UPDATE - There has been a recent report about ground beef being recalled due to a strong thereat of e. Coli contamination. This beef is from the National Beef Packing Company in Liberal, Kansas. This is NOT the company, Beef Products Inc and is not the "pink slime" or lean finely textured beef that I am speaking of in this post.
The biggest moment so far in the history of my blog was when ABC News began reporting about pink slime or lean finely textured beef (LFTB). I first wrote about it when Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution show was airing on ABC. The two days after that report I had the highest amount of traffic on my website, a record that still stands today. I almost was able to quit my day job (or at that time my search for a day job). So whatever happened to pink slime? Do we still have in our food supply today? Is that company that made it Beef Products Inc (BPI) still in business? I wanted to answer those questions for you today.
Is Pink Slime Still Used in Our Food?
The answer is yes. The company BPI is still in business, althought business is no where near what it used to be. According to a March 2013 report in Time Business & Money the company closed down 3 of their 4 plants. The sad part about this is that people lose their jobs. A lot of people to the tune of more than 700! I never want to see anyone have to struggle with unemployment. The company is still going and is still making "pink slime". Although now according to that previously mentioned report it is only in 5% of ground beef on the market, instead of 70%. That is a HUGE chance in a matter of 1 year. It shows that if the public speaks out loud enough the companies still have to listen.
My Opinion Today
We can sit here and debate whether or not LFTB is good or bad for you. There was a lot of debate on my site regarding that issue. Some people didn't like that the meat was treatd with ammonia gas. The BPI did this according to their Beef is Beef website is "To ensure that the ground beef you buy is as safe as possible, a puff of ammonia gas is used to reduce or eliminate harmful bacteria, which can potentially be found in any meat product. Ammonia is naturally occurring in most foods and ammonia compounds have been used in food for more than 40 years. To provide perspective there is more ammonia in the other parts of a cheeseburger than in the beef". The fact they use this gas isn't the problem for me today. It's underlying reason why the gas is used. It is because there is a threat of e.Coli. The reason for this threat in my opinion is that we aren't raising cows that way they were intended to be raised. We struggle in this country to address underlying issues. It's the reason why prescription drugs are so prevalent (if we ate better than we won't need all those drugs). So instead of focusing on the whether or not what BPI is doing is wrong and instead look at what we can do so that they don't feel they have to treat the meat with the ammonia. You can do your part by sourcing local beef. You may end up eating less beef if it costs more but chose local beef from cows that are fed a proper grass diet without any added hormones or anything that isn't natural.
Grass Fed Cattle Resources
I will end this post with sharing with you some great resources to check out on grass fed cattle.
eatWild - A state by state directory of where to get grass fed meat and dairy.
How to Find a Cowpooling Source - Tips on getting together with others to buy beef from a whole cow that was grass fed.
Grass-Fed Cattle: How to Produce and Market Natural Beef
The Complete Guide to Grass-fed Cattle: How to Raise Your Cattle on Natural Grass for Fun and Profit (Back-To-Basics Farming)
Pasture Perfect: How You Can Benefit from Choosing Meat, Eggs, and Dairy Products from Grass-Fed Animals
Tender Grassfed Meat: Traditional Ways to Cook Healthy Meat