(NaturalNews) In perhaps the most amazing display of unmitigated gall since the Journal of Pediatrics declared mercury 'good for kids,' (1) Beef Products Inc. (BPI) told The Daily that its "lean finely textured beef," treated with ammonia, is good for America's schoolchildren. Last week The Daily broke the news that the federal government plans to buy beef containing over 7 million pounds of 'pink slime' over the next year.
"Including LFTB in the national school lunch program's beef products accomplishes three important goals on behalf of 32 million kids," BPI spokesman Rich Jochum told The Daily. "It 1) improves the nutritional profile, 2) increases the safety of the products and 3) meets the budget parameters that allow the school lunch program to feed kids nationwide every day." (2)
So what's the real reason?
With their first and second stated reasons being patently absurd, it really just comes down to the third, the almighty dollar. By adding the beef fat and trimmings, known to contain higher levels of E. Coli, salmonella, and other pathogens, then adding ammonia to kill said pathogens, they are able to save 3 cents off the cost of making a pound of beef. (2)
So by adding ammonia to a product that was previously only sold to dog food and cooking oil suppliers, (3) BPI is able to decrease their costs by mixing it with beef and feeding it to children.
Want to vote with your wallet and forgo the 'pink slime' infested meat? It might be difficult. Janet Riley, senior vice president of public affairs for the American Meat Institute recently made her case against labeling, telling ABC News, "What you are asking me to put on the label, its beef, it's on the label, it's a beef product, it's says beef so we are declaring ... it's beef." (3)
By Ms. Riley's logic, dog food is 'beef' too. Perhaps she is using the same standards McDonalds uses when it calls its chicken nuggets 'chicken.' (4)
Consumers do have a choice!
ABC recently did a report on, "Where you can get 'pink-slime' free beef." In it, Costco, Publix, H-E-B, Kroger, Whole Foods, and Tops Markets all adamantly stated they do not use beef laced with 'pink slime,' while several major national chains just as adamantly defended it. (3) Former USDA scientist and current whistleblower Gerald Zirnstein, the man who coined the phrase 'pink slime,' recently told ABC News that 70% of ground beef sold at supermarkets contains the filler. (5)
What can we do? The best way to know for sure that your meat is 'slime-free' is to buy fresh, locally grown meat from someone you know or buy meat that is certified 'USDA Organic.' Consumers should absolutely vote with their feet and their wallets. A grocery store that wants to defend the practice of calling dog food laced with ammonia 'good for kids' is certainly not worthy of trust or patronage. Additionally, parents should contact the administrator of their child's school lunch program to make them aware, if they are not already, of this outrage. Meanwhile, a sack-lunch is always a good idea!
About the author: Scott is a blogger, writer, and researcher whose primary focus is how to raise healthy kids despite a system and status quo that makes it as difficult as possible. He and his wife, Kim, live in the hills of east Tennessee with their four small children. He holds an MBA from East Tennessee State University. Scott and Kim blog about parenting, marriage, healthy lifestyle, nutrition, and homesteading at www.amorefieldlife.com. Connect with them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/amorefieldlife.
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