The Food police dish up tasty delights in a public school cafeteria near you

Remember this last month? Food police bust 4 year-old in NC. The government brown bag-checkers deemed a kid’s healthy lunch unacceptable and forced her to buy the school lunch:

The girl’s turkey and cheese sandwich, banana, potato chips, and apple juice did not meet U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines, according to the interpretation of the agent who was inspecting all lunch boxes in her More at Four classroom that day.


When the girl came home with her lunch untouched, her mother wanted to know what she ate instead. Three chicken nuggets, the girl answered. Everything else on her cafeteria tray went to waste.

In lieu of her healthy homemade lunch, she was given good ‘ol chicken nuggets made from this:

Pink slime coming to a school cafeteria near you! Photo via Twitchy

Yum! Mechanically separated pink slime, which, by the way, the government just purchased 7 million pounds of the good stuff for school lunches.

This is the stuff McDonald’s is vilified for using, yet it’s somehow kosher for the government to buy up Mickey D’s slack and schlep it off to those institutionalized school kids in the name of health.

Pictured above is chicken pink slime. According to Howard Portnoy, Uncle Sam actually purchased the beef version:

The term pink slime was coined by microbiologist Gerald Zirnstein. It refers to a ground-up blend of beef scraps, connective tissue, and other trimmings that has been treated with ammonium hydroxide to kill foodborne pathogens like salmonella and E. coli. The resulting product has a shocking pink appearance and a mouth feel described as more like Jell-O than hamburger. (For a more in-depth look at how pink slime is made, check out this segment from celebrity-chef-turned-buddinsky Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, though suffice it to say the stuff is so gross that McDonald’s and Burger King swore off using it in January.)

Marketed under the name ”Lean Beef Trimmings” by its manufacturer, Beef Products Inc., pink slime has raised health concerns as well as aesthetic ones. Carl Custer, a microbiologist who worked for the USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service for 35 years, is on record as saying:

We looked at the product and we objected to it because it used connective tissues instead of muscle. It was simply not nutritionally equivalent [to ground beef]. My main objection was that it was not meat.

And that’s only the half of it. Custer warns that ingesting ammonium hydroxide, an ingredient in household cleaners and fertilizers, can be harmful. To make matters worse, the chemical doesn’t invariably do the job it’s intended to do. The New York Times reported in 2009 that since 2005, E. coli was found three times and salmonella 48 in industrial-size batches of the product.

Lean Beef Trimmings. It sounds like something from a Simpsons episode, except it’s not: Big government nannies force parents to purchase less nutritious–no, absolutely disgusting–pseudo-meals under the guise of health. The joke’s on us for continuing to fund this garbage let alone the broken education system in which it’s served.


6 Responses

  1. It’s so gross, I have to fight the gag reflex when I see that picture. Apparently it’s in 70% of ground beef sold in grocery stores.


    I’ve bought nothing but ground sirloin for a coons age, which I’m hoping would not include the “lean trimmings,” but still makes me nervous. Tempting to invest in a meat grinder.

    • Oh! Thanks for this. We usually buy Costco and it turns out, it’s slime-free. Goodness. We can’t afford organic meat, too… once we are settled again, I’m willing to buy a quarter hog from someone because I wont eat conventional pork any more. Long story. Maybe we need to did the same for beef. I loved the use of the word “sustainable” in the article. Sustainable. Lol!

      • yeah, “sustainable” was a pretty cheeky attempt to make it sound like a good thing.

      • Heh, you said “cheeky,” and that’s part of the … slime. Well, the other cheeks, anyway. Ick! I can’t get the link you sent out of my mind. It’s incredible to me that I have to even worry to this degree about what we eat.

      • I was at the commissary today and I couldn’t even look at the ground meat as I walked by, LOL

      • ROTFL: I’m not allowed to buy ground meat from our commissary for other reasons (um, bone chips). I don’t buy produce there, either, because the organic selection stinks and it all rots faster (I kid not) than non-commissary produce. I do go to shop staples and pantry items, but … not so much on meat and veg. And organic dairy is cheaper for us at king soopers than it is on post. How crazy is that?

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