Skip to comments.Jamie Oliver’s latest ** panic: ‘pink slime’
Posted on 01/30/2012 8:53:59 PM PST by libertarian27
Jamie Oliver has won an apparent victory by persuading McDonalds to remove a form of reclaimed meat from its burgers. Its a victory built on ignorant scaremongering.
News from America, where McDonalds has responded to a segment in Jamie Olivers Food Revolution by removing an ingredient called finely textured lean beef trimmings from its burgers. This luxurious-sounding product is in fact another form of reclaimed meat, where meat processors try to get every last bit of meat from an animals carcass.
In the segment, Oliver shows a group of parents and children a cow and explains the value of each of the different sections of its body. Then, he says that some parts were previously regarded as being fit for nothing but dog food, basically because there was so much fat and so little meat. However, a company in the US - Beef Products - has found a way of grabbing that meat. First, the left over parts are spun in a centrifuge to separate the meat from the fat. The result looks - from what I can tell - a bit like regular mince. Then, to ensure the product is safe to eat, it is treated with ammonium hydroxide.
What Oliver called pink slime is then added to burgers and other meat products. However, no more than 15 per cent of the finished product can be these beef trimmings and they must be labelled. However, the ammonium hydroxide does not need to be labelled. No one had suggested that this product is uniquely dangerous - it appears to be reasonably safe to eat. Unless you were prepared to eat your burgers rare - and Ive never seen McDonalds dish up rare beef - then any bugs not killed off by the ammonium hydroxide should be killed off by cooking.
Yet Oliver bigs up the yuk factor in this process, which he freely admits he is pretty much completely ignorant about. So in this clip, he says This is how I imagine the process to be before demonstrating that he hasnt got a clue. Particularly irritating is his suggestion that the meat is treated with the kind of ammonia you might use for household cleaning and the implication that children are being fed powerful chemicals.
A few points:
1. Getting every last bit of meat off a carcass is a good thing, given the cost of rearing a cow. The fact that this is done with a centrifuge rather than by a man with a knife only means the process is more efficient now.
2. Treatment with ammonium hydroxide is a sensible precaution and was declared safe decades ago. Ammonium hydroxide occurs naturally in the body as part of the process of metabolising protein. It is quickly converted into urea in the liver. In large quantities, it would be poisonous, but in small quantities it is harmless. As a report for the US Food and Drug Administration noted in 1974: Ammonia and the ammonium ion are integral components of normal metabolic processes and play an essential role in the physiology of man . There is no evidence in the available information on . ammonium hydroxide .. that demonstrates, or suggests reasonable grounds to suspect, a hazard to the public when [it is] used at levels that are now current or that might reasonably be expected in the future.
Jamie Oliver thinks this is all bad because it shows a lack of respect for food and consumers. But if using this kind of product can make foods like burgers cheaper and ensure there is as little waste as possible, why not? Foods like burgers and sausages are all about taking less palatable but perfectly nutritious parts of animals and making them palatable.
If Oliver wants to say that burgers should only be made from the finest cuts of an animal, thats his opinion. But when he scaremongers about perfectly safe on national television, thats pretty slimy.
Not a panic this time. The pink slime is disgusting. Watch “Food Inc” and the Nat’l Georgraphic special on produce and meat production (which also has alarming data on illegals who poop in the fields, potentially spreading e-coli)
Just don’t change the taste of the burger and I don’t care what they do. I think that Jamie could do a lot more to improve food than worrying about the “drippings” from a cow.
So basically, he’s railing against “mechanically separated meat” or a cousin to it. That’s used in a lot of products, and not just with beef. Chicken, pork, etc. It’s a little icky to think about the processing of it, but a slaughterhouse isn’t exactly magical rainbows and unicorns either.
My only beef (bad pun very much intended) with the MS meat is in super cheap products made almost entirely out of the stuff. And that’s only because they almost always taste like “mystery meat” to me. I don’t condemn people for buying it (it’s an affordable option for folks who can’t buy the premium stuff), or for companies who produce it (it fills a market need, and is one of the reasons some prison food budgets aren’t higher than they already are). There’s nothing unsafe about those products. It’s just been my experience most of them taste like crud.
Ammonium hydroxide addition actually helps with that tricky e-coli problem - it also is found in nature.(just because it has a scary chemical name doesn’t mean it’s scary - when was the last time you came in contact with dihydrogen monoxide?)
I have seen ‘Food Inc’ and all the other programs of why we should only eat tofu only....oh, and carrots....
Scrapple is disgusting - but I love it! With Maple Syrup! Real, Maple Syrup of course - because the fake stuff is gross - eew - icky :>)
Go to Youtube and search the video called “Meat Glue”. Unbelievable.
Machines take a lot of handwork out of what everyone used to do anyway.
Scrapple, headcheese, sausage, the various organ”wursts”, etc.
Feeding more people off less is a reasonable goal. The dogs can still eat just fine off the bones and fat , like they did 1000 years ago.
Tofu isn’t even tofu anymore. It’s all genetically modified soybeans treated with pesticides. So even the vegetarians can’t claim to be eating virgin food products.
True - most heavily ‘mechanically separated’ products taste a bit like crud (or mystery meat)- but some taste OK - depending on the percentage added and who’s doing it and what spices they are using.
Our ancestors strived to eat every portion of a slaughtered animal - things like scrapple and head cheese, etc. is frowned upon now - in favor of rib eye and skinless chicken breast.
If the costs can be contained by picking the bones clean and making something decently palatable - I’m for it. My great-grandfathers were for it and I’m for it now.
I’m making soup tomorrow - chicken - simmering bones and carcass for hours - extract the marrow goodness- eewwwwww - LOL
And, if my infrequent $1 lunch is disrupted by Jamie Oliver - I will be annoyed.
Soybeans have always been raised with pesticides in recent history.
Have watched them grown since the late 60’s at least.
“Machines take a lot of handwork out of what everyone used to do anyway.”
Absolutely! People don’t realize how, not so very long ago, people made use of the “manky bits” themselves because they couldn’t afford *not* to use them. In a lot of countries, people still can’t afford to waste things like offal, blood (Filipino dinuaguan stew, etc.).
“Im making soup tomorrow - chicken - simmering bones and carcass for hours - extract the marrow goodness- eewwwwww - LOL”
Yep, that’s the only way to make it really delicious. My mom would always buy a big bag of chicken necks and backs for next to nothing and simmer them all day to make her chicken soup. Yummy as all get out, and a way to feed a big family on a tiny budget.
My dad loved scrapple, btw. Except instead of maple syrup, he always topped his with bit of molasses.
Oh now that stuff really IS dangerous. If you ingest too much, it can kill you. Breathing it in is fatal too. And I would be remiss if I didn't point out that places with large amounts of it are contaminated with dangerous fauna like sharks, manta rays and jellyfish.
McDonalds is going to need a ad campaign to get past this one, AND there gonna have to change the composition of their burger.
Yuk factor matters.
These are not Kosher burgers.
I’d rather have green slime.
The foregoing notwithstanding, I find McDonald’s $1.00 double cheeseburger (the McDouble) tasty and a very good value, probably thanks to the aforementioned lean beef trimmings. I hope the burger’s quality is not diminished by its elimination.
extract the marrow goodness
The younger generation just doesn’t appreciate marrowbone jelly. I’ll be worried when we’re on the dog’s milk-
Holly: Cow’s milk, ran out of that yonks ago. Fresh and dehydrated.
Lister: What kind of milk are we using now?
Holly: Emergency backup supply. We’re on the dog’s milk.
Lister: Dog’s milk!
Holly: Nothing wrong with dog’s milk. Full of goodness, full of vitamins, full of marrowbone jelly. Lasts longer than any other milk, dog’s milk.
Holly: No bugger’ll drink it. Plus of course the advantage of dog’s milk is that when it goes off, it tastes exactly the same as when it’s fresh.
Jamie needs to watch Bazarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern. My family including the teenagers love blood sausage, head cheese, beef tongue, bone marrow, blood tongue sausage, tripe, kidney, liver, tartar, - crap, we eat everything. Well we don't eat crap. ; )
Oh, how I miss In & Out.
I got to start watching that series and play ‘ketchup’ (it’s a vegetable ;>)
Mechanically separated meat doesn’t bother me.