Misnomers: A Pink, Slimy Slope

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By titanoutlet March 27, 2012 09:30

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I’ve seen a lot of hype regarding the use of LFTB (Lean Finely Textured Beef) these days, and so I felt compelled to share some of my thoughts.

This product process was pioneered by Eldon Roth, who in the 1980’s founded Beef Products, Inc. to produce frozen beef.  In the 1990’s, because of public health concerns over pathogenic E. coli in beef, he developed a process to use a puff of ammonia gas to raise the pH and kill any pathogens that may be found in beef trimmings purchased from other meat production houses. My thought – this product has been around a long time, and it certainly makes sense to ensure that it’s safe to eat.

Ammonia hydroxide gas is not your household ammonia and has been on the GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe List) for over 20 years. My thought – 20 plus years?  I guess it would have been removed by now if there was a problem.

Gerald Zirnstein, a former USDA scientist and now “whistleblower” coined the phrase “pink slime” when referring to LFTB.  He’s now coming forward to say he won’t buy it and he grinds his own hamburger.  My thought – How does he feel about the FDA’s guidelines on acceptable defect levels in other food?  I read a small portion of their guidelines and found that it’s OK to have certain levels of things like insect and rodent filth, mold, rot, sand and grit, Mammalian excreta, insects and insect larvae, mites, fly eggs, maggots, decomposition, parasites, mildew, and foreign matter in our food.  I’m still surviving after all these years…

I’ve read many reactions to LFTB on social media from people who use the term “gross” when referring to this product.  My thought – Lean beef, with the fat removed, that has been safely used to feed people for some time is not “gross”, but watching video of some starving child overseas picking and eating corn from the manure of livestock is!  I bet those kids would love to eat “pink slime”!

McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Burger King, and other fast food chains have decided not to use LFTB in their burgers.  My thought – Are they concerned about our health, or their share of the market? And when they raise prices, my guess is the consumer will absorb all or much of that. 

It’s estimated that 70 percent of the ground beef for sale in your local grocery store contains LFTB.  My thought – I didn’t know that, and hadn’t noticed. I’ll still buy my beef according to cost and my specific tastes and needs. 

It’s interesting how today’s information highway carries some things to what seems an extreme, while other things go unnoticed.  Whatever choice you make on this subject, make sure you do your homework – know the facts, weigh the pros and cons, make your decision, and then be prepared to live with potential consequences. I found one particular video that may help:

Finally, here’s another list of great blog posts from experts (farmers and ranchers) on the subject from our friend Ryan Goodman.

Terry Olson

 

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titanoutlet
By titanoutlet March 27, 2012 09:30
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