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Is it time to embrace 'pink slime?'

Wherever you turn these days, it seems as if “pink slime” is already there. “The Today Show,” the New York Times, the beef controversy has been featured even in the vaunted pages of Harvest Public Media.

Some say “pink slime” is gross and, because it is treated with ammonia, is unsafe. Others, who refer to it as Lean Finely Trimmed Beef, say that it has been widely used in the American food industry for decades with few negative consequences.

Whatever you call it, “slime” or LFTB, it’s in the news. But is it evil, as some have seemed to contend? No, says writer Ari Levaux, who writes a nationally syndicated food column.

Is pink slime really any worse than pink cylinders like hot dogs, or yellow nuggets of mechanically separated poultry? Probably not.

In his column, Levaux dives head on into the “pink slime” controversy. But what’s important, Levaux contends, is not the war over beef trimmings itself. There are much broader implications.

...even if pink slime is no more dangerous than many other products meat products on the market, it's nonetheless a timely opportunity to discuss the problems and realities of our industrial meat system.

We rarely raise, slaughter, cook and eat our own food anymore. Instead, we rely on a distant food system to bring us our meals. As long as we can’t verify the exact conditions under which our food is created, scrutinizing the system makes sense.