You have been too, if you’ve eaten a burger at McDonald’s or Burger King (or a burrito at Taco Bell) before January. That’s when these chains announced they would no longer use “pink slime” in their products because of the national revulsion at the disclosure of “what’s in your burger” to our enquiring minds.
Fortunately, Five Guys has been receiving most of my burger dollars over the past year and I presume that at their prices they never used “pink slime.” (Wendy’s, Jack-in-the-Box and In ‘N’ Out claim they never used pink slime.) But I also presumed that my Whoppers only included some ground bone which the FDA approved as perfectly acceptable, not to mention a convenient source of calcium.
I’ve never been much of a red meat eater. I do enjoy a good T-bone or prime rib on occasion but my diet includes much more pork and chicken. That’s probably a result of growing up in the Philippines, where chicken and pork are what’s for dinner. For example, there’s pork adobo and chicken adobo but no beef adobo. (At least not any I’ve seen.) And while many cultures roast a whole pig on a spit, I’ve never heard of that happening with a whole cow.
Also, north Florida is very much pork country. Decades ago, the political divide between rural North Florida and urban South Florida was expressed as the struggle between the “pork choppers” and the “lamb choppers.” ( Lamb and duck are my favorite “meats” and my most memorable meal was at The Alpine in New Orleans, where I savored a divine roast duck in praeline sauce.)
I read recently that red meat consumption in the U.S. continues to decline. Price is certainly a factor. The recent publicity about a study that lasted over a decade and showed that regularly consuming red meat increases health risks will probably add to the decline. Add “pink slime” into the equation and ground beef is probably going to be on life support.
Because when all the bad PR fades, what’s to stop the pink slime from quietly returning? The FDA doesn’t require it to be included in any labeling so you’ll never know. (My grocery, Publix, announced that it does not carry pink slime.) And what you don’t know can’t disgust you.
Besides, maybe you’ll buy into the meat industry’s defense of “pink slime,” which is officially called “finely textured lean beef.” (Sounds good!) Challenging the liberal media’s hype is the industry’s website called pink slime is a myth. After all, the FDA is buying millions of pounds of pink slime so your kids can eat it at school for lunch. But now the FDA will allow schools to opt out.
Watch this video of how pink slime is made.
I wouldn’t be surprised if someone follows the morbid example of The Heart Attack Grill (whose 29-year old, 575-pound spokesman died last year) and turns lemon into lemonade by coming out with a Slimeburger. Many men nationwide will prove they are manly men by consuming Super Slimeburgers.
I’m wondering how long it’ll be before an enterprising bartender capitalizes on all this and creates a “Pink Slime” drink. Then you can announce to your friends: “I’ve been slimed and it was great!”