Are Kids Going To Be Eating “Pink Slime” At School Soon?
Ask any kid if he or she wants to eat “pink slime” and there’s a good chance you’ll get a resounding “yes!” Pink slime sounds like it’s something that would actually be quite tasty. Maybe some kind of Jell-O and pudding mixture or a syrupy concoction that’s loaded with sugar. However, that’s not what pink slime is at all.
In reality, pink slime is a gelatin-like substance that’s packed alongside ground beef and designed to look like it’s actual beef when it’s really not. It consists of low-grade beef trimmings that come from a part of a cow that you’d really probably rather not eat (Hint: It’s located behind the cow) and it’s only edible once it’s cleaned with ammonia. It is, for all intents and purposes, a filler that’s made to be packaged alongside actual beef so that you can’t tell the difference between the real thing and the pink slime. Once frozen, it’s just about impossible to tell. Even butchers have a hard time doing it.
Now, here’s where things get really interesting. It’s bad enough that this pink slime is being packaged and sold in grocery stores all over the country and that you’re probably feeding it to your family. But now, it’s also going to be used at some schools. According to a recent report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture just OK’d a plan that’ll allow schools to choose whether or not they use ground beef that falls into the “pink slime” category. So your kids could be eating it everyday for lunch without you even knowing it. And it’s not like they’re going to be able to tell the difference. If a trained butcher can’t do it, what makes you think little Johnny will be able to?
Those in favor of using the pink slime in beef—or, rather, those who get paid to make it and sell it—have said that it’s completely edible and no worse than regular beef. But, if that’s the case, why don’t they label it accordingly and sell it in the supermarket in a section that’s clearly labeled “pink slime”? Further, why haven’t they created a more suitable name that doesn’t sound so, for lack of a better word, gross? Why not make a push to educate people about the pink slime rather than defending it by saying something like, “Oh, just eat it. It’s edible!”? That in and of itself leads us to believe that pink slime isn’t something that most of them would eat themselves if given the choice.
And now we’re going to be feeding this stuff to our kids? Say it ain’t so. If you’ve got a child and they buy lunch regularly at school, check and see if the school uses pink slime. If so, inquire about getting them to order 100 percent real beef. And if your school is unwilling to work with you, consider packing a lunch for your child instead. It’s the only way to ensure that your child isn’t eating something that can best be described as “edible.”
Because even though they might like the sound of eating “pink slime,” you shouldn’t. And they shouldn’t have to eat it if you don’t want them to.