Today it’s the sexier and more salacious stories that get passed around the internet. With social media most people just skim headlines. They don’t bother to read the whole article, let alone do some research to figure out how accurate it is.
This is what happened with so-called pink slime.
Unfortunately, word got around pretty quickly that the USDA was allowing scary corporate farms to put this funky “pink slime” into our meat. Goodness knows it was probably laden with toxins, chemicals, and other horrible things.
At least, that was the story.
Unfortunately, by the time the truth came out about what the so-called “pink slime” really was, and its actually beneficial use, people had already heard the horror stories (not to mention viewed pictures with some creepy scientist messing with test tubes and a pink substance that looks like taffy).
Admittedly, I was skeptical of the whole thing. After all, I’ve seen my grandma make fresh sausage (and it isn’t pretty!). So, I was very happy to see the truth finally start to come out (namely in this article from Michigan Farm News).
The real story is that this stuff actually helps keep the meat fresh and safe (but who needs details?). The process includes some of the following:
“The process of making LFTB is as follows: Beef trim that includes fat, small pieces of meat, and bits of connective tissue is heated to about 100 degrees F. The beef is then spun to separate the lean from the fat/connective tissue. Because the temperature of the meat is raised above refrigeration temperatures in the process, there is potential for microbial pathogens present to replicate more rapidly at this temperature. Any time there is potential for microbial growth, food processors must include an intervention step that will minimize the risk. Thus, a puff of ammonium hydroxide gas is applied to the beef. This increases the pH of the meat and creates an environment that does not allow pathogens that might be present to survive.”
So this stuff that has actually been keeping us safe from food borne illnesses the last 30 years (without a single recall or problem) is now on America’s “most hated” list.
I highly suggest reading the entire article (linked here, again for your convenience), because not only does it arm you with the truth about this process, it also highlights other instances where wrong information has caused problems.
See, that’s the thing. When people like Dr. Oz want to create a controversy, they can put out any type of junk information and people believe it. The next thing you know its spread across the internet and everyone is rallying against it. When they are confronted with the truth, they just don’t care.
Maybe that’s why I’m not too optimistic. But, then again, maybe that’s why I’m blogging….