting ‘pink slime’ removed from so many products. He also called for the U.S. Government to keep listening because “it’s partly responsible for lying to the public” and for allowing it to be used for so long without people knowing because it wasn’t labeled.
Beef Products produced about 900,000 pounds a day of the product between three of its plants. Seven million pounds of the ground beef that the USDA has contracted to buy for the National School Lunch Program this year is from Beef Products Inc.
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