Need some motivation to pack a healthy lunch for your children? I have two words for you: Pink slime. Remember the disgusting concoction of leftover meat trimmings and ammonia that was so vile even fast food establishments had to stop using it? Yeah, well since all that waste was going to waste, our nation's schools decided to scoop it up and serve it in cafeterias across the country.
According to a story in The Daily, the U.S. Department of Agriculture continues to buy the pink slime and is planning a big old 7 million-pound purchase of it to use over the next couple of months. And here I thought the goal was to make school lunches healthier.
It's beyond outrageous that they're trying to pass off this foul substance to our children. While officials claim it's "safe" as the ammonia kills off the E. coli and salmonella in the trimmings, the fact is we shouldn't be serving our kids something that's too low even for fast food companies. What kind of message is that sending about how much we value the health of our children?
And ammonia? Dear lord, let's just serve them up a glass of cleaning solution or fertilizer to wash down their pink slime burgers. Not to mention, there are plenty of concerns that even with the use of ammonia, E. coli and salmonella still happen, and these connective tissues used in pink slime are particularly high in risk for them.
So that's what we're dishing up to our kids -- a gross, dangerous, non-meat mess. As Carl Custer, an employee of the Food Safety Inspection Service for 35 years, told The Daily:
We originally called it soylent pink. We looked at the product and we objected to it because it used connective tissues instead of muscle. It was simply not nutritionally equivalent [to ground beef]. My main objection was that it was not meat.
PB&J is starting to sound all sorts of good right now. My son is in a private school, and they don't have an official hot lunch program. Previously this has been a nuisance for me as I grudgingly pack his lunch each day. After reading this news, however, I'll never complain again.
Are you surprised to learn this is being served in our nation's schools? Will this news make you pack your children's lunches instead of letting them eat in the cafeteria?
Image via USDAgov/Flickr