Thursday, March 15, 2012 at 4:46 p.m.
Not pink slime, but pink and slimy.
After the Pink Slime Uproar of 2012, the USDA will give school administrators the option of not feeding the stuff to children. The agency has confirmed
that due to "customer demand," it will give schools in the National School Lunch Program a choice to order products with or without "Lean Finely Textured Beef" (aka the slime). It still maintains, however, that the ammonium hydroxide-treated meat is "safe, nutritious and affordable."
ORIGINAL POST: It had seemed that "pink slime"--the gross-out term for ammonium hydroxide-treated beef cuts--would die a slow, toxic death after McDonald's announced it was cutting it out of its products back in January.
Nope. It's back. And this time, it will be served in school lunches.
The USDA plans to buy 7 million pounds of the slime (officially called Lean Beef Trimmings) for the national school lunch program, according to a report by tablet newspaper The Daily
. In a statement, the department said that all of its ground beef purchases "meet the highest standard for food safety."
Ammonium hydroxide is added to beef scraps to kill off bacteria such as E. Coli. Beef Products Inc., which manufactures the ground beef, said in a statement that the chemical is a "natural compound" that's "widely used in the processing of numerous foods."
Tell that to Jamie Oliver and others who've crusaded against the not-quite-meat meat. A Change.org
petition calls for the USDA to stop using pink slime in school food, stating "it is simply wrong to feed our children connective tissues and beef scraps that were, in the past, destined for use in pet food and rendering and were not considered fit for human consumption."