More on “Pink Slime” in School Food: a Correction, a Clarification and a Big Thank You!

I wanted to update TLT readers on the progress of the petition I launched yesterday to end the use of “pink slime” in the ground beef purchased for the National School Lunch Program.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I’ve never started a petition before and I didn’t even fully understand how the process worked.  I only added the link to my post as a quick afterthought, just one more way to express my outrage at USDA’s practices, and then I left the house and went about my day.

So you can imagine my shock when I got home and saw 600 signatures on the petition.  And when I woke up this morning, the number was near 1,500!

Meanwhile, David Knowles, the writer at The Daily who originally reported on USDA’s continued use of pink slime in school food, interviewed me yesterday about the petition.   (I’ll share his story when it’s up.)  Here is that story.  He also told me that, as a result of his interviews with USDA on this topic, our petition is now “on USDA’s radar!”  Woo hoo!

And the folks at itself noticed all the activity generated by the petition and are scheduled to speak with me later this morning.  I believe they are going to provide additional help to draw attention to the petition.  Double woo hoo!

So first, I just wanted to say THANK YOU to the Lunch Tray community for all you’ve done to get the word out, and to ask that you please take a minute (if you haven’t already done so) to keep up this incredible momentum by sharing the petition with your email contacts, your Facebook friends and/or your Twitter followers.

Could we actually bring about real change here???

Now for the correction and the clarification.

Incorrect Photo of Slime

As noted above, I created my petition as a quick afterthought before leaving the house and in my haste to find a suitable photo for it I simply Googled images for “pink slime.”  When this photo came up . . .

Pink and slimy, but NOT Pink Slime!

. . . I knew I’d seen it before (on Fooducate, back in ’09) and I erroneously recalled that it was the same pink slime in question.  (It certainly is “pink” and “slimy,” no?)

But as a few readers informed me yesterday, that pink slime is actually mechanically separated chicken (the sort used in some nuggets) and not the beef by-product we’ve been talking about.  I believe the “Lean Beef Trimmings” we’re talking about  look like this.  I took down the incorrect photo yesterday and sincerely apologize for any confusion I may have caused.

Meanwhile, how scary is it that there are two types of slimy pink meat goo in our food supply?

Clarification on Slime “Purchase”

In his original post on The Daily, David Knowles reported that “USDA . . . plans to buy 7 million pounds of Lean Beef Trimmings from BPI in the coming months for the national school lunch program,” and I and other media outlets shared the same information, i.e., that a purchase of slime per se was in the works.  But David has since been informed by USDA that the agency is not purchasing slime itself, but instead purchasing ground beef from processors which use pink slime, and the entire ground beef purchase will collectively contain 7 million pounds of the substance.

It’s a point worth clarifying (and I’ve updated the petition to reflect it), but keep in mind that the end result is exactly the same: 7 million pounds of ammonia hydroxide-treated beef scraps and connective tissue, formerly used only as pet food and for rendering, being fed to our kids.

Let’s put a stop to it once and for all!


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  1. Casey says

    Instead of trying to keep track of which pink slime may be on the school lunch menu today, I was glad to have the time and money to make my kids’ lunches. Maybe they can market it as “the OTHER pink slime.”

    • says

      Oh dear lord,when will someone figure out how to market pork (or spotted owl)-based pink meat goo as “the OTHER other pink slime”?

      Good job Bettina!


  2. KL says

    Sooo…do we need a separate petition for the “chicken?”

    I don’t really care which picture you used. None of that stuff is worth feeding our kids. Glad your petition is getting so much support!


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