Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Pink Slime and Perceptions of Food

With all the talk about Pink Slime going around in the media today, have your perceptions of the food industry, or specific restaurants or brands changed? Do you find yourself being more critical of the products you buy?

I'm curious to hear thoughts.


  1. Actually, I haven't heard anything about pink slime. What is it and what does it have to do with the food industry? I rarely eat in restaurants so maybe it doesn't affect me.

  2. According to the Pink Slime Wikipedia page (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pink_slime), "Pink Slime" is a beef scrap-based additive that is often added to ground beef or processed meats as a cheap filler.

    Laws in the US prevent companies to sell Pink slime directly to consumers, but it can make up 15% of ground beef (or added to other meat products) without needing to alert affected consumers.

    In March 2012, ABC News ran a series of features to highlight the controversy. Since the exposé, Beef Products, Inc. (BPI), which holds a significant share of the Pink slime market, has suspended Pink slime production at three of its four plants. In addition, several food manufacturers have come forward to publicly state that they do not use Pink slime in their products. Other restaurants have announced that they are discontinued the use of Pink slime in their food, due to the public response.

    Interestingly enough, Wal-Mart and Sam's Club have announced that they will now be selling Pink slime-free products in their stores, but they will continue to sell products with the filler as well.

    The controversy has also included the discussion of Pink slime being used in school cafeterias.

  3. Call me crazy, but I fully support pink slime, so long as people are notified when products contain it. It's a cheap additive to make a little meat go a longer way.

    When we're in a recession, people are looking for the most food for the lowest price. Historically, that comes with a decrease in quality. Granted, I don't eat meat, so it doesn't exactly affect me, but it still would seem that people make conscious choices to eat poorly all the time due to financial difficulties.

    The mother who needs to feed a family of four is more likely to grab drive-through from McDonald's than she is to stop at a high-end organic market and pick up pesticide-free vegetables and grade A beef from grass-fed cows. She simply lacks the funds, and needs to feed her family. She recognizes that it's a poor health choice, but she has little alternative.

    Wal-Mart and Sam's Club are known for having low-cost products aimed at the lower-middle class demographic who need to stretch every dollar. They recognize that pink slime-free products will be more expensive, and that there are large groups of people who don't have any extra money to allot to their monthly food budgets.

    It has to be a choice each consumer makes for themselves - can they afford to have pink slime free food? Give the people information, educate them on all their options, and let them make up their own minds. It's the best answer for everyone.