UPDATE (March 22, 2012): American consumers, step away from your TV’s and read the facts.
My new favorite blog, Barfblog is hosted by a K-State Food Safety researcher, check out his post about LFTB.
UPDATE (March 14,2012): Some of you may have some questions that these other resources can not answer for you, check out this blog to get those questions answered.
Again, I am little late, but here is a recap.
So beef fillers that have been “spritzed” with ammonia for a safety that are not labeled on ground beef. My number one concern in eat anything is food safety and nutrition, therefore, I LOVE THE AMERICAN BEEF INDUSTRY. I love that beef is jam packed with nutrition (in a small serving and that our industry is held to the highest standard any where in the world.) And really, doesn’t the USA government control enough of our lives?
And if you don’t want to eat it, don’t.
I do, so there. I am also living like so many Americans who are on a tight budget, but yet I love lean animal protein. So I am going to continue to eat it. I don’t eat out unless I am on the road, the rest of the time I cook, which I don’t think that is the norm for the majority of the American population. Either way the grocery stores I shop at are likely to be supplementing their hamburger with this product, great!
So unless you are going to stop going to the supermarket and start growing all of your own food, I suggest you stop complaining. Or come up with another way to produce food, for people to consume that we can afford and wont completely change the American lifestyle.
Now, for some excellent quotes on the subject from fellow industry members and social media content producers.
For those of you who don’t know what it is, the “Pink Slime” being referred to is actually “Lean, Finely, Textured Ground Beef” or LFTB, so from hereon I’ll refer to it as that. I remember going to the Beef Products Inc. (BPI) packing plant where the product is made and the whole trip really impressed me. To explain, the vast majority of beef comes from whole muscle cuts that are safely harvest from the animal after exsanguination. However, we raise some pretty chubby cattle today, as we prefer the taste of high-quality beef that grades USDA Choice or Prime. In doing so, there is some fat on the external part of the carcass that is trimmed off to be used to make other by-products for food or manufacturing. When that fat is trimmed off, there is a small proportion of meat remaining in the fat and BPI (and others) have an extraction process that separates that lean meat from those fat trimmings. Part of the extraction process involves using ammonium hydroxide or citric acid mist to make sure the product is free of bacteria or any other microorganisms. The mist then evaporates and is not present in the final product, although both are approved for use in meat and other foods as well.
When I saw this process, I remember how amazing I thought it was that by using our brains and clever technology, we could utilize an additional 10 to 12 lbs of beef from each animal. This is increasingly important as we see the cost of food continue to rise for various reasons, we need to be efficient in order to feed 9 billion people by 2050.
Can you imagine taking fresh picked fruit, misting it with ammonia hydroxide to eliminate bacteria, sticking it in a blender, cooking it, putting it in a jar and then selling it for human consumption? Most of us do, by purchasing jelly and jam to go with our peanut butter.
Can you imagine taking fresh picked lettuce or spinach, misting it with ammonia hydroxide to eliminate bacteria, putting it in a package, selling it, buying it, opening it, adding croutons, tomato and ranch dressing and then eating it? Many of us do, purchasing prepackaged salad to eat before supper.
Hamburger comes in many different varieties in terms of lean content, and can be either primal cut specific (only taken out of one specific type of muscle cut) or lean ratio specific (taken from a blend of muscle cuts and formulated to a certain lean/fat ratio). The type of hamburger that is one of the 29 Cuts Of Lean Beef endorsed by the American Heart Association is a 95% lean, 5% fat ratio. A three ounce serving of that contributes about 140 calories and offers the following nutrient profile:
- Zinc = 5.8 mg (39% daily value)
- Niacin= 4.7 mg (23% dv) Iron= 2.6 mg (14% daily value)
- Selenium = 19 mcg (27% dv) Protein= 22.3 grams (46% daily value)
- Total Fat= 5.4 grams (8% dv) Vitamin B12= 2.1 mcg (35% dv)
- Saturated Fat= 2.4 grams (12% dv) Vitamin B6= 0.3 mg (15% daily value)
- Cholesterol= 62 mg (21% dv) Phosphorus= 169 mg (17% daily value)
- Calories = 148 (7% dv)
The American Meat Institute complied a fact sheet about this products.