I’ve said it before on here and I will say it again… “If you watch the news, you should probably be in fear every time you eat.”
Fact of the matter is that news media is especially good at what I call “fear mongering” which can be defined as this: the use of fear to influence the opinions and actions of others. Often times this pattern is repeated in order to ensure it’s effectiveness. We see this all the time. One news station reports something and the next thing you know all of them are showing the same clips, presenting the public with the same information. The “epidemic” of pink slime is no different. If you missed the report on ABC news, you can check it out here: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2012/03/is-pink-slime-in-the-beef-at-your-grocery-store/
“70% of all ground beef bought in supermarkets contains pink slime”, “up to 25% of each American hamburger patty”, “a spritz of ammonia gas to kill the germs”.. It’s statements like this that make my blood boil. From an uninformed consumer standpoint, I would be terrified that pink slime was in MY hamburger. And if you do a google search, you come up with all the same sorts of information. In order to find the truth behind this “pink slime” you have to know where to find it.And I take pride in the fact that I am here to help you find the correct and factual information from people who involved heavily in the meat industry. Not reporters or scientists. People who eat, breathe, and live meat. It’s their livelihood and every time an article like this is shown on the news or in the newspaper, this affects all of us.
Travis Arp of The Meat of the Issues puts it so well in his post on the truth behind pink slime:
When stories like this are run, this isn’t perceived as an attack on Beef Products Inc. (BPI). It’s detrimental to the beef industry as a whole. Ground beef is the most widely consumed beef product in the United States. Scaring consumers away from this unnecessarily will hurt beef demand, and further adds questions to the consumer mind about what we do. The fact that an individual “whistle blower” can single handedly effect beef demand is scary, and an unfortunate reality to meat producers. Regardless that the USDA and FDA employs hundreds of scientists whose job is to study different applications of products and compounds for approval to use in the food system, one person who disagrees (and no longer works for USDA) can grind that all to a halt.
Now THAT scares me. To think one person and one news story can have such a profound affect on my industry, on my family’s livelihood of 45 years. THAT is a scary thought. And that is exactly why I spend my evenings after work and mornings before work blogging. I am hoping that by sharing with all my readers that I am doing my part to put factual, correct information out there and that my readers will share the information with others.
So what is pink slime really? Well before I present you with some information, let me state this: Hamburger from Chico Locker & Sausage Co. Inc. is made out of 100% whole muscle ground meat (usually chuck). No “pink slime” is used and in fact during all my years in this industry, I have never seen this “pink slime”. Same with our hamburger patties, hot dogs, etc. And I can almost guarantee you that your local butcher does not use “pink slime” either. We take pride in our products and use only quality ingredients to make them. But the news media doesn’t tell you that.
Now rather than me re-iterating information that has been put out there, let me link you to the TRUTH behind Pink Slime. These two blogs are courtesy of two people who are EXTREMELY qualified to be writing about the meat industry because quite frankly it’s their passion. It’s people like this that news media should be interviewing and consulting when they want to run stories like this. And I thank these two for sharing their vast knowledge of the meat industry with the rest of us.
So please, next time you are watching the news, remember fear mongering. And remember that everything you hear on the news isn’t always the actual truth. I’d sure hope that before you make a decision to discontinue eating a product such as meat that you would at least do some research about the topic. And what other way to research than to consult an expert in the field? Head down to your local butcher shop and ask questions! It is my hope that through asking the right people questions, you will come to find out that ideas you had about the meat industry really aren’t what they are made up to be. And that in fact, the truth really isn’t bad.
Happy Friday everyone… Now go eat a HAMBURGER will you!?