Our Lady of Weight Loss

Our Lady of Weight Loss

Dysfunctional Chef: Pink Slime in Your Ground Beef ? Probably. Yes. Ought Oh.

Just as I was about to preheat, so to speak, and whip up a platter full of Rosemary Beef Hash, a dish I carefully pulled from the pages of one of my favorite healthy cooking/living magazines, when the words “pink slime” popped up in my in-box and found their way onto my computer screen.

What is Pink Slime? 
Pink Slime a.k.a. Lean Finely Textured Beef, once solely used for dog food and cooking oil,  is made by gathering waste trimmings, such as beef scraps and cow connective tissues, simmering it on a low heat so that the fat separates easily from the muscle, followed up by spinning using centrifuge, which completes the separation.


Because beef trim is infamous for carrying pathogenic bacteria – E. coli O157:H7 and the non-O157 STEC bacteria – the mixture is then sent through pipes where it is sprayed with ammonia gas to kill the bacteria.  It is then frozen and shipped to grocery stores and meat packers at which point it is added to most ground beef.

How Much Pink Slime are you ingesting?
This week, the former United States Department of Agriculture scientist, Gerald Zirnstein, told ABC News that 70 percent of the ground beef we buy at the supermarket contains pink slime.  Further, he reported that “pink slime” does not appear on the label because, USDA officials with links to the beef industry are the folks who label the meat.   There is no mention of ammonia, connective tissues or scraps, because paid corporate lobbyists have done a bang up job of convincing government officials that we don’t need to know.


There are some that argue that the ammonia spray is harmless and that getting every bit of meat off the carcass, given the cost of ‘growing’ a cow  is a good thing.

That aside, what I most object to is that we, the consumer, are left in the dark.  Is this not lying by omission?  I vote for full transparency. I want to make an informed choice.  I want to know what ingredients are packed into the foods that I am feeding my family.

There are two things that we can do:

Send an email to Tom Vilsack, Agriculture Secretary –
Express your concern, your desire to be informed and insist on complete transparency.


And, instead of purchasing ground beef, pick up a grass-fed boneless roast and ask the butcher behind the count to grind it right then and there.

As for my Rosemary Beef Hash, I will share the recipe later in the day or tomorrow, after I recover from the idea of pink slime and my personal outrage that I am not being told the entire truth.

Spread the word … NOT the icing!


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  •!/triniman4 terry berry

    it seems like everything you do is trying to kill you. If you eat food it’s full of crap, you drink water it’s full of crap, you breathe in some air that too is full of crap. You do nothing and your body is still bombarded by all sorts of electromagnetic and other harmful radiation. Dam this modern life style.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment cherie

    This pink slime thing is soooooo vile.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment beau10

    And we thought the USDA existed to protect us citizens – instead it is the hand-puppet of the special interests that own it outright.

  • http://PinkSlime V. Fugitt

    I sent an email and will not be buying ground beef at market or burgers anywhere.
    What an atrocity. I’m warning all my family, I’m a great grandmother with a big family. Thanks, for telling us about this.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment leonard johnson

    The only ground beef I buy is ground sirlion and now I’m starting to even doubt that other than that I consume no ones ground beef and haven’t done fast food for 14years.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Jez

    Now I’m really glad that I haven’t bought ground beef in ages and I rarely buy ground turkey. I don’t eat in fastfood restaurants either.

    But I agree, this is horrible, you think you are buying 100% ground beef, not ground beef and chemically treated slime.

    And by the way, that headline should be uh-oh, not Ought oh.

    Seriously, as an out of work proofreader, this sort of thing really annoys me. Doesn’t anyone proofread anything any more?

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment sterling

    cancer, obesity, high cholestrol, packed colan, heart problems, it’s the slime. it wasn’t made for your body. the more man mess with things, the worst it is for you. would you drink a glass of ammonia.

  • Kimberly Lord Stewart

    Dear Janice,
    I just read your “reheated” post and noticed that you were warming up rosemary beef hash. I am so glad you enjoyed the recipe, I had a great time developing those healthy but “cheap” (sorry, affordable) recipes. Happy healthy cooking–Kimberly Lord Stewart.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Lee

    Is there a way to find out which supermarkets do or do no use pink slime?

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Leace

    I really liked reading this, because I have heard about it, but I want to know what people can do about it!! What I read was that ALL STATES are using this PINK SLIME in school lunches! I think these young parents need to start to put their voices in action about what is being fed to their children. The children are also learning at school about making healthy eating choices and then being fed food that is meant for dogs, and also very little whole grains and fresh produce!! Its very common for a school age kid to eat at school for lunch a hamburger with pink slime, but also the meat is from cows that are fed corn instead of grass, which cows were meant to eat. Also the cows have been given hormones and antibiotics. Then the burger is on a white roll, which does not promote good health. On the side is tator tots, fried in grease, and maybe some canned veggies. To drink is low fat chocolate milk from those same cows, and full of carbs and sugar.

    The FDA is made up of people that repressent different food industries that promote the sales. Like junk food, and others.

    Its sad that our children are not being taught the health benefits of whole foods, and non processed foods. And then everyone is shocked about the increase in child obesty and child diabetes. Its so sad!!

    • Janice Taylor, Editor

      I think we should at least know what we are eating, allowing us to make educated choices. Especially when it comes to our kids! Thanks for your thoughtful response. ~ Janice

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Mary Gulsby

    Sent email for transparency concerning “pink slime”

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