|MIXTURE OF TRUE AND FALSE INFORMATION|
Example: [Collected via e-mail, September 2010]
Basically, the entire chicken is smashed and pressed through a
There's more: because it's crawling with bacteria, it will be washed with ammonia, soaked in it, actually. Then, because it tastes gross, it will be reflavored artificially. Then, because it is weirdly pink, it will be dyed with artificial color.
But, hey, at least it tastes good, right?
Origins: Mechanically separated meat (MSM) and mechanically separated poultry (MSP) are terms used to refer to products created by mechanization which allows meat processors to recover edible meat tissue from the carcasses of animals. Prior to the
Mechanically separated meat is a paste-like or batter-like meat product created by forcing unstripped bones under high pressure through a type of sieve to separate edible meat tissue (including tendons and muscle fiber) from the bones. Contrary to what is claimed above, the process does not involve the grinding up of entire animal carcasses ("bones, eyes, guts, and all") into one large, amorphous glob of meat; it is a technique for removing what is left on the bones of a carcass after all other processing has been completed. Also, although beef producers commonly treat meat products with small amounts of
MSM is typically used in cheaper meat products (such as hot dogs, chicken nuggets, and frozen dinners) which need not retain the appearance, shape, or texture of "regular" meat. In order to satisfy consumer preferences, food producers may utilize additives in MSM-derived products in order to alter their color, taste, or texture.
(Although McDonald's Chicken McNuggets are typically offered as an example of a popular
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), mechanically separated poultry is safe to eat and may be used without restriction, however in commercial food products it must be labeled as such:
Due to FSIS regulations enacted in 2004 to protect consumers against Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, mechanically separated beef is considered inedible and is prohibited for use as human food. It is not permitted in hot dogs or any other processed product.
Mechanically separated pork is permitted and must be labeled as "mechanically separated pork" in the ingredients statement. Hot dogs can contain no more than 20% mechanically separated pork.
Critics contend that BLBT is an undesirable food product because it is more like gelatin than meat, and that because it is produced from low-grade trimmings most susceptible to contamination (such as those taken from areas close to the hide of the cow, which are highly exposed to fecal matter), it must be treated with ammonia to make it safe to eat. The American Meat Institute maintains that the characterization of BLBT as a sub-standard food product are unfounded:
Some recent media reports created a troubling and inaccurate picture, particularly in their use of the colloquial term 'pink slime.' The fact is, BLBT is beef. The beef trimmings that are used to make BLBT are absolutely edible. In fact, no process can somehow make an inedible meat edible; it's impossible. In reality, the BLBT production process simply removes fat and makes the remaining beef more lean and suited to a variety of beef products that satisfy consumers' desire for leaner foods.
The pink slime burger also was perfectly seared and drew me in with an equally alluring aroma. But no juices collected on the plate. Or dribbled out. Or were apparent in the meat in really any way. The taste was — OK. I took another taste of the first burger, then back to the pink slime burger.
It was not bad. But nor was it good. It was flat. I added more salt. No. It was simply one-dimensional.
And then there was the texture. Unpleasantly chewy bits of what I can only describe as gristle, though they were not visible, seemed to stud the meat of the pink slime burger. The result was a mealy chew that, while not overtly unpleasant, didn't leave me wanting another bite.
In February 2012, fast food chains McDonald's, Taco Bell, and Burger King announced they would stop using BLBT in their food products. In March 2012, the grocery chains Kroger, Safeway, Supervalu, Bi-Lo, and Winn-Dixie announced they would stop buying BLBT products.
|Meat Preparation (USDA)|
Alexander, Ames. "Deadly Chemicals at Poultry Plants." The Charlotte Observer. 23 June 2009. Burros, Marian. "Eating Well." The New York Times. 21 September 1988. Forer, Ben. "'Pink Slime' Will Be a Choice for Schools." ABCNews.com. 15 March 2012. Hirsch, J.M. "'Pink Slime': Sounds Gross, But How Does It Taste?" The Huffington Post. 16 March 2012. Johnson, Alex. "McDonald's Drops Use of Gooey Ammonia-Based 'Pink Slime' in Hamburger Meat." MSNBC.com. 31 January 2012. MacMillan, Malcolm. "Delicious Fake Foods You Should Stay Away From." FOXNews.com. 13 July 2009. Moss, Michael. "Safety of Beef Processing Method Is Questioned." The New York Times. 30 December 2009. Shin, Annys. "Engineering a Safer Burger." The Washington Post. 12 June 2008. Simpson, Ian. "Kroger Joins Rival Grocers in Rejecting 'Pink Slime' Beef." Reuters. 22 March 2012. BBC News. "What Is Mechanically Recovered Meat?" 9 August 2001.