Quantcast

ACTION: Tell USDA to Stop Buying 'Pink Slime' for School Lunches

CREDO Action

So-called pink slime is a beef-like product created by grinding together connective tissue and beef scraps normally used in dog food, and treated with ammonia hydroxide to kill salmonella and E. coli.

It is "not meat" according to a 35-year veteran U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) microbiologist,1 and was recently rejected by the likes of McDonalds, Taco Bell and Burger King.2 So it's pretty disturbing that the USDA continues feeding this stuff to kids, and plans to buy seven million pounds of it for school lunches.

In an all too familiar story, despite concerns raised by USDA inspectors and minimal safety inspections, the USDA approval of Beef Products Incorporated's "Lean Beef Trimmings" was pushed through by USDA undersecretary JoAnne Smith, a George H.W. Bush appointee and former president of the National Cattleman's Association.

The USDA allows beef products like hamburgers to contain up to 15 percent of the Ammonia-treated, meat-ish stuff, but inadequate labeling requirements prevent parents from knowing if it's included in the meat being served at their kids' school.

Aside from the lack of nutritional value, pink slime raises a number of health and safety concerns. The New York Times exposed in 2009 that despite being treated with ammonia, three E. coli contaminations and four dozen salmonella contaminations occurred between 2005 and 2009, during which time school lunch officials temporarily banned hamburger makers from using pink slime from one facility in Kansas three times.3

Ammonium hydroxide is harmful to eat by itself, and can potentially turn into ammonium nitrate, a common ingredient in home made explosives.

Kids need nutritious food to be able to learn in school, and many of the tens of millions of kids who rely on school lunches come from low income families where they are less likely to get a healthy diet. While pink slime is a nutritionally inferior and potentially risky product, the school lunch program saves only three cents per pound of ground beef by continuing to put this filler in kids hamburgers.4

Over the past few months, numerous fast-food chains have rejected the product and say they no longer use it. School lunch officials should clearly follow suit.

Sign our petition to keep 'pink slime' out of school cafeterias today by clicking here.

—————

1. Partners in 'slime': Feds keep buying ammonia-treated ground beef for school lunches, The Daily, 3/5/12
2. Pink Slime For School Lunch: Government Buying 7 Million Pounds Of Ammonia-Treated Meat For Meals, Huffington Post, 3/5/12
3. Safety of Beef Processing Method Is Questioned, New York Times, 12/30/09
4. Pink Slime, Ammonium Hydroxide Fast Food Ground Beef Additive, Dropped By McDonald's Et Al., Huffington Post, 1/27/12

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Pexels

By Gavin Van De Walle, MS, RD

Medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil and coconut oil are fats that have risen in popularity alongside the ketogenic, or keto, diet.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Bijal Trivedi

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report on Nov. 13 that describes a list of microorganisms that have become resistant to antibiotics and pose a serious threat to public health. Each year these so-called superbugs cause more than 2.8 million infections in the U.S. and kill more than 35,000 people.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Rool Paap / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

By Franziska Spritzler, RD, CDE

Inflammation can be good or bad depending on the situation.

Read More Show Less

By Joe Vukovich

Under the guise of responding to consumer complaints that today's energy- and water-efficient dishwashers take too long, the Department of Energy has proposed creating a new class of dishwashers that wouldn't be subject to any water or energy efficiency standards at all. The move would not only undermine three decades of progress for consumers and the environment, it is based on serious distortions of fact regarding today's dishwashers.

Read More Show Less

By Emily Moran

If you have oak trees in your neighborhood, perhaps you've noticed that some years the ground is carpeted with their acorns, and some years there are hardly any. Biologists call this pattern, in which all the oak trees for miles around make either lots of acorns or almost none, "masting."

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

By Catherine Davidson

Tashi Yudon peeks out from behind a net curtain at the rooftops below and lets out a sigh, her breath frosting on the windowpane in front of her.

Some 700 kilometers away in the capital city Delhi, temperatures have yet to dip below 25 degrees Celsius, but in Spiti there is already an atmosphere of impatient expectation as winter settles over the valley.

Read More Show Less

The Dog Aging Project at the University of Washington is looking to recruit 10,000 dogs to study for the next 10 years to see if they can improve the life expectancy of man's best friend and their quality of life, as CNN reported.

Read More Show Less
Warragamba Dam on Oct. 23 in Sydney, Australia. Sydney's dams have been less than 50 percent full as drought conditions continue across New South Wales. Brook Mitchell / Getty Images

While Sydney faced "catastrophic fire danger" for the first time earlier this week, and nearly 130 wildfires continue to burn in New South Wales and Queensland, Sydney now faces another problem; it's running out of water.

Read More Show Less