Pink Slime Awareness Stimulates Culture Shift

January 7, 2010 at 2:27 pm Leave a comment

“Lessons on the food system from the ammonia-hamburger fiasco”, written by Tom Philpott discusses an article that ran in The New York Times about a company that manufactures pink slime. Pink slime is added to hamburger meat because it costs less than the ground beef it’s mixed with. It is manufactured using the scraps from the slaughterhouse floor, which are full of pathogens. The selling point is that it is treated with ammonia to kill these pathogens. In tests performed by school lunch officials, the meat mixed with this product had a much higher rate of positive results for salmonella than regular ground beef.
School cafeteria administrators are faced with tight budgets to begin with, and the current state of the economy means they are constantly pushed to minimize costs wherever possible. I understand that $0.03 per child does add up, but how much does it cost us to pay for a child’s medical bills when they end up in the ER with a case of salmonella and are uninsured? How many times does this happen without anyone being aware of the fact that it came from bad meat in their school lunch? Often, children who are eating school lunch are those that are uninsured as well. Does anyone else see a problem with this scenario?

The culture shift I have referred to in “Philadelphia is Leading Green Infrastructure”, and “Mixed Messages from the Avatar Project” is a shift in perception that must take place on an individual basis. There are those that do not believe in the interconnectivity of our world, and argue that things such as the school lunch program should operate within their respective silo. It is a challenge to change people’s mindset and raise awareness about the interconnectivity of our world. It is clear to me that saving money today by feeding our children the scraps off the slaughterhouse floor may make economic sense in the short-term, but we will be paying for it with an unhealthy population for many years going forward.


Entry filed under: Food Safety. Tags: , , .

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Michael Lemons

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