It seems that the public outcry against “pink slime,” the bits and scraps of stuff left hanging on the bones that is processed, treated with ammonium hydroxide, and then hidden in your ground beef, has been so great that the meat industry is searching for another name that will be more “palatable” to the public.
Beef Products, Inc., is appealing to Americans to continue buying the slime, claiming that jobs are being lost and that absent slime filler, the cost of your summer burgers will go up. BFI made no mention that most of the workers are paid low wages, work in horrific conditions and have no healthcare insurance, but what would one expect from a corporation that hired former Under Secretary Joann Smith of the USDA; the same Smith who in her official capacity gave the wink to BFI by officially declaring “it’s pink, therefore it’s meat,” which started this whole slimy mess in the first place.
So any day now, probably sooner than later, some snazzy new name will pop up to replace “lean finely textured beef,” the cleverly manipulated term for pink slime, and the whole fiasco will repeat itself. “Chemically decontaminated by-products” just doesn’t seem to resonate with consumers so it’s off the table. All we can do is wince and wait.