JMU focuses on fresh produce, not "pink slime"

Local purchasing avoids products with the controversial filler.

Dining Services at James Madison University, in Harrisonburg, Va.,has a beef with the national attention that “pink slime” and other chemical treatments are getting, so it’s buying local to feed JMU fresher food.

Pink slime is the result of an ammonia treatment that’s applied to boneless lean beef trimmings to prevent growth of E. coli bacteria. Although the US Department of Agriculture says the beef filler is safe, customer concern has rapidly grown.

Dining Services doesn’t use this preservation process on the food it gets from local farmers in Virginia and North Carolina, according to Stephanie Hoshower, resident district manager of Dining Services.

“We are a member of the local chapter of ‘Buy Fresh, Buy Local,’ and we buy local foods in season whenever possible,” Hoshower said.

“Buy Fresh, Buy Local” is a national movement that encourages support of community-based food providers, according to its website.

JMU purchases more than 60 varieties of produce over the course of the school year through Produce Source Partners, according to Hoshower.