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Old 03-27-2012, 09:30 PM   #41
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I still do not understand. Did the BPI plants also process other cuts, i.e. non-pink-slime meat? Why did they have to shut down the entire operations?
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Old 03-27-2012, 10:26 PM   #42
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Thanks for that story. It does boil my blood somewhat. Here, some journalists go after a story, use the derogatory term 'pink slime' (who is going to want that?), and innocent people lose their jobs. Basically, this is just a process to recover whatever meat they can that is left. Once upon a time 'waste not, want not' was a virtue.

Would the same newspaper report a story about the 'horrors' of newspaper production (killing tress, bleaching the paper, producing CO2 along the way), or how much CO2 they produce jetting around to cover stories? Or would these same 'journalists' call for a shut down and firing of the govt agency that approved the process?

Has anyone ever been harmed by this? If you don't like how factories grind beef, grind your own (and I do think that is a reasonable alternative, I prefer the transparency of seeing what is being ground). The 'journalists' ought to find bigger fish to fry (just to mix the metaphors), and stop hurting innocent people.


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In a similar story, I believe I heard that a typical carcass yields about 10 pounds of this stuff (whatever you call it). If the total meat from a steer is about 500 pounds, then it seems the impact on the price of hamburger would be no more than 2% (yeah, I know it's more complicated than that, but I'm ball-parking).
I'm guessing maybe less than half of that goes to ground meat, so it might be closer to a 4% number. Seems small, but that might double their profit margin on the product. Hard to pass that up, especially for an FDA approved process.

-ERD50
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Old 03-28-2012, 05:26 AM   #43
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I usually buy nice cuts of beef and grind them myself (2 passes).
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Old 03-28-2012, 07:08 AM   #44
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I wonder if anyone ever thought of how much inert ingredients that are allowed in grain product by the USDA such as cereal? I had a friend that ran a feed mill and he told me one time, that it was 4%, so think of four percent of your breakfast cereal being inert ingredients such as mouse droppings, bugs, dirt.
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Old 03-28-2012, 07:24 AM   #45
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I wonder if the BLS makes hedonic adjustments for pink slime in its price trend analysis of ground meat.

Those concerned about future availability and production can rest assured. The product has been rebranded, is now called "lean, finely textured beef" and is still in production. A FAQ can be found here Facts About Lean Finely Textured Beef
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Old 03-28-2012, 07:34 AM   #46
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Mmmmm...Hamburger "Helper"



Clip from Vacation. Cousin Eddie was on to something.
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Old 03-28-2012, 12:47 PM   #47
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I usually buy nice cuts of beef and grind them myself (2 passes).
Same here.
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Old 03-28-2012, 02:44 PM   #48
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I wonder if anyone ever thought of how much inert ingredients that are allowed in grain product by the USDA such as cereal? I had a friend that ran a feed mill and he told me one time, that it was 4%, so think of four percent of your breakfast cereal being inert ingredients such as mouse droppings, bugs, dirt.
Fiber! Yeah! Fiber! That's the ticket!
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Old 03-28-2012, 02:58 PM   #49
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I wonder if anyone ever thought of how much inert ingredients that are allowed in grain product by the USDA such as cereal? I had a friend that ran a feed mill and he told me one time, that it was 4%, so think of four percent of your breakfast cereal being inert ingredients such as mouse droppings, bugs, dirt.
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Fiber! Yeah! Fiber! That's the ticket!
What? Fiber? No way. Mouse dropping and bugs aren't fiber, they're protein. Dirt, maybe.
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Old 03-28-2012, 03:24 PM   #50
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Those concerned about future availability and production can rest assured. The product has been rebranded, is now called "lean, finely textured beef" and is still in production. A FAQ can be found here Facts About Lean Finely Textured Beef
Thanks for that. Boy, talk about marketing and the power of labeling (both ways). LFTB sounds like very good stuff--it's more lean than the ground beef to which it is added, guaranteed to be free of E. Coli and certain other pathogens, inexpensive, reduces waste (and thereby pollution, etc). It sounds like health food stores should be selling it in Slurpee form. That's a long way from "pink slime."

I'd still prefer not to eat it--or at least not to know about it.
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Old 03-28-2012, 07:27 PM   #51
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Ah, when people are sufficiently hungry, posters here included, they would eat anything and not be so choosy.

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Pink slime is truly disgusting. Are you kidding me when saying it is already in supermarket ground beef now?
Now that I have read a bit more about this subject, it is nowhere as repulsive as when I first heard the term.

Think about it, this is just scrap meat that is salvaged by mechanical means. Surely, a disinfectant is used to ensure that bacteria get killed, but do we not also disinfect our chopping blocks or cutting boards at home with bleach? How do the meat departments in the back of grocery stores disinfect their trays, knives, bone saws, meat grinders, etc...?

And talk about the back of grocery stores, the butchers usually work behind closed doors, and bring out the cuts already shrink-wrapped and looking pretty. But one time, I was in a store when they kept the door open. Oh la la! The smell was powerful that I had to walk away quickly, lest I became a vegetarian.
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Old 03-28-2012, 08:43 PM   #52
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Here's another thing!

It just occurred to me that cheeses often smell of ammonia, particularly Brie! So, did cheese makers also use ammonia in the manufacturing process?

Nope! A quick search on the Web found that all that ammonia comes from the cheese itself. The following excerpt was found on page 10 of the book entitled The relation of bacteria to the flavors of cheddar cheese by Lore Alford Rogers, which says that my favorite cheese, aged cheddar, has lots of ammonia too.
In a thoroughly ripened Cheddar cheese 3 or 4 per cent of the total nitrogen will be in the form of albumoses, and an equal amount in the form of peptones, while the amides will contain about 30 per cent of the nitrogen and the ammonia 3 to 5 per cent.
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Old 03-29-2012, 02:13 PM   #53
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I still do not understand. Did the BPI plants also process other cuts, i.e. non-pink-slime meat? Why did they have to shut down the entire operations?
Excellent question. At first I assumed it was just one section of the plant, but this seems to say it's a specialty operation (no comments on where they get the scraps).

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BPI, founded by Eldon and Regina Roth in 1981, has billed itself as the world's largest supplier of lean boneless beef.
At its peak, BPI's meat was found in an estimated 70 percent of the nation's ground beef.

The privately-held company developed specialized equipment and techniques that separate bits of lean beef from the fatty scraps left over from steaks, roasts and other cuts.
UPDATE: BPI suspends work at 3 plants, including Waterloo; cites negative publicity

Doing a little math, these three plants produced about (350K+350k+200k) * 260 = 234 million pounds per year. Total beef carcass weight is about 27 billion pound per year. Based on the earlier wild guess that 2% of a carcass ends up in this form, that would make total national production at 540 million pounds. It seems plausible that BPI specializes in this stuff.

Here's another story: BPI suspends operations at Waterloo plant - KWWL.com - News & Weather for Waterloo, Dubuque, Cedar Rapids & Iowa City, Iowa |
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Old 03-29-2012, 02:21 PM   #54
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Yes, it appears that BPI specializes in this process, and their operations are attached to larger meat processing plants.

Now, that I understand more about this, it is really unfortunate that the derogatory term makes people, like myself initially, jump to conclusion without understanding what it is all about.

I like to eat soup, and the bone and carcass with some meat still attached would make excellent beef broth. The process is simply to get more of the scrap meat before they dispose of the bones. In poorer countries with low labor rates, I imagine the workers would scrape off all the meat they can. The bitty pieces may not be pretty compared to a filet mignon, but hey, it is still beef.

PS. I saw a video by Jamie Oliver badmouthing the process. I don't believe that what he demonstrated was the actual process, such as "dunking" the meat in ammonia solution. Has anyone ever smelled ammonia in any burger before, compared to ammonia in cheeses?

I enjoyed Oliver's cooking shows before, but realized that he was totally ignorant about ammonia being plentiful and natural in cheeses. See my post earlier in this thread.
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Old 04-02-2012, 04:40 PM   #55
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AFA Foods Files Bankruptcy Citing Pink Slime Coverage

I still don't buy ground beef. I would only consider from a local supplier, but I really don't use it anyway.

Audrey

BTW, NW-Bound - if crab ever smells of ammonia, throw it out, it has gone bad.
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Old 04-02-2012, 04:51 PM   #56
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AFA Foods Files Bankruptcy Citing Pink Slime Coverage

I still don't buy ground beef.

Audrey

BTW, NW-Bound - if crab ever smells of ammonia, throw it out, it has gone bad.
We only buy from a little Amish market and they grind it on site (I have watched them).

Lucky enough to live in eastern MD so our crab meat is picked locally and never more than a day off the boat during season. We don't buy during the off season.
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Old 04-02-2012, 11:03 PM   #57
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BTW, NW-Bound - if crab ever smells of ammonia, throw it out, it has gone bad.
What makes you think I am a guy who eats ammonia-smelling crab? Does Costco sell crab like that?

The local Oriental markets even have live Dungeness crab at a fairly decent price.
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Old 04-02-2012, 11:10 PM   #58
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The local Oriental markets even have live Dungeness crab at a fairly decent price.
Do they have lots of pumps and aerators in the tank to keep the water in motion? It makes the crabs look like they are moving. Very lifelike.
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Old 04-02-2012, 11:16 PM   #59
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Next time, I will take a really close look to make sure there are no strings attached to the crab legs, with which the seller might animate them like puppets.
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Old 04-03-2012, 12:46 AM   #60
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I wonder if anyone ever thought of how much inert ingredients that are allowed in grain product by the USDA such as cereal? I had a friend that ran a feed mill and he told me one time, that it was 4%, so think of four percent of your breakfast cereal being inert ingredients such as mouse droppings, bugs, dirt.
I would be shocked if it was that high. 0.04% would be closer to what one large company I know of would buy, and then they would clean it and screen it several times over. But then again, that company makes food grade products, not feed grade products.
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