The nation’s school districts are turning up their noses at “pink slime,” the beef product that caused a public uproar earlier this year, the Associated Press reports. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the vast majority of states participating in its National School Lunch Program have opted to order ground beef that doesn’t contain the product known as lean finely textured beef. Only three states – Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota – chose to order beef that may contain the filler. The product has been used for decades and federal regulators say it’s safe to eat. It nevertheless became the center of national attention after the nickname “pink slime” was quoted in a New York Times article on the safety of meat processing methods. The filler is made of fatty bits of beef that are heated then treated with a puff of ammonia to kill bacteria. In response to the public outcry over its use, the USDA said in March said that it would for the first time offer schools the choice to purchase beef without the filler for the coming 2012-2013 school year. The agency has continued to affirm that lean finely textured beef is a safe, affordable and nutritious product that reduces overall fat content…
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Schools will get to opt out of “pink slime” beef
School districts soon will be able to opt out of a common ammonia-treated ground beef filler that critics have dubbed “pink slime,” Philly.com reports. Amid a growing social media storm over so-called lean finely textured beef, the U.S. Department of Agriculture was set to announce Thursday that starting in the fall schools involved in the national school lunch program will have the option of avoiding the product. Under the change, schools will be able to choose between 95 percent lean beef patties made with the product or less lean bulk ground beef without it. The change won’t kick in immediately because of existing contracts, according to a USDA official with knowledge of the decision. Though the term “pink slime” has been used pejoratively for at least several years, it wasn’t until last week that social media suddenly exploded with worry and an online petition seeking its ouster from schools lit up, quickly garnering hundreds of thousands of supporters……Read More