70% of all Ground Beef Contains "Pink Slime" ... and USDA Bought 7 Million Pounds of the Stuff for School Lunches

George Washington's picture

By Washington’s Blog

ABC news notes:

“Pink slime,” a cheap meat filler, is in 70 percent of the ground beef sold at supermarkets and up to 25 percent of each American hamburger patty, by some estimates.

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

The USDA just bought 7 million pounds of pink slime to add to school lunches (up from 5.5 million pounds in 2009).

Jamie Oliver gave a must-watch demonstration on the subject a year ago:

But at least we know where the real meat part of ground beef comes from ... right?

Nope ... the World Trade Organization struck down American laws requiring labeling of beef to disclose the country of origin:

But at least beef is being tested for horrible diseases like mad cow disease, right?

Negatory: the government does very little testing ... and prohibits private citizens such as ranchers or meat packers from testing it themselves.

What Should We Do?

So what's the answer?

You could cook a pot roast or other cut of meat and grind it yourself. That way, you'll be sure there's nothing but real meat.

Or you could buy grass-fed beef. Organic, grass-fed usually contains no pink slime.

And all grass-fed beef - organic or not - has a much lower risk for mad cow than other types of beef.


Because mad cow disease is most commonly caused by feeding animal products to cows. For example, Wikipedia notes:

A British inquiry into BSE [the scientific abbreviation for mad cow] concluded that the [disease] was caused by cattle, who are normally herbivores, being fed the remains of other cattle in the form of meat and bone meal (MBM), which caused the infectious agent to spread.

If they are fed grass - their natural food - they are much less likely to get sick.

Stores like Trader Joe's label grass fed, so it is easy to find.

Grass-fed beef contains more Omega 3s than beef from cows fed corn, meat or other “modern” feeds. See this and this.

Why is this important? Because eating Omega 3 rich foods can increase gray matter in adults and boost neurological development in children. Conversely, low dietary levels of Omega 3s in mothers can reduce their kids’ IQ. (This is not entirely surprising, given that (1) our brains are about 60% fat, and (2) leading nutritionists say that humans evolved to consume alot of Omega 3 fatty acids in the wild game and fish which they ate (more), and that a low Omega 3 diet is a very new trend within the last 100 years or so).

And if you think that asking for organic beef is a counterculture hippy thing, note that Ronald Reagan insisted on organic meat.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Yes_Questions's picture



Fuck'n A..


As soon as my kid could express what she liked to eat, it became apparent that she had a natural dis-inclination (almost distrust) for this crap.  It can be frustrating having a "picky eater" as a child, but at least mine won't go near a Mickey Ds burger or a McNugget.  That isn't to say a number of processed foods didn't make it to the pantry over the years..



DaveyJones's picture

the kids in my neighborhood also have a better animal instinct for what is healthy and seem more interested in pulling food out of the community garden than anywhere else. Growing up is such a progression of stupidity.

great post marcus

YBNguy's picture

Soylent Green is PEOPLE!!!!

the grateful unemployed's picture

so what's Soylent Pink? Oh I think I get it, a subtle form of cannibal racism? there must be a joke in here somewhere. three guys were stranded on Donner Pass in the snow. they decided to eat one of them, so the other two could survive. there was a Jew, a Catholic and a black man. hmm

boiltherich's picture

Why Element?  As soon as we switch they will be telling us about mad cat disease.

hooligan2009's picture

i had a mad cat once...but i didn't eat it! that was funny...thanks

espirit's picture

I tried grinding my own beef from solid store bought chuck and roasts.  It was like chewy and lacked fat, not like Mickey D's or anything else as tasty.

Without the pink slime filler, fat, or other soy additives - it just didn't taste right.  Conditioning?

Bah, bah, bah.


OldPhart's picture

Got to add natural fat to the mix.  What you describe is ultra-lean and would be pretty dry.  A well fed steer should have a natural layer of fat that can be trimmed and set aside to mix into hamburger.  Your attempt used store bought meat that had most of the fat trimmed away.

Next attempt see if the butcher will give you trimmed fat.  They may not charge for it, or if they do, it will be very cheap.  The thing about making hamburger is that you have to run it through the grinder a couple of times to get a good mix.  Most people think it's done after the first grind.

As a kid, we raised steers, etc.  Our grinder was hand operated and was not a favored task.

espirit's picture

Bit of sarcasm on my part.  As a hunter, what isn't cut for roasts or cubed, goes to the grinder after the tendon trash is cut out.

Used to get oddball looks and people puking on their plate when I told them it was a fresh kill, but boasted it was "organic free range".

Now I laugh when I see them eat that ground crap from the factory store.

Racer's picture

Jamie Oliver's programmes about school meals are a must watch if you are a parent

onelight's picture

Click on "the Grassfed Difference" for a definitive short video that states the case for grassfed beef versus the more industrially-raised-and-processed kind.
Buffalo dogs - similar benefits, but much leaner with same protein as grassland beef (tho more expensive)

The food industry does listen, sometimes, to consumer complaints:


Seasmoke's picture

gives new meaning, to the home of the brave

DavosSherman's picture

Why I buy a cow from a local farmer and bring it to a local butcher every year.  What bee-s!

resurger's picture

Am long chicken after i read this

Cathartes Aura's picture

as long as you're not eating corporate chikken like Tyson, etc. - some of the most disturbing "engineering" of animals is coming from the chikken industry, and their "growing" and "culling" methods are. . . foul.

ask anyone from Arkansas about the run-off of Tyson chikken-factory-farms, and what it's done to the rivers and lakes there. . . not to mention the smell. . .

Randall Cabot's picture

White slime is better then pink slime?

disabledvet's picture

and those prices are surging right now.

AN0NYM0US's picture

and then there are  Brats and other tasty treats from everyone's favorite - Johnsonville


"This is something called the "Johnsonville sausage and egg wrap." It is supposed to be food. It looks like something that fell out of a large warthog. It wishes you ill.



AN0NYM0US's picture

Ammonium sulfate: Similar in chemical composition to the wash for meat trimmings, this substance is used as a dough enhancer in some commercial bakers. The chemical feeds dough-rising yeast and makes a more consistent bread.

Propylene glycol: This chemical is very similar to ethylene glycol - dangerous anti-freeze. This less-toxic iteration prevents products from becoming too solid. Low-free ice cream has the ingredient; otherwise you'd be eating ice.

Carmine: Commonly found in red food coloring, this chemical comes from crushed cochineal, small red beetles that burrow into cacti. Husks of the beetle are ground up and forms the basis for red coloring found in foods ranging from cranberry juice to M&Ms.

Titanium dioxide: This whitening agent is used in sun screen, but is also added to skim milk that is normally bluish in color. This chemical doesn't have to be listed as an ingredient, so you may not know if you're drinking it or not.

Shellac: Yes, this chemical used to finish wood products also gives some candies their shiny sheen. Plus, it comes from the female Lac beetle.

L-cycsteine: This common dough enhancer comes from hair, feathers, hooves and bristles.

Lanolin (gum base): Next time you chew on gum, remember this. The goopiness of gum comes from lanolin, oils from sheep's wool that is also used  for vitamin D3 supplements.

Silicon dioxide: Nothing weird about eating sand, right? This anti-caking agent is found in many foods including shredded cheese and fast food chili.



CompassionateFascist's picture

Alright. I've been assimilating poison since the late 1940s. And yet, I feel great all the time. Never get sick, no Drs., no health Ins. Must be something wrong w me. May be it's the 3 hrs/day of solid exercise. Burns off all the poison.

Ruffcut's picture

Did you ever think that the food supply is worse than the late 40's, fucking DUH! Yo momma was feeding you gmo soybeans with roundup in them, I bet.

AN0NYM0US's picture

Trader Joes and Whole Foods are not the foodies panacea that they make themselves out to be


Much of the Organic crap they source comes from China the worlds largest producer of cooking oil sourced from gutters (http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/indepth/2011-09/14/c_131138369.htm)


Trader Joes,   recently caved to the demands of  Florida Farm workers for an extra penny per pound for Tomatoes only after threat of protests (http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_24858.cfm)


Have you noticed that more and more of the fresh produce you buy in the grocery store is not product of USA but instead Mexico, Chile, Peru, China etc...?

And that box of Cheerios in your pantry the one that includes strawberries -- dehydrated under the sanitary conditions of a Chinese food factory.


As for beef, Grass Fed is the only way to go and it tastes better and grinding yourself is actually the smartest approach.  Factory produced ground beef not only contains filler but also ammonia as a preservative.


"The frozen hamburgers that the Smiths ate, which were made by the food giant Cargill, were labeled “American Chef’s Selection Angus Beef Patties.” Yet confidential grinding logs and other Cargill records show that the hamburgers were made from a mix of slaughterhouse trimmings and a mash-like product derived from scraps that were ground together at a plant in Wisconsin. The ingredients came from slaughterhouses in Nebraska, Texas and Uruguay, and from a South Dakota company that processes fatty trimmings and treats them with ammonia to kill bacteria."



And in the world of grains, corn etc  the likes of Monsanto have basically poisoned the food supply with GMOs


americanspirit's picture

Anybody else noticed that most supermarket seafood, and especially shrimp, taste a lot like Clorox? I think we've become so accustomed to chemical testes in our food that we wouldn't know fresh food it it leaped into our mouth and chewed itself for us.

banksterhater's picture

I believe the ingredients as ARABIC GUM and ASCORBIC ACID are in almost every processed USA food and come from China or foreign sources, then there's the issue of pharma ingredients making this far more stealth than this beef issue and needs to be blown out of the water. Foreigners should NEVER TRUST THE USA! For anything, period, in fact, should ban Americans from their country until we clean house!

banksterhater's picture

grass-fed not safe from MadCow if sheep grazed on the land.

Jena's picture

Sheep and goats can get scrapie, a transmissable encephalopathy caused by prions similar to what happens in cows.  The prions are excreted into the soil via feces but I don't know if that soil contamination means that the area is unsafe for cattle or other grazing animals.  I mean, I don't know if the prions are species-specific.  Maybe some of the docs or vets could comment.


nmewn's picture

Who's up for some Sunday morning wretching...or is that wetching? ;-)


Cathartes Aura's picture

good link, although it left off the barcode for Israel, which is 729:


if one doesn't feel up to supporting the aims of this nationstate, this is a way to withdraw your monetary contributions at least.

slewie the pi-rat's picture

i hope you mean wenching...

littlehorse's picture

Not being American, the rest of world is fed through the media, film and other popular culture that America is the land of the free, land of opportunity etc, a place where people have hard faught and won rights... now days all you read are stories like this where citizens there seem to be treated like fodder for corporate and government greed, the food industry, banking , healthcare, pharmaceutical sector all seem to be broken as people are measured and economised into misery and deceit.  The concept of " America" that we were sold as children and young adults through the various forms of media and popular culture seems more like a dream that people cling to than a reality... I'm sure America has many wonderfuls aspects too, but from the outside looking in, the USA is starting to look like it is breaking down..... 

Manthong's picture

Good to know it only looks in the process of breaking down.

Unfortunately, it is worse than they make it look.

Most of the important stuff under their veneer is pretty much broken.

espirit's picture

The price you pay for paved streets, treated water, and electric lighting.

Not to mention a hundred different varieties of crap called food.

Kobe Beef's picture

Don't forget airports, roads and bridges, comrade!



Urban Roman's picture

Now with extra poly ethylene terephthalate!

CaptainAmerica's picture

It is probably best to stick to buffalo and antelope!

nmewn's picture

Deer, turkey, wild hogs and rabbits around here if push comes to shove. Fortunately for us the beef sold at the local grocery stores is local, we know where it comes from.

Gonna have to investigate what they're feeding the kids at school though.

That should be fun.

krispkritter's picture

Guy down the road has buffalo on his land. Turkey are heard and seen daily. Deer track all over. Pigs have been hanging out in the old pond bed because I spike it with stale beer and corn mash. About 600 acres of cattle land around me. And my place is nicknamed Squirrel Ranch if that gives you any clue...all untouched for now but there may come a day when it's needed so I'm leaving it be until then. Did I mention I have 4 freezers?

nmewn's picture

Mmmm, yummy.

And just think, schools are using this stuff...

"RAEFORD — A preschooler at West Hoke Elementary School ate three chicken nuggets for lunch Jan. 30 because the school told her the lunch her mother packed was not nutritious.

The girl’s turkey and cheese sandwich, banana, potato chips, and apple juice did not meet U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines, according to the interpretation of the person who was inspecting all lunch boxes in the More at Four classroom that day.

The Division of Child Development and Early Education at the Department of Health and Human Services requires all lunches served in pre-kindergarten programs — including in-home day care centers — to meet USDA guidelines. That means lunches must consist of one serving of meat, one serving of milk, one serving of grain, and two servings of fruit or vegetables, even if the lunches are brought from home.

When home-packed lunches do not include all of the required items, child care providers must supplement them with the missing ones.


"After reports that school districts around the country were serving kids hamburgers containing up to 15 percent of the processed product known in the meat industry as "Lean Finely Textured Beef', parents and consumers poured online to express their disgust."


We're from the gubmint and we're here to help. And we always know what's best for you & your kids.

espirit's picture

People have begun to outlive their usefulness and are a drain on global resources resulting in stasis.  Unfortunately, the young are targeted to reverse this trend.

It's a long range plan.

Cathartes Aura's picture

absolutely agree.

the poor quality of water, food and air - all necessary to support healthy life - guarantees young people will end up on pharma, and this is the model of factory farming applied to human feedlots, fed-UP, med-UP, birth to grave. . . hence the massive profits in the "medical" factory farms, the soaring rates of diabetes, asthma, hyper-activity, etc. in children.

once you stop thinking of dot-gov as a protective influence, it becomes abundantly clear. . . community folks - find it, be it!!

Hobbleknee's picture

They do other things too, like let Fukushima be in a full meltdown for over year.

Cathartes Aura's picture

and all the radiation monitoring stations "broke" from the West Coast to the Rockies. . . *nods*

the grateful unemployed's picture

the lunch police directing you to the corporate alternative.

Zero Govt's picture

nobody has chucked more shit down our kids throats than Govt school dinners

a lifetimes smoking is 100 times less dangerous to your health than a few days in a Govt hospital

in the UK they shutter fast food eateries anywhere in puking distance from schools so as not to compete with school dinners 

even our kids can't have free markets ..we must be Govt monopolised from birth ..yummy