Published On: Thu, Mar 15th, 2012

Pink Slime, Soylent Pink and Protein Powder

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If you’re not a vegetarian already you’ll sure be after reading this; 70% of ground beef sold in the USA is ‘poisoned’ with what is now known as ‘Pink Slime’ or ‘Soylent Pink’. Pink slime is an additive composed of beef trimmings once only sold as dog food. Pink slime contains cow brain, spinal cord and neural tissue. The slime supposedly doesn’t contain fat and bone.

The trimmings are now sprayed with ammonia so they are safe to eat and added to most ground beef as a cheaper filler. The “pink slime” is made by gathering waste trimmings, simmering them at low heat so the fat separates easily from the muscle, and spinning the trimmings using a centrifuge to complete the separation. Next, the mixture is sent through pipes where it is sprayed with ammonia gas to kill bacteria. The process is completed by packaging the meat into bricks. Then, it is frozen and shipped to grocery stores and meat packers, where it is added to most ground beef.

Now that’s economic fraud. So where’s the USDA and who are they going to put in jail for this?

The answer is shocking and only adds to the corruption. According to former USDA-scientist Gerald Zirnstein who coined the term Pink Slime earlier at the agency but now stepped forward as a whistleblower to raise awareness for his concern, the agency is very aware of the use of Pink Slime but prevented it to be added to the food label cause as USDA-officials with links to the meat-industry labeled it as meat.

“The under secretary said, ‘it’s pink, therefore it’s meat,’” Custer told ABC News.

Well, if this doesn’t make you shake your head and wonder why we don’t get rid of these idiots, than this will.

ABC News has learned the woman who made the decision to OK the mix is a former undersecretary of agriculture, Joann Smith. It was a call that led to hundred of millions of dollars for Beef Products Inc., the makers of pink slime. When Smith stepped down from the USDA in 1993, BPI’s principal major supplier appointed her to its board of directors, where she made at least $1.2 million over 17 years.

I’m not sure what makes me more angry; the fraudulent food production for profit only, or the blatant corruption rampant with government officials that are supposed to watch over the safety of our food supply.

But it gets worse. Cause if you consider to stop buying pre-packaged ground beef at your supermarket and switch to poultry you’re not going to do yourself a favor.

It’s a standard industry practice to fill chicken meat with water to gain weight up-to 1/3 of the initial slice. Why we allow this is beyond me, but the added water is labeled so it’s our own choice to buy water and pay for chicken. However, to hold the water in after it is injected in the meat a chemical is added. This chemical is made from proteins. Proteins salvaged from the bones or other left-overs from animals like beef, pork or chicken.

OK, it’s disgusting, but the added protein powder is labeled too so what’s the problem?

Well, there shouldn’t be a problem if the meat-industry would stick to the simple rule; chicken-protein goes with chicken, pork-protein with pork, and beef with beef. Unfortunately that’s not the case and here corruption and profit win again.

Beef and pork protein are added to chicken meat because it’s cheaper and therefore more profitable. The industry even developed a technology to hide the dna-print of the protein to make it very difficult to detect from what animal the used protein powder originates.

This is not only again an aweful example of our terribly corrupted food production, but dangerous for those that comply to religious food rules too.

Watch the BBC report on the use of this protein powder.

Like I said at the beginning of this post. If you haven’t decided to become a vegetarian yet, you might consider it now. And I didn’t even mention the industry’s other dirty little secret; meat-glue.

It’s at moments like this I wish the Mayans are right and the world will come to a full stop at the end of this year.

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- As a creative strategist I work on complex (digital) communications issues for international industry leading companies, organizations and agencies. I'm interested in how technology integrates with (and influences) traditional marketing, media, human behavior, society and culture.

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  1. [...] while the specter of “pink slime”—pureed, defatted, and ammonia-laced slaughterhouse scraps—has caused quite the uproar over the [...]

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