Back when we talked about “pink slime,” or ammoniated boneless lean beef trimmings, it caused quite a stir. Some people confuse this food additive with mechanically separated meat (MSM), but they’re not the same thing. MSM is not a common food additive anymore, but until recently pink slime was an additive in a large percentage of mass-produced meat products.
The savvy folks at Disinformation pointed us to a report from Argus Leader about how several fast food companies, under consumer pressure, are ditching the ammoniated boneless lean beef trimmings. The companies that are no longer using pink slime are:
- Taco Bell
- Burger King
Other fast food chains still use pink slime, and it’s common in school cafeterias, as well. Advocates of the additive criticize consumers and activists for pressuring companies to stop using ammoniated boneless lean beef trimmings, saying it’s bad for business. It’s specifically bad for BPI, the company who produces pink slime by “cleansing” beef trimmings with ammonium hydroxide to make it passable as human grade food.
Does this mean an ethical eater is cool to pick up a Quarter Pounder With Cheese or a Big Mac? Not quite yet. While they may skip the pink slime, these fast food companies still source their meat from factory farms. If you do the meat thing, unless a restaurant can tell you where its meat is coming from it’s better to skip it all together.
What I love about this news is that it’s such a stellar example of our power as consumers. No company is going to continue a practice that hurts its bottom line. Now, we just need to tell these fast food corporations that not only is pink slime not OK, but neither is meat from animals that live a life of abuse.
Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by slice