The "Pink Slime" Controversy

Everyone, it seems, has an opinion about lean finely textured beef. Editor Paul King is still on the fence, and wants to know what you think.

According to Nestle, using LFTB has several benefits. For example, it “recovers 10 to 12 [additional] pounds of edible lean beef from every animal and is said to save another 1.5 million animals from slaughter.” In her column, she went on to say that ground beef containing LFTB rarely, if ever, is found to be contaminated with E. coli.

The problem, she says, is not a health issue but a societal one: “Calling LFTB 'pink slime' presents a massive public relations problem. Human culture determines what is socially acceptable to eat. Most of us don’t eat the parts of animals our culture considers inedible. LFTB is not really slimy and it is reasonably safe and nutritious. But it violates cultural norms.”

This is not unique to current society, or even to the U.S. Every culture and every society throughout history has set down rules for social acceptability. The Jewish religion has several dietary laws, borne out of food safety issues, that non-Jews might consider quaint or outdated. But they are an indelible part of Jewish heritage.

There are foods our parents and grandparents, products of the Great Depression, would eat that many of us look at with disdain, and the same is true of foods from some “foreign” cultures.

Historians and anthropologists often remark on, and sometimes applaud, the ability of previous societies to make valuable use of parts of plants and animals that people in today’s world toss aside. Sometimes, this ability comes full circle. My father would gather the weeds we would scythe in the far reaches of our backyard and burn them. Today, a growing number of people are taking that "waste" and composting it—just as our ancestors once did. Doubtless there are old folks who look at "pink slime" and say, “what’s the problem?”

I don’t know what to make of the LFTB controversy. What should be the controlling factor, culture or cost? Have we overreacted to this issue? Have the media squelched all rational discussion by scandalizing a useful product with the pejorative “pink slime,” or have they done society a favor by exposing an offensive practice?

What do you think? We would love to hear from you. Please send your comments to me at pking@cspnet.com, or log onto our Facebook page and offer your opinion.

Keywords: 
purchasing

More From FoodService Director

Menu Development
usa map regions

From global flavors to clean labels, it’s clear that some buzzworthy noncommercial menu trends are universal. But FoodService Director ’s 2016 surveys have revealed some noteworthy differences within segments in the Northeast, South, Midwest and West regions. We combed through data from our College and University Census, Hospital Census and Long-Term Care/Senior Living Census for the most surprising variations in menu trends and expectations.

1. Plant-based dishes are on the rise at Midwestern colleges and universities

Seventy-seven percent of C&U operators in this region say...

Industry News & Opinion

Ithaca College is turning to new solutions to address overcrowding at a dining hall that is already understaffed, The Ithacan reports .

The Ithaca, N.Y., school's Terrace Dining Hall has seen a large influx of students this year after being renovated, causing lines to wrap around the dining hall.

To ease congestion, Sodexo Area General Manager Jeffrey Scott told The Ithacan that the eatery has added a separate entree line, as well as signage displaying menu items at less-crowded food stations in an effort to draw students to the other side of the dining hall.

The...

Menu Development
mac cheese pizza

Anybody think the popularity of mac and cheese has played out? Anyone?

More likely, foodservice directors are trying to bake new life into the comfort staple by tweaking the presentation and components. Here’s a snapshot of how that rejuvenation effort looks in streetside restaurants.

Industry News & Opinion

Noncommercial foodservice operations and other employers would be spared from costly new overtime pay regulations if 21 states succeed in the legal challenge they jointly filed yesterday.

The lawsuit asks the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas to set aside the rules, which are scheduled to take effect on Dec. 1.

If the court rejects the request, restaurants and other businesses will be required after that date to pay overtime to any salaried employee who works more than 40 hours in a week and earns less than $47,476 on an annual basis.

The...

FSD Resources