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The Truth of the Matter
It's amazing how folks think. The Pink Slime controversy started when a couple of scientists who formerly were with the U.S. Department of Agriculture referred to the beef product as "pink slime" in an interview on the ABC evening news program March 7, 2012.
Instantly this caught the public's attention and the mob reacted in horror. Quickly the Pied Pipers of the "health" food world started circulating bogus pictures and lies to promote their own little agendas to sell more of their bogus products.
This is just another really pathetic example of mob rule and how the public can latch on to nonsense and run with it.
Unfortunately we can't get the masses to latch on to the grass-fed concept and run with that. I believe that's partly because Pink Slime concerns are a perception myth that's easy to grasp while the grass-fed story is based on scientific facts which require some brain function to understand.
If you are interested in the more important nutritional characteristics of various food products go to Slanker's Food Nutrition Tables.
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Are concerns for Pink Slime based on nutritional deficiencies? Is there a food safety issue? If it's not a nutritional issue or a food safety issue, then what is the problem?
Well then, shall we examine the facts?
If people want to worry about the foods they eat, there are two ways to go about it. One is to run around screaming about myths and erroneous perceptions. The other is to ask meaningful questions and embrace proven scientific facts. For starters, the most popular picture of pink slime (left) that circulates on the Internet is not a picture of the actual product (right). Is that a red flag?
Why is the color of this meat product a light red? It's because ALL grain-fed meats are anemic and that gives then a lighter color. For instance grain-fed pork is called the other white meat. Wild pigs have darker colored meat. Grain-Fed Beef is red instead of mahogany colored like Grass-Fed Beef, etc.
Is Pink Slime actually slimy? Not near as slimy as an egg or grain-fed pork bacon!
Is Pink Slime pure beef? Yes in that it is 95% lean muscle tissue and 5% fat.
Is the small addition of Ammonium Hydroxide toxic to humans in the quantities that are present? No.
Is Ammonium Hydroxide found naturally in the human body? Yes.
Does Ammonium Hydroxide eliminate pathogen contamination risks? Yes, by nearly a 100% margin.
Are the nutritional characteristics of the product the same as glamourous high end grain-fed meats sold in the finest restaurants and stores? Yes.
Is Pink Slime the worst meat product on the market? No.
Are better meat products available? Yes.
Far and away the best meat products are from 100% grass-fed critters because grass-fed meats contain 100% of all nutrients required for optimal health in perfect balance. Grass-fed meats are dark colored because they are nutrient dense. Will we ever be able to generate the same enthusiasm for pure science and it's backing for grass-fed meats like the uproar we've seen regarding the misplaced concerns for "Pink Slime"? Probably not for some long, long time I expect.
Below these comments are a few good links about Pink Slime. No, they are not wild-eyed statements from the unwashed. They are good articles full of facts presented as facts. The only problem with this form of mechanically processed beef in question is that most of it is from grain-fed cattle (some grass-fed cattle are actually processed by the largest ground meat packers). The grain-fed aspect of this meat product is its huge nutritional downfall as is true for nearly all other conventional meat products. None of the concerns being voiced by the fear mongers regarding Pink Slime are valid. Do the fear mongers ever speak about the dangers of eating grain? No, that's okay with them. Consequently they are screaming about lady finger firecrackers and ignoring the atomic bomb.
Below the links is a table of nutrients for Mechanically Separated Beef (virtually identical to the Pink Slime product) and conventional grain-fed Sirloin Tip Steak. The data comes from Nutrition Data and it gets its data from the U.S. government. Other than the fact that both products in the analysis come from grain-fed livestock, is there a nutritional problem here with Pink Slime? If not, then the whole uproar over Pink Slime is a perception problem that has taught the masses nothing.
This link is the manufacturer's explanation. Is it valid?
Yes, it is exactly down the centerline in terms of being scientifically factual.
Below is a comparative table of nutritional data from Nutrition Data's analysis for Mechanically Separated Beef (which is a similar to the Pink Slime in question) and a Sirloin Tip Steak. For some unknown reason, in all cases for animal product listings (including seafood) on Nutrition Data, none of them include all of the vitamins. Yet all of the vitamins required for living animals are present at some level, therefore the data is incomplete. Just the same, for comparative purposes the data as presented illustrates that in terms of nutritional characteristics, Pink Slime is just like all the other regular grain-fed beef products. So, once again, instead of freaking out over perceptions, this is an excellent opportunity to evaluate real nutritional characteristics of the foods we consume. When a person does that, they will always conclude that grass-fed meats are superior in ALL respects to grain-fed meats.
Unfortunately, this is not the way the mob reacts. They run on perceptions, lies, myths, and innuendoes which leads them down paths that take them nowhere or into even worse situations. This is why I hope that someday the real story about what is and is not proper food for man will surface and gain the same focus of attention that we've experienced for ridiculous food concerns that are only imaginable and not even close to real.
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