(Image credit – note, I chose this image for “ground beef,” it may or may not contain pink slime. )
There has been a lot of news and public outcry lately about finely textured beef (aka “pink slime”). In case you’re unaware, finely textured beef is made from the trimmings or leftovers of beef and then has ammonia added to kill any bacteria. It’s then added as a cheap filler to beef products – ground beef in particular. Yum, right?!
And while I don’t usually share stories like these, I feel this one is important because it’s one of the first times I can remember seeing the public react and then watching stores – major national chains – respond so quickly and strongly. It’s a good reminder that as consumers we do have a voice. It is a start in the right direction.
A few sites have listed grocery stores that contain the pink slime and as a result, many stores are making public statements via news outlets and their social media sites. Here are a few I’ve collected in the past couple days:
The link they’ve referenced is HERE. Please note that this statement is true of ALL Supervalu stores (which also includes ACME, Jewel Osco, Cub Foods, Farm Fresh, Lucky, Hornbacher, Shaw’s/Star Market, Shop ‘n Save, and Shoppers Food & Pharmacy), per my PR contact.
“Safeway will no longer purchase ground beef containing lean finely textured beef.”
News source found HERE. This is also the case for Safeway’s sister stores, (Genuradi’s and Dominicks).
QFC (a Kroger store):
Fred Meyer (a Kroger store; left in response to a Facebook question):
“Our customers have expressed their concerns that the use of lean finely textured beef — while fully approved by the USDA for safety and quality — is something they do not want in their ground beef,” Kroger said in a statement. “As a result, Kroger will no longer purchase ground beef containing lean finely textured beef.”
News source and quote taken from HERE.
UPDATED TO ADD – Zaycon Foods:
I also want to point out that if your ground beef is labeled certified organic, you can rest easy. It doesn’t contain the filler. Ground beef purchased from Costco, HEB, Whole Foods and Publix is also pink slime free (source: ABC).
Pink Slime in School Lunch Programs
Apparently, it’s been difficult for schools to know if the unfortunate filler has made its way into lunch programs. But starting this fall, they will disclose that information to schools which means that schools will have the ability to “opt out” of receiving it. I left a message on the Facebook page of our school district and was delighted to hear they’ve decided to opt out of having it next year!
If this is an issue that concerns you, I encourage you to reach out to your school district.
Pink Slime in Restaurants
As you might imagine, pink slime may be in many fast food products due in part to its cheapness and abundance. But this article stated that McDonald’s officially stopped including it in August of last year, thanks in part to Mr. Oliver’s efforts.
This article adds Taco Bell and Burger King to the list of fast food restaurants that are pink slime free. You may wish to inquire at your favorite restaurants if it’s carried or not…or hey, avoid them altogether and chug a green smoothie.
I understand that this may not be a concern for everyone. But for some of us, it is. I am getting more and more comments – on a near daily basis now – from readers saying that they are looking to eat cleaner and make better food choices. Just having the USDA approve something may not be enough to alleviate your concerns. I get that.
I would love to know what you’ve decided to do, if anything, about pink slime. Will it alter where you buy your beef? Does it damage your perception of stores who will choose to continue to carry it?
To learn more about this topic, I’ve compiled a few articles for you: