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Finely Textured Beef

Review by madconsumer on 2012-03-27
Rating: StarStarStarStarStar
More than 2,000 print and electronic news articles published in recent weeks have criticized the beef industry for the production and use of finely textured beef (FTB). Critics are calling it “pink slime.”

“Naturally consumers and customers have questions,”.

In an effort to clarify the facts about FTB, the American Meat Institute (AMI), National Meat Association (NMA), National Cattleman’s Beef Association (NCBA) and processors/packers have been working hard to get the word out about this safe, nutritious, quality and affordable beef product.

FTB is 100 percent beef, 90-95 percent lean, produced at federally inspected facilities, and is found in approximately 70 percent of all ground beef products.

FTB in the news

The controversy surrounding FTB, which has been produced for 20 years, surfaced with the 2008 movie Food Inc, and continues today. Most of the attention has focused on product for which ammonium hydroxide is used as an antimicrobial intervention. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has approved the use of ammonium hydroxide and citric acid as food safety measures in processing FTB. Many producers of FTB, uses citric acid similar to the type found in fruit.

Some of the most recent news was prompted by the USDA’s announcement that it is buying 7 million pounds of FTB for use in the country’s National School Lunch Program next school year. Going forward, the USDA says it will offer school districts a choice of ground beef patties that include FTB as well as ground beef that does not.

In addition, many reports have misrepresented how FTB is produced. For example, celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has described FTB as scraps otherwise used for pet food, and demonstrated how he believed it is produced, including pouring household ammonia over a pile of ground beef. Neither of these points is true.

Finely textured beef is made from beef trimmings by separating lean beef from fat in a process that is similar to separating cream from milk. It is an important way to ensure that no meat is wasted when cattle are harvested for food.

“Americans have been eating, and safely enjoying, ground beef containing FTB for 20 years. Our families eat it and we are proud to produce it. It has value to many FTB producers and our customers, as well as to consumers and cattle producers”.
Comments:16 Replies - Latest reply on 2012-03-29
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2012-03-27:
This should be posted in the News Community. It is not a first-hand experience.
Posted by trmn8r on 2012-03-27:
What is the source of this?
Posted by Venice09 on 2012-03-27:
Just because people have been unknowingly eating pink slime doesn't mean it's right or safe. It just means they've been deceived and betrayed. That's why there has been such an uproar since the dirty little secret was exposed.
Posted by trmn8r on 2012-03-27:
Even WallsMart is stopping the sale of pink slime. That tells you something.

Is it any surprise WallsMart was selling it in the first place?
Posted by Anonymous on 2012-03-27:
Right on, Venice. The fact that Beef Products, Inc has suspended operations in 3 out of its 4 plants that make pink slime is a huge win!

Now, if the American people will start rising up against the feedlots too, then we'll start seeing some real change.

Education, education, education. Pay attention to what's in the food you buy and where it comes from. Cheap does not always = good.
Posted by GenuineNerd on 2012-03-27:
I also remember reading where Kroger plans to discontinue selling "pink slime" ground beef as well.
Posted by Venice09 on 2012-03-27:
This article from 2009 was a real eye-opener for me:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/04/health/04meat.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

I stopped eating ground beef completely until I found out that my supermarket grinds it daily in-store with no byproducts or additives. It is the only place I will buy ground beef. I can live without fast food burgers.
Posted by lexophiliac on 2012-03-27:
Good article. Thanks.
Posted by trmn8r on 2012-03-27:
I couldn't tell if it is an article or not. It has various quotes, but many paragraphs without.

It appears to be a compilation of some sort, and parts appear to be authored by those who have a stake in pink slime. Get it? Stake in pink slime?
Posted by JISCal2 on 2012-03-27:
bwaaaaahahaha! I get it, trm! LOL >:-)
Posted by onlooker on 2012-03-27:
Are you ready for yet another rise in beef prices.

That will be the result. Costs will be bumped up all along the chain - China actions are increasing gas prices, safe food increases other daily and public (like school) costs.

Wendy's will get more expensive and we will see more complaints here.
Posted by Skye on 2012-03-28:
EVERYTHING is rising in price as it is. The stopping of pink slime is beneficial to those who have been deceived.
Posted by ok4now on 2012-03-28:
Pink slime was only used in dog food until the FDA approved it for human consumption. Just another reason not to trust the government.
Posted by Alain on 2012-03-28:
Thanks for a different look at FTB, Madconsumer. While it's popular to get upset about these things (FTB, genetically altered grain, etc.), there is always another side to the debate.
Posted by raven2010 on 2012-03-28:
Mad, you appear to have some quotes in your information. To stay within TOS and avoid copyright infringement, you may want to site your source
Posted by ok4now on 2012-03-29:
My biggest concern about FTB (pink slime) is the use of ammonium hydroxide used to kill any bacteria. Ammonia is a cleaning agent that should not be in our food. The human body produces ammonia naturally as a waste product, this is why your urine sometimes smells. This process needs to be removed from our food.

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