PERRY’s “PINK SLIME” PONEY SHOW VERY SLIMY
Governors, Rick Perry of Texas, Sam Brownback of Kansas and Terry Branstad of Iowa, and executives of Beef Products Incorporated, with a phalanx of national media representatives in tow, led a damage control tour through the BPI plant in South Sioux City, Nebraska on Thursday, 3/29/12 in a feeble attempt to reverse the consumer backlash and justified outrage against the food additive – pink slime. Pink slime, so labeled by Food Safety Inspector, Gerald Zirnstein in 2002, is actually, the beef trimmings -- connective tissue, spinal, rectal and other intestinal material- that used to go largely into pet food but since the 1980’s has been captured and used as hamburger and ground beef filler and fed to unsuspecting humans. National news outlets recently reported that 70% of ground beef in the supermarkets contains pink slime. We were given estimates that fast food hamburgers until just a few years ago were comprised of as much as 25% pink slime.
The issue of whether pink slime is safe or even is it beef misses the point. A better question we could be asking is why do these so-called “beef trimmings” have to be treated with ammonia? (This is part of the process that has many people upset.) Well because pink slime has an even higher concentration of bacteria and could lead to food pathogens like E. coli. Well why are these pathogens in the meat to begin with? The answer is these animals are sickened by the whole process of industrial farming. First they are fed an unnatural diet of corn grain, (for those of us who live in the city, we may not realize that cows eat grass, not corn) their digestive systems are not designed to handle corn, and this creates the conditions for deadly bacteria to breed in their bodies. We also add fish meal, growth hormones and God knows what else to their feed. They stand in very cramped quarters in their own urine and feces and are shot up with antibiotics to keep them alive long enough to be slaughtered. These animals are teeming with disease and if part of their intestines and rectal tissue are making their way into ground beef and hamburgers that is a very scary thought.
The excessive consumption of animal protein, even from less stressed animals still is highly correlated with high incidences of cancer and heart disease. The scientific evidence and recent medical research strongly suggest we shift from animal foods to a whole foods plant based diet. The real question we should be asking ourselves is how do we change from our animal based diets to a whole foods plant based diet? And how quickly can we do this?