Just when you thought you could eat ground beef without any steps beyond the grind.
On August 18th, Beef Products, Inc. (BFI), the manufacturer behind so-called “pink slime”, reopened one of its three shut down factories to boost production of the controversial substance.
Officially referred to as “lean finely textured beef”, BFI creates this concoction of concern by spinning beef scraps in a centrifuge to separate edible parts, and then finally treat the end result with ammonium hydroxide. This reduces the occurrence of E. Coli and other toxic pathogens.
Back in 2012, ABC news brought this practice to light in an 11-part investigation. It stirred controversy and brought the wrath of a media frenzy, costing BFI millions in sales.
Although there are many supporters of this frugal approach to beef consumerism, negative attention seems to be much louder. Due to the bad publicity from celebrity chefs and politicians alike, BFI was forced to close three of its four factories, cutting over 600 jobs across three different states.
Fast forward two years later, the price for ground beef is on the rise, 14% from 2013. Analysts blame droughts across the country, making cattle breeding all the more difficult. With the need for reducing waste and maximizing all of a cow’s edible parts, BFI is seeing an increase in demand for its product.
Beef Products, Inc. is still locked in court proceedings with ABC for defamation.
Does this news of “pink slime’s” resurgence disturb you? Does the cost effectiveness justify the procedure? As always, let us know, in the comments below.