By David Jessup
The recent furor over “pink slime” – the unappetizing name given by critics to the filler found in most store-bought hamburger – misses an important point: the real health danger lurks elsewhere.
Pink slime, or “finely textured beef,” as the industry prefers to call it, is made from beef trimmings from slaughterhouses spun in a centrifuge to separate out some of the fat and bathed in ammonium hydroxide gas to kill bacteria. It makes up over 25% of what you’ve been buying as hamburger in grocery stores and fast-food restaurants.
Ammonium hydroxide raises the Ph level of the meat product from acidic to slightly alkaline, an environment hostile to bacteria such as the E. coli variant that has caused numerous deaths and massive hamburger recalls.
The chemical appears to be harmless – the USDA has pronounced ammonium hydroxide safe, and it’s used in other processed foods. But no one seems to ask the question, why is the meat so acidic in the first place as to foster bacterial growth? Read more on “Pink Slime” is the Least of Our Worries…