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