BPI To Permanently Shut Down Three Of Four Pink Slime Plants

The pink slime storm of controversy may have faded a bit since it hit in March, but the after-effects are still being felt. Beef Products Inc. announced that it will permanently close three processing plants this month, due to the ruckus over its meat product, according to a company official.

BPI suspended operations at three of its four plants in March, but this closing will cause a loss of around 650 jobs, says the Detroit Free Press. Plants will close on May 25 in Amarillo, Texas; Garden City, Kansas and Waterloo, Iowa. The plant in South Sioux City, Neb., will remain open but run at reduced capacity.

The company previously insisted that its product wasn’t “pink slime,” but lean, finely textured beef that has been heated and treated with bacteria-killing ammonia. BPI says it took a “substantial” hit from the controversy.

“We will continue communicating the benefits of BPI’s lean beef, but that process is much more difficult than (countering) the campaign to spread misinformation that brought us to this point,” spokesman Rich Jochum said in a statement.

Both Iowa and Nebraska’s governors have decried the closing, citing the loss of jobs.

BPI to close 3 plants, blaming pink slime uproar [Detroit Free Press]

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  1. MutantMonkey says:

    Please don’t burn me down in rage, but I have a question about all of this, as I really do not know the health impacts of “pink slime”, but is this worth the lost jobs?

    • Groanan says:

      Health danger = 0

      But it was icky and it was marketing fluff covering up the truth that, if known, people would not be comfortable with.

      Not sure why we should be saving jobs for the sake of jobs; if people, knowing the truth, no longer want the product, then those jobs SHOULD vanish – I am sure we will still eat around the same calorie wise, someplace, somewhere, will have more job openings to create human feed.

      • nishioka says:

        > if people, knowing the truth, no longer want the product, then those jobs SHOULD vanish

        And that boys and girls is how the free market works.

        • Maltboy wanders aimlessly through the Uncanny Valley says:

          They should shut down all the Pink Slime factories NOW! Can’t you see it’s a communist plot to poison the minds of all right-thinking Americans? We can no longer sit back and allow Pink Slime infiltration, Pink Slime indoctrination, Pink Slime subversion and the international Pink Slime conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids!

        • longfeltwant says:

          No, that is how markets work, whether they are free or regulated. A “free market” is a market with zero regulations and zero taxes. Such a market has never existed, and it is hard to see how it ever could, and when we imagine it most of us recoil in horror. A market where a business is allowed to sell a deadly dangerous product, and then individual people harmed must each individually seek redress in the courts? What kind of person would prefer that to a market which simply doesn’t allow that kind of deadly product, when it is well known and understood?

          Markets are good. Free markets are bad.

          • Bsamm09 says:

            A free market doesn’t have to have no regulation or taxes or go’t interference, that is more akin to anarcho-capitalism. A gov’t is necessary to protect property rights and not pick winners and losers.

            The hard part is to find the correct balance. You cannot have producers or consumers that do not have to be responsible for their actions in the market place and once one party has been wronged, there must be a 3rd party who has no skin in the game to help when something goes wrong. People are not perfect so there will never be a way to keep all harmful products from the consumers but there must be a way to correct the situation when it happens.

            Free markets are good, but not every human is. This is why absolute free markets cannot exist and is why the opposite (communism) cannot exist either. If man was perfect, fair and altruistic, it wouldn’t matter what system was in place as they operate the same.

            the only way I think this could happen is if there was only one human left on Earth. When you add additional people to the market, human nature will take over and people will pursue their own self interest to varying degrees. Since this won’t happen, 100% free markets and pure communism will only exist in textbooks and dreams where reality is not required.

            • longfeltwant says:

              I’m not going to read past the first sentence of your post if you can’t be bothered to look up the definition of a free market. Here I’ll do the difficult work for you:

              http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/free+market

              The problem is that almost everyone who promotes “free markets” are thinking of the wrong thing. They are thinking of “lightly and smartly regulated markets without too much interference from the government, but enough to promote competition and transparency”. That is great, and that is called a “regulated market”.

              A tiny, tiny minority of people really actually do want free markets. Those are the industry leaders and the political leaders. They have co-opted the word “free” which everyone likes to promote an idea that almost nobody likes. When you promote “free markets” you are unwittingly giving credence and support to people pushing an agenda which, apparently, you do not support. Please stop! Those people are using you!

              Markets are good. Free markets are bad. The problem is, it forces people to think subtly about which regulations are good or bad, instead of being able to use hollow platitudes about how regulations are distortions which ruin markets.

            • BurtReynolds says:

              Milton Friedman and his followers would disagree with you.

      • MutantMonkey says:

        I guess my concern is if there is no health risk, and the product is filling a need, then why destroy the product and the jobs. It’s not saving jobs for the sake of saving jobs, but rather preserving something that is not actually bad that happens to provide jobs.

        • HogwartsProfessor says:

          It’s too bad they couldn’t re-purpose the plant and make something else. That way the people would still have jobs. But I guess it would have cost too much to get new equipment.

          • Sunrisecarole says:

            I’ll bet they would have an even bigger uproar if the pink slime went into dog food…where those scraps used to go! I’m thrilled to see this company deteriorating….especially after viewing Food, Inc. on Netflix last night.

        • coffeeplease says:

          You do realize there is a health risk yes? Those scraps of beef which were previously used as dog food were used as dog food because the risk for e. coli contamination is much much higher in the scraps because meat from multiple cows are being mixed together.

          Without the heat and ammonia bath those scraps are not for human consumption. Me personally, I like 100% beef. Not 85% beef and 15% crap that makes sure I don’t die from eating it.

          • MutantMonkey says:

            You do realize the treatments they received made sure that the beef is ready for consumption, right? Care to find me an article where someone died due to “pink slime”? And if it’s occurance is more than normal beef, then I would say you have a legitimate point.

    • JeffIowa says:

      Pink slime is regular old beef, finely ground, and then put into a centrifuge where the fat is seperated from the protein. It ends up as fine ground beef, about 96% lean. The ammonia is just ammonia gas used to kill any latent bacteria.

      FYI, your local butcher, when he grinds chuck roast into ground chuck, doesn’t use ammonia. This can lead to food poisoning from Salmonella, Listeria, Campylobacter, and E Coli.

      Just a matter of preference. Safety is not an issue with pink slime.

      • longfeltwant says:

        Well yes mostly, but it’s not “regular old beef”. It’s the beef which previously wasn’t being used as beef. It’s the stuff left behind after you already take out the trimmings. It’s the trimmings’ leftovers.

        But yes, the pink-slime issue isn’t an issue of how dangerous the product is; it’s an issue of how appetizing the product is. Do you want to eat boiled, sterilized sinew and bone chips? I don’t really, but then again I pretend all the time that what I’m eating isn’t gross. It’s a fiction we all choose to live under almost every day.

        • FredKlein says:

          You seem confused as to what “pink slime” actually is. It is not “sinew and bone chips”.

          “When beef carcasses are processed into meat cuts consumers and restaurants use, trimmings result. Trimmings are smaller pieces of fat that contain small portions of beef that are wholesome and nutritious. To make BLBT, the trimmings are heated to about 100F degrees in equipment that looks like a large, high speed mixing bowl that spins these trimmings to separate meat from the fat that has been liquefied. “

          “Beef trimmings are edible. No process can make an inedible product edible. What the process does is separate the lean meat from the fat, which was previously near impossible to accomplish through knife trimming by hand.”

          “All types of lean finely textured beef are sustainable products because they recover lean meat that would otherwise be wasted.”

          It’s just beef that, due to humans not being perfect, got cut off with the fat. That’s all.

          • longfeltwant says:

            Nice description. Did you get that from an industry website?

            The trimmings from meat production turn into ground beef (etc). Pink slime is made from the bits and leftovers from the existing use of trimmings to make ground beef. The protein is scraped from bones, resulting in sinew and bone chips along with the meat-like junk they spin out. At the end of this description, it’s a product I prefer not to eat, and I don’t understand why that consumer preference is less reasonable than other consumer preferences.

            They are right, that is a sustainable product! And that’s great, we humans are quite good these days at ‘using the whole buffalo’ as it were. But that doesn’t mean I want to eat it. If this product really were so great and all, then the industry would not have balked when asked to label it on products. They knew they were hiding something unappetizing, and finally the market called them on it. That is exactly how the market is supposed to work.

            If humans decide they don’t want to eat it (which they apparently have) then we can do something else with that sinew-and-bone-chip slurry: fertilizer, feed for a bacteria farm, fed to animals, whatever.

            It is unreasonable for you to claim that consumers are misinformed to have a preference against pink slime.

            • FredKlein says:

              Nice description. Did you get that from an industry website?

              beefisbeef.com

              The protein is scraped from bones, resulting in sinew and bone chips along with the meat-like junk they spin out.

              Nice description. Did you get that from an anti-industry website?

              What’s next? Describing honey as “bee-puke”?

      • OutPastPluto says:

        It’s potted meat product. That’s fine if you want potted meat product.

        It doesn’t belong in my ground beef.

        This nonsense is why “ground beef” needs to go and we need to go back to everything being labeled by what cut it’s from.

    • Fumanchu says:

      People hear ammonia and think “ammonia is in pee…. they are dipping my food in PEE?!!!”.
      And it all comes crashing down.

      The other thing that bothered people about pink slime is that it was made with the trimmings and left overs of the processing process. So people have visions of this unholy conocotion of whatever that is being processed again and being called meat.

      But in terms of actual health risk it is minimul and in terms of taste, it was in a ton of stuff and noone had complained about the taste so….

      a bunch of hoopla over nothing IMO.

      • jnl says:

        No, when I think of ammonia I think of floor cleaner! Also I don’t care for the “manipulation” of food. Finally if you pay for 100 percent hamburger, for example, you conger up an image of solid steak being ground up- not scraps being ground and processed- and then charged steak prices for scraps. Its like a rip off.

        • FredKlein says:

          an image of solid steak being ground up- not scraps

          Um, No.

          The “solid steak” gets sold as… steak. Ground beef, being, well, ground up and all, is naturally suited for the scraps and trimmings to be used in it.

    • Ed says:

      What jobs? people aren’t eating less. THey will buy their food from someone else since BPI apparently cannot adapt. Yes, it is sad for those particular workers, but you cannot convince me that this results in a net job loss for the US meat industry.

      • MutantMonkey says:

        I think you are over reacting a bit. If they are shutting down plants, people are losing jobs. It’s net impact on the industry is not the concern and not something that was even mentioned so I don’t know why you made the leap to that point. My concern is over the lost jobs over something that doesn’t appear to have any real reason of being shut down. If the product fills a need and is no more or less healthy than the base product, is the shutting down of those factories and the lost jobs worth the fuss and removal of said product? That is all I am asking.

        • longfeltwant says:

          We understand your question, but it is a strange question. You are asking, is it “worth it” for customers to have preferences, when those preferences affect employment? Well, all market decisions affect employment. All preferences expressed in the form of purchases are part of the cacophony of the market, resulting in jobs coming and going. Is it “worth it” for customers to have preferences? I have never thought of the issue that way. I guess I’d have to say yes, if the world decides it doesn’t like a certain product, then that is “worth” the affect on the market.

          Ed, by the way, is correct. People won’t eat more or less. They will still buy food. I can’t think of a reason that these workers should be employed making pink slime instead of Twinkies or lettuce. Workers are employed in whatever factories make goods wanted by buyers. It’s not really a moral question of “worth”.

          • MutantMonkey says:

            People decided they didn’t want it based on what appeared to be a massive campaign to make it seem like something it isn’t, unhealthy compared to the product it was in, which does not necessarily seem to be true.

            I don’t see why it is strange to question the thinking of people when they are likely reacting to non-facts.

            On top of this, most people likely do not realize that this is just going to inflate the costs of products that once used it.

            I feel that if people had be properly informed, from a neutral standpoint, about the product, there would have been a different response.

            • longfeltwant says:

              People keep saying that, but I never once heard anyone say that pink slime was unhealthy or unsafe. I never heard that, did you? (Are you sure? Can you cite that?) I only heard that it was gross and unappetizing and low-quality filler, which is more than sufficient basis for a consumer preference. You know, when Sinclair in The Jungle described the human being who fell into the vat of sausage, he never suggested that the sausage would make anyone sick or be “less healthy”, only that it was completely gross to go around eating human-sausage.

              People formed their opinion based on a description of exactly what it is: the leftovers of the trailings of meat-like proteins scraped from bones and sinew, rendered into a pink slime, sterilized with a chemical used to sanitize floors, and mixed into ground beef without being labeled. Those are the ‘facts’ as I understand them, and certainly are sufficient for me to prefer not to eat it. You really think that is unreasonable?

              • MutantMonkey says:

                No I cannot cite anything, but it’s the impression I got from a lot of the coverage, but based on how things have turned in the market, obviously I am not the only one that got that impression. If people were simply put off by the product on facts, I’m surprised that chicken nuggets, hot dogs and lipstick remain on the market, as those items and how they are made are just as off-putting as the pink slime.

              • Mark says:

                No one ever came out and said it, because that would set them up for libel/slander suits. However, it was heavily implied, with the constant references to the use of ammonia in the processing.

            • history_theatrestudent says:

              The use of LFTB only saved companies about 5 cents a pound.

              That aside, facts are not enough when convincing people. You must be able to relate to the people in terms of connecting with them, having creditability, and also be inline with their emotional needs/desires. It’s basic neo-aristotelian rhetoric.

              Yes its unfortunate for those who lost their jobs, but BPi dropped the ball. As for worth jobs, it is the right of people to choose what to put in their bodies, but they must also be given full and accurate information about what is going in their bodies. Because BPi blurred that truth, they lost the trust necessary for that process.

            • incident_man says:

              When a company has to resort to concealing product A within product B, in order for folks to buy product A, when they otherwise wouldn’t buy product A, then THAT becomes a problem. That’s exactly what was happening there.

              If it was really “safe” or “edible” or whatever adjective was being attached to it to make it more attractive for consumers, it would be able to stand on it’s own merits, without having to be concealed within another product without the consumer’s knowledge.

              As far as the jobs are concerned, these factories could easily be converted to processing REAL ground beef, if the company really wanted to. However, most likely, the company was too cost-conscious (too cheap) to do it and “save” these jobs.

              Translation: BPI saw an opportunity to churn out a cheap product with a higher profit margin (LFTB) to pass it off as something else (ground beef) and they took it.

              Let’s hear it for good ol’ capitalism!

        • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

          It does have a reason to be shut down though. People don’t want to eat it. There is no demand for it anymore. It doesn’t make a shit’ s difference if you think that people are wrong for not wanting it. If people don’t want it, they have a right to not purchase it.

    • UberGeek says:

      It is sad that these people lost their jobs. For me the Pink Slime (LFTB) issue isn’t about jobs, food safety, nutrition, overprocessing, or even cost. It’s about transparency and honesty. I want to know when I pay a premium that I’m getting premium and if I’m getting economy-grade that I pay economy-class. If they don’t have to label what’s in it, I’ll never know. Will I (happily) eat LFTB? Sure. It will likely even be my first choice, but I want to have that choice.

      It was insulting when come exec/spokesman condescended to us by saying something like, “It’s 100% beef, what should we call it?”. Up to 15% LFTB can be used without additional labeling, so there’s obviously a label. They have a marketing name to distinguish it from other products, use that. Everyone can eventually figure out the LFTB=Pink Slime, so label it LFTB and the percentage of LFTB in there. The fact that you can put in any more than trace amounts in without labeling is tantamount to hiding it from the consumer.

      So yes it is unfortunate so many jobs were lost, but there’s often a price to pay when consumers feel they just found out they were deceived. To me, the people at fault are not the consumers, the celebrity chef that publicized LFTB, or the media that perpetuated the story. I hold the industry leaders and regulators at fault for deciding for us that we didn’t need to know what was going into our food.

      • elangomatt says:

        I couldn’t have said it better myself. The biggest issue for me is that there is no part of the labeling that shows if LFTB is included or not. I would probably buy the LFTB labeled hamburger even if there was a large enough price difference. What was (or still is) being done though reminds me of a parent trying to get their picky kid to eat veggies, so mom chops it up really fine and puts it in spaghetti sauce hoping said child won’t notice.

  2. Arcaeris says:

    This is sad, because it seems like it’s really a problem of perception. The kind of “processing” that this “beef” goes through is common in a lot of American foods, but there’s no outrage elsewhere. I think their slimy handling of the situation and behavior by the grocers involved made this way bigger than it needed to be.

    It’s not like the grocery stores/restaurants are going to say “Yeah we were selling you ground beef which you thought was ground cubes of chuck or flank or butt or whatever but actually it was heavily processed, ammonia-treated leftover scraps… too bad you figured it out and cut our profits,” though.

    • josephpr says:

      The key was in the naming – and when they got “pink slime” out there, it was over for the producers.

      People are so removed nowadays from food production that they probably think there are special chickens to produce nuggets and hot dogs grown on hot dog trees.

      • OutPastPluto says:

        So pink slime is just like a “nugget” or a hot dog and this is supposed to somehow make pink slime any better?

      • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

        This is why I just don’t use any animal products anymore.

      • FredKlein says:

        Exactly- the naming was the key point.

        In general, I find myself on the side of an argument that names itself appropriately.

        For example, “Pro-Life” implies the other side is “pro-death”, which is not true. But “Pro-choice” implies the other side is “anti-choice”, which is perfectly true.

        By using a deceptive name like “pink slime”, whoever pushed this agenda lost my respect.

        Oh, to be sure, the companies themselves do it. ‘Corn Sugar’ is one of the latest, most popular terms. But with companies, it’s almost always away from a ‘sciencey’ or ‘chemically’ sounding name, and toward a easier to understand alternative. Anything can be made to sound scary with a chemical name- just look at Di-Hydrogen Monoxide! Would you buy a product that said it contained a large proportion of Di-Hydrogen Monoxide? Probably not- sounds scary! And what about Sodium Chloride? It contains Sodium, which burns on contact with air or water, and chlorine, (the gas, also known as bertholite, was first used as a weapon in World War I!)

        But call those compounds by their common names, and no one care about ‘Water’ and ‘Salt’.

        Is it somehow ‘wrong’ to use a common name instead of a technical name?

        • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

          It’s known in the land of Logical Fallacies as a “Weasel Word” and/or “Poisoning The Well”. The reason they went with “Pink Slime” is because of all the outrage over the supposed pink slime that is used in making nuggets.

          • webweazel says:

            You mean the “mechanically separated chicken”? I actually used to enjoy chicken nuggets once in a while, until I watched a video on how that stuff is made. That which is seen can never be un-seen. Now I check the ingredients, and if I see that stuff listed, it gets put back. Quickly. Disgusting.

            This beef “pink slime” does not bother me as much. I understand it, and I don’t have a problem with it in and of itself, but I do feel it is a deceitful addition to ground beef. I think it would be a great idea to list it on the label of ground beef when it is added then let the consumer decide, but adding it to everything on the sly just seems like an underhanded rip-off. All the posturing about “but it’s just beef, what else do we call it” just ends up pissing me off. Sounds like corporate-speak or that “corn sugar” bullshit. Like they think we’re stupid or don’t matter.

  3. Bionic Data Drop says:

    “”We will continue communicating the benefits of BPI’s lean beef, but that process is much more difficult than (countering) the campaign to spread misinformation that brought us to this point,” spokesman Rich Jochum said in a statement”

    I definitely think there is miscommunication, but as usual it’s the company that doesn’t want to hear it’s customers. I do not want to eat pink slime. I realize that it’s perfectly safe to eat. I still don’t want to eat pink slime. Sheep testicles may be perfectly safe and nutritious. I don’t care, I don’t want to eat sheep testicles. I feel terrible about the people who lost their jobs. Guess what? I still don’t want to eat pink slime.

    • longfeltwant says:

      Seriously. Am I to understand that “Beef Products Incorporated” is only capable of making pink slime? They are not able to make beef products which are both safe AND not disgusting? Perhaps the workers can get jobs making products which are appetizing, at which point the world will have tiptoed forward due to market pressures.

  4. MCerberus says:

    I’m of the personal opinion that US consumers were really looking for something to vent at the food processing system in place, and pink slime broke at just the right time for it to be thrown against the wall.

    If only the whole outrage could have been pointed elsewhere, like fake health benefit lies, the odd fact that the less money you have the more likely to be obese you are thanks to your food, or, and this is my personal favorite, the advertising brain washing.

    But really the industry needs more pink slimes. I think a former surgeon general describes US food as being ‘predigested’… makes you proud doesn’t it?

    • maubs says:

      I wish the outrage would be directed at Citric Acid next – black mold grown on corn sugars to produce this stuff rather than just getting it from citrus fruits. Where’s the outrage?

    • longfeltwant says:

      Poor Americans are more likely to be fat than non-poor Americans. I accept that fact, but I’ve never thought it was because poor people can’t afford high-quality food. There is plenty of cheap high-quality food. I’ve always assumed that both poverty and obesity are associated back to people who simply make bad decisions. Obviously that’s not in all cases.

      If you are poor and want to eat quality food, you can easily do that. Carrots are cheap. But if you make bad decisions, then you spend your two dollars on a McBurger instead. Boom, now you are poor and fat.

      • Fumanchu says:

        this is true to a point. you can’t really feed a family on only carrots. a bag of carrots large enough to feed a family of 4 would be $6+. While you can get 6 cheese burgers for that. And cheese burgers have more essential nutrients than carrots. Fat, protein, carbohydrates, fiber, salt and sugar. Not to mention iron and B vitamens. Carrots aren’t as nutreint rich.

        • longfeltwant says:

          You have focused on carrots exclusively, ignoring the synecdochic use of that vegetable as the stand-in for “inexpensive, nutritious, low-calorie food”. I think there is plenty of that, but perhaps not.

      • BurtReynolds says:

        It is true that eating “healthy” makes your price per calorie go up. I’ve read that several times over the years.

        Yet, the bigger problem tends to be access. While middle-class and affluent areas have supermarkets like Wegmans with a wide array of fruits and vegetables for sale, low income areas (particularly urban areas) tend to not have anything like that. Low income city dwellers often can’t just hop in their car and head out to the Wegmans 20 miles away, because they don’t own a car.

  5. crispyduck13 says:

    I have a question: now that all these manufacturers have removed pink slime from their ground beef what are they using instead? Have prices on hamburger meat shot up? Are they putting some other weird filler in there to keep the price down?

    If all they’ve done is to stop adding that crap to regular ground muscle meat, and prices haven’t gone up, then why the hell were they using it in the first place?

  6. Mr. Spy says:

    I hate controversy like this. It sound great. No more pink slime. But then they’ll replace it with it’s slightly less safe alternative that doesn’t sound disgusting. Fun times.

    • MCerberus says:

      No, they’ll just put the pink slime back into dog food. And then they’ll get an amazing uptick in sales when they charge 20cents more a pound when they put the ‘Pink-slime free’ sticker on the package.

      In other news, I get my beef from a local butcher. It’s somehow half the cost, better, and you get more out of a ‘pound’ since it isn’t saltwater injected. In other news, I have to drive 15 minutes to do my grocery shopping since Walmart drove the traditional grocery stores out of town then started raising prices.

  7. Agent Hooter Enjoys Enhanced Patdowns says:

    Not that bothered by the pink slime as much as I am by meat glue. *shudder*

  8. ATXag says:

    Didn’t this whole thing start over the fact that some called for packages with pink slime in it to be labeled as such and the beef industry wouldn’t stand for it? Maybe we could have saved these jobs by just labeling the packages and letting consumers decide whether they are ok with eating it (those who want to save money) or not (those willing to pay more).

    I, for one, do want to know what’s in my food and I am willing (and able) to pay more to get a product that meets my criteria.

    • MCerberus says:

      What’s more, how about for meat products we have it labeled how much saline injection is in there with it.

      Or have it labeled what Cargil (yes, them) puts in the meat.

      While we’re at it, how about companies actually getting slapped when they do something as stupid as saying that Cheerios prevent heart attacks… or any of the other snake oil out there.

      Seriously, we need a new CF&DA

    • crashfrog says:

      I bet if we took whatever you make at your job, and contemplated forcing you by law to label it with a term that’s not actually its name, but just what the people who oppose your product call it, you might have some objections.

      “Pink slime” isn’t actually a thing that exists. Well, I suppose you could have some slime and it could be colored pink. But finely textured beef isn’t called “pink slime”, and there’s no more reason to make meat packers label anything “pink slime” than there is to make Evian label their bottles of water “purified urine” even though that’s technically what it is.

      • ATXag says:

        I’m sorry, I wasn’t saying they use the term “pink slime” on the package. I meant label the package with the fact that it contains finely textured beef. Which is what I believe the argument was over.

      • longfeltwant says:

        If Pink Slime “isn’t a thing that exists”, then praytell what they made at these three closed BPI plants? Oh, they made finely textured beef? Yeah, that’s pink slime. Same stuff. Just because you call a thing by a different word than someone else doesn’t magically make the thing cease to exist.

      • FredKlein says:

        Maybe we could have saved these jobs by just labeling the packages and letting consumers decide

        I can see that now: Contents: Beef, beef.

        Or are you proposing we know exactly how the beef is processed? What machines (manufactured by who?, operated by who?) did the processing? How far was the trip from where the cow lived to where it was killed and butchered? What about how the cow the beef came from was treated (cows that walk have tougher meat). What about what that cow was fed (grain fed cows give different meat than grass fed, or so I hear). What about where that cow lived? A hot, arrid climate, or a wet one? Etc, etc, etc.

        And, exactly where on the label will we fit all this info?

        • BurtReynolds says:

          So why does a Slim Jim, and other processed products, include items like “mechanically separated chicken” in the ingredients list? Why doesn’t it just say chicken? Was the chicken lobby just not as effective as the beef folks? Same thing could be done here.

          As far as I understand it, “mechanically separated chicken” is basically the chicken version of “pink slime”.

  9. ninabi says:

    We have a lot of dogs and cats in the United States. Couldn’t pink slime be converted into high quality, meat based pet food?

    I’ve avoided commercial ground meat products for years. It is edible but I question quality.

    • crispyduck13 says:

      I’m fairly certain they already do that.

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      Not really. Pet food usually has a larger fat content than this product does. They would need to add more fat to this product to get to the levels they require.

  10. spooky981 says:

    This is rediculous, the public has officially crucified this company for no good reason.

    They took meat from an animal that would otherwise have been discarded and turned it into a very inexpensive food source. BUT LETS ALL FREAK OUT BECAUSE WE DON’T LIKE THE WAY IT LOOKS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE PRODUCTION PROCESS.

    Go choke on your filet mignon.

    • ninabi says:

      http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/31/us/31meat.html?_r=3&pagewanted=all

      There have been problems with strong ammonia taste/odor with the product at times as well as multiple incidents of bacterial contamination.

      We discard a lot of animals that have plenty of edible meat on them- horses, dogs and cats, but that doesn’t mean we have a duty to eat them.

    • longfeltwant says:

      The public didn’t like a product and stopped buying it. I don’t understand your outrage. Many products come and go. This particular product was being hidden from the public; industry refused to label it on products. I think they got what was coming to them. They knew they were hiding something gross and tried to keep it hidden. The public found out and did what they are supposed to do: they stopped buying the product. There is no problem here for you to be upset about, and certainly not upset at the public.

      • FredKlein says:

        The public didn’t like a product and stopped buying it. I don’t understand your outrage.

        The public was given a nasty-sounding name for a perfectly fine product. It’s like calling honey “bee-vomit”. Then, ‘somehow’, old pictures of a completely different product (the ‘pink ice cream’ mechanically separated chicken pictures) were mis-identified as ‘pink slime’. Then other lies began being circulated- Pink Slime is the bones/hide/hooves/tendons/etc, all ground up. Stuff like that.

        Basically, the public was LIED TO, and, BASED ON THE LIES, didn’t like a product and stopped buying it.

        • longfeltwant says:

          If you can convince people to stop eating honey by calling it bee vomit, then good luck with that. You know PETA tried to rebrand fish as “sea kittens” to stop people from eating fish. That didn’t work. Lots of people try similar rebrandings without success. The fact that the “pink slime” label was so effective indicates to me that independent thinkers accept the description as accurately disgusting.

          The public was not lied to. The public was given an accurate description of an unknown ingredient in a popular food item, and the public was disgusted. That’s not “lies”, that’s “information”. If accurately describing a food process makes people dis-prefer that food, then so be it.

          Cf. “The Jungle”

          • FredKlein says:

            The public was given an accurate description of an unknown ingredient in a popular food item, and the public was disgusted. That’s not “lies”, that’s “information”. If accurately describing a food process makes people dis-prefer that food, then so be it.

            Did you even read what I wrote? Many of the supposed ‘facts’ about pink slime were completely wrong. Using incorrect information is hardly “accurately describing a food process”.

        • shthar says:

          Imagine what they’ll say when they find out where the eggs come out!

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      Actually, it wouldn’t have been “discarded”. It would have been bought at a low price by some other industry because the meat companies could not economically de-fat it. When this process was created, it allowed the companies to recover some more meat, and then sell off the fat to some other company, probably for bio diesel, because it didn’t have flesh in it.

      Whenever you create something, there is usually a company that will have a use for it, and will try to make you pay through the nose to get rid of it, just to make a profit off of it themselves. Case in point. We have horses. We have two choices on what to bed them on. Straw or sawdust. If you use straw, mushroom farmers will pay you/take your manure for free, because they use it to grow mushrooms. However, if you bed on sawdust, they won’t because the sawdust requires extra time to break down, which isn’t economical for them. So you get landscape companies that will charge you something like $300 per container to remove your manure. What they do is take it to their yards, let it sit for a year, then mix it into their mulch or soil. So they charge us, then charge the end user because it’s a product we are burdened with, but they can process for the end user.

  11. Slow-talking Walter, the fire-engine guy. says:

  12. AldisCabango says:

    And yet we still eat hotdogs and TV dinners

  13. frodolives35 says:

    If all the facemeat,lips and buttholes are used in hot dogs just what the hell is left for pink slime. That is whats really scary. What do they do boil all the bones and fat trimmings then separate what they call the meat leftovers kill the germs with ammonia and wala a yummy lean beef product. That sounds to much like using the undigested bits of corn in crap (yep I went there)and cleaning it up and calling it refined corn products. No mater how good the marketing program its gross and most people don’t want it used in their food.

  14. FLConsumer says:

    The sad, hard truth for the workers is that they were making a sub-par product that the public didn’t want. Choose your job wisely. Jobs were lost when DDT was banned. Jobs were also lost when people stopped using telegraphs and payphones.

    I wouldn’t want to have a job in any of the “manufactured” food businesses or suppliers over the next few years. All of the obesity studies are building momentum. People want FOOD, not processed chicken ass. I shudder when I see new appliances in the US with a “chicken nugget” setting.

  15. T&J says:

    This product was developed to recover protein material for pet foods. It morphed into a “safe and economical” filler for humans. I am sure that rational was that if you can produce it for pennies for the pet food market; you can sell it for dimes to the people food market.

    I do not see that there are fewer cats and dogs in America. Why not be the business giants at Beef Products and sell the product to pet food companies again? If you really want to keep people working, figure out what you used to do right and do it again.

    Unless you prefer to mislead people by omitting the information of what is really the cause of that pink color in their hamburger when they were expecting red beef.

    For me, I will be reducing my red meat consumption to solid cuts i.e. steak, roasts, ribs.

  16. T&J says:

    This product was developed to recover protein material for pet foods. It morphed into a “safe and economical” filler for humans. I am sure that rational was that if you can produce it for pennies for the pet food market; you can sell it for dimes to the people food market.

    I do not see that there are fewer cats and dogs in America. Why not be the business giants at Beef Products and sell the product to pet food companies again? If you really want to keep people working, figure out what you used to do right and do it again.

    Unless you prefer to mislead people by omitting the information of what is really the cause of that pink color in their hamburger when they were expecting red beef.

    For me, I will be reducing my red meat consumption to solid cuts i.e. steak, roasts, ribs.

  17. verbatim613 says:

    Jobs “created and saved”.

  18. shthar says:

    For everyone who got up in arms about this.

    Can my cousin who lost his job, sleep on YOUR couch for the next 6-8 months?

  19. bobloblaw says:

    …vegetarian for a reason…