The Skinny on the Slime

Oh gee. I just saw a news bulletin that the factory that makes the “pink slime” that has been going into ground beef in this country has had to close down some of their plants because of “lack of demand” for their product. That would be the “pink slime.”

Really? There are people who don’t want pink slime in their ground beef? Gee. Who would have thought?

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Just found this:

“Pink slime, also known as boneless lean beef trimmings or lean finely textured beef, refers to an industrial byproduct created from low quality beef trimmings treated with ammonia gas to render it acceptable for food health standards.


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Ever since I first heard this story about the pink slime it has grossed me out totally. And every time I hear this story on the news, it’s always at suppertime, and just when we are sitting at the table eating our supper. I have to literally turn the channel to continue eating because this whole subject just makes me sick to my stomach. I have to admit, though, that I have not researched it yet. I am not sure I know what this pink slime really is except that it is some kind of a filler in ground beef (aka hamburg) that is made with ammonia or something like that. (See the info I gleaned from Wikipedia above this paragraph…)

Maybe I should have researched this before writing about it, but the other day something happened. I was planning on making a meatloaf for supper. That morning, I pulled out a new package of some ground turkey meat from the freezer. It was only about 1 pound. I thought, at the time, that probably there wasn’t any pink slime in turkey, just ground beef (but I haven’t actually determined that as a fact yet). So out it came. But I thought that the meatloaf might be a bit small, so I rummaged in the freezer for more, and I found a small zip-lock bag with some leftover ground beef in it. About 1/3 of a pound. Mixing meats in a meatloaf has always been a favorite technique of mine; I usually mix pork and lamb with beef but why not with turkey? So I pulled out the little bag of ground beef and decided that would be just enough.

At suppertime that night I started to prepare the meatloaf. First I got out all the ingredients that get added in a large mixing bowl. Finally it was time to put in the meat. In went the turkey. When I opened the bag of ground beef, my natural instincts kicked in and I put my nose into the top of the bag first, just to be sure it was OK.

It was NOT OK. It smelled like ammonia!

Honest to gawd. Into the garbage disposal it went. I spiffed up the turkey meatloaf with other stuff and it was fine, as usual.

But man oh man. Ammonia! So I had pink slime in my freezer! And I probably have more since I know there are some more bags of hamburg in there. I can’t decide what to do. We’ve been eating this kind of meat for years, all our lives, and not knowing about this slime stuff. Do I toss out all the frozen ground beef now?

What to do?

If anyone has any more info on this subject, I would welcome it. Meanwhile, I’m going to do a little research online now and see what’s what. I think “turkey” meatloaf will be my new norm here.

I can only hope that since the pink slime plants are closing, the hamburg producers are not going to be adding it any longer. I can only hope that’s the case. Or maybe this is a sign from above that we should start to wean ourself off ground beef altogether?



P.S. Want to know how fast food breaks down in the body? You’ve got to see this video/experiment and watch the McD’s french fries. Oh yeah… those suckers will never pass these lips ever again! Actually, I don’t eat this stuff any more so no problem there, but if any of you do, maybe give it a second thought…

P.P.S. Want to know how they make those yummy (?) chicken nuggets? Take a gander here.

P.P.P.S. And if you thought by eating at Arby’s would let you off the hook, think again!

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“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”

[Anatole France]

For a really good, albeit long, read, see “From Marblehead to Provincetown: The Loneliness of a Long-Distance Skater”

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10 Responses to The Skinny on the Slime

  1. mz. em says:

    I am so glad we eat less red meat. When I heard about the pink slime, I thought I would heave. We eat mostly pork, chicken, and turkey. One only knows what those poor animals go through before they get to us. It does make me consider being a vegan.


  2. T.S. says:

    At our house we follow Dr. Fuhrman’s “Eat To Live” regimentation, which is Whole-food, plant-based. No more fat, oil, salt, or sugar. Almost entirely leafy greens, onions, mushrooms, beans, berries, and seeds. We’ve found Fuhrman’s recipes to be quite tasty.


  3. Bex says:

    No, TT. The bit of meat was not re-frozen. I usually use hamburg up the same week I buy it, but this was just a little too much so I froze the leftover but it hadn’t been frozen before. Yes, I know about not freezing meat twice.


  4. TopsyTurvy says:

    Bex, you said that the hamburger was about a third of a pound that was left over. Had you defrosted it and then re-freezed it? Just wondering because you’re not supposed to re-freeze meat.


  5. Karen says:

    Check into all meat products not to mention the cruelty to animals and you might want to eat less meat and start eating healthier.


  6. Rhubarb says:

    My mother used to buy steak (flank) and insist the butcher grind it while she watched. Her father had been a grocer and she knew first hand what went into ground meat, hot dogs, and sausages. I never ate a hot dog until I went to college, thanks to her vigilance.

    BTW, if your big meat grinder was too stiff to grind, I would be willing to bet that it was improperly aligned, and/or a part was missing. As a child, I used to use my great-grandmother’s meat grinder all the time. It was hard, but not impossible (and I was small in stature). Check the O-rings. The rubber one may be missing.


  7. Bex says:

    I also thought I’d grind my own beef a few years ago. I even bought an old fashioned big heavy (very heavy) meat grinder that you have to fasten to the edge of a table/counter. I got the beef out and tried grinding it up to make hamburg. OMG. My aching arms. I couldn’t do it! It was too hard! I finally asked Paul to do it for me, and HE COULDN’T DO IT.

    I actually never thought about putting it, in small doses, into my food processor. But thanks for the idea, L’Empress!


  8. l'empress says:

    Some time ago I started using steak, portioning it and putting into the Cuisinart to make a burger. They’re pretty good burgers, I think the meat goes farther; it just doesn’t stick together as well. I think I’ll take that; I’ll just call it a sloppy joe.


  9. Bex says:

    Exactly! I added a few videos down at the bottom of this blog after I’d put it up. Please watch these. I used to love to eat this food. But I’ve learned my lesson now. I’m also probably suffering the consequences now, as well.


  10. Rhubarb says:

    I have been thinking much the same thing. We no longer eat cow, especially ground cow. Between antibiotics in the feed and treatment with ammonia, too many chemicals. And then we wonder why we have autoimmune diseases like lupus and arthritis.


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