“Pink slime”, or as the food industry calls it, “lean finely textured beef”, is made by taking waste trimmings of beef, cooking off the fat and spinning it out, and then treating it with ammonia to kill bacteria. This stuff was once only an ingredient in dog food, but now it’s in 70% of the ground beef you buy in the supermarket. You read that right; we all now have the luxury for meat labeled as “ground beef” that actually has dog food mixed in as a cheap filler.
This fact has recently come to light when a former USDA scientist named Gerald Zirnstein went public with information he learned at his job. While working for the USDA, he expressed concern about the use of “pink slime” in beef because he felt it was a form of economic fraud. The higher-ups within the USDA dismissed Zirnstein’s concerns. Joann Smith, a former undersecretary of the USDA, was the person who originally approved the use of pink slime in ground beef. In 1993 she stepped down from her position and took a new job on the board of directors of Beef Products Inc., the manufacturer of pink slime. Over the next 17 years, Smith made over 1.7 million, and we all have been eating dog food ever since.