My Response to a Facebook Commenter re: LFTB, Job Losses, “Pink Goo” and More

by Bettina Elias Siegel on April 4, 2012

Over the last few weeks, a pro-LFTB commenter named Tiffany has left numerous wall posts on TLT’s Facebook page and when I finally wrote my belated response to her this morning, it seemed worth posting here since many pro-LFTB commenters on this blog have raised similar concerns.  For those who wish to see the exchange referenced below between Tiffany and the other commenter, Tina, you can visit the page and look for Tiffany’s wall post which read:

‎? This started as a way to get LFTB out of school lunches. Then it turned into a full on media smear. Then after you denounced a company and it’s product, after you signed petitions to ban it, your asking for a label. Why is it you felt your opinions where the only ones that mattered?

Here is my response:

Hey Tina and Tiffany:

First of all, it’s been nice to read this exchange and see two people who disagree still manage to keep it together and recognize their common ground — and even be able to joke with each other.  After all the ugliness over on my blog, I find your dialogue hopeful and inspiring.

Tiffany, I don’t know if you ever actually read my blog — sometimes you say things here about me or my views that make me think you don’t bother going to TLT?  (Just FYI, this Facebook page is an informal place for my readers to hang out and where I share little asides, but it’s not the place where I present my views on important issues.)  So it’s hard — and even a bit unfair to ask me — to recap in these little blue boxes full responses to your concerns given that I’ve already written about them at length on TLT.  But let me just say a few things here.

I am deeply troubled by job losses and plant closings.  I think it’s safe to say that almost everyone who reads TLT is a parent, and we all know the pressure and anxiety of having young children dependent on us for all their needs.  To put any parent through the stress of job loss, especially in this economy, is a terrible thing.

What I find even more troubling is that the people who might lose their jobs over this controversy are likely very far removed from the decision makers who helped influence USDA’s determination that this product not be labeled on ground beef.  Had consumers known about this filler from day one, and had BPI been making all the positive claims about it that we’re now hearing from the company, I suspect we would never have seen anything like the consumer outcry of the last few weeks, the same outcry that led stores to cancel orders, etc.  People felt — rightly, to my mind — deceived about what they were buying when they picked up a package of ground beef in the supermarket and the backlash has been intense.

It is true that my petition focused only on school food.  You’re new here and, as Tina said, I write only about kids and food on TLT, five days a week.  I’m also actively involved in school food in Houston ISD.  So I care very much about what we feed school kids and yes — while I know you and I will never, ever agree on this subject — I was quite displeased to learn on March 5th that LFTB is still in the meat procured by USDA for the National School Lunch Program.  (I had thought Agriculture Secretary Vilsack had made a decision in 2010 to no longer use beef with LFTB in school food; I was obviously mistaken.)

I started a petition on March 6th which contained only factual, sourced information.  I did not make any big deal about “ammonia” – I mentioned the use of ammonium hydroxide exactly once in the petition and that’s it – no scary references to Windex, etc.  And yes, while on the first day I accidentally included that incorrect photo of “pink goo,” I corrected my error on the petition and on TLT the very next day.  (My best guess is that perhaps 2,000 people of the quarter of a million who ultimately signed the petition saw the original version with the goo photo.)

As media coverage of the issue spread and consumers expressed their dismay over learning that LFTB was in their reportedly 70% of ground beef sold in the U.S., up to 15% and without disclosure, a call for labeling began.  While that was not the goal of my petition, I wholeheartedly support labeling and lent my voice to that effort.  (And those two goals are not unrelated.  Schoolchildren who participate in the NSLP are by and large economically dependent on the school meal, yet they and their parents had no voice over — or knowledge of — what was in the ground beef being served.)  I am proud of the fact that I worked with Congresswoman Pingree’s office to help introduce the REAL Beef Act in Congress and I hope that it succeeds in getting passed.  Even if it does not, however, we saw yesterday that USDA will allow processors to voluntarily label LFTB and many are taking advantage of this choice.

I have never once asked for this product to be banned from the marketplace.  However, our free market economy cannot function without informed consumer choice.  BPI clearly has a big megaphone — no less than five states sent governors or lieutenant governors to participate in its widely covered press conference last week — and it is well equipped to make its case that LFTB is a safe and wholesome product.  Some consumers will agree and buy beef with LFTB, and others will not.  That seems to me to be the right of every American consumer and, frankly, I wonder why many who believe LFTB is such a great product seem afraid to let consumers know it’s in their ground beef.  (And before you tell me “beef is beef,” such that LFTB needs no label, I promise you that I am very well acquainted with that view point, and I just don’t agree.  You can read why here, among other places.)

Finally, thank you for the many comments you’ve left on this page expressing your views.  You recently used some harsh expletives to address a commenter on this page and while I don’t condone that,  I also saw that you were provoked by her.  I trust you won’t do that again, and you should know I’ve spoken to the person on the other side as well.  And I’m sorry it’s taken me days to address you directly here – it has been challenging to keep up with the hundreds of comments coming in on this page and on the blog itself, as well as all the emails I receive.

As I said above, I know you and I will never see eye-to-eye on this issue, but I hope this clears up at least a few of the misconceptions you seem to have had about me and my petition.  And, again, I do hope you will visit The Lunch Tray, if you haven’t already done so, to actually read my views presented in a fuller and more nuanced way.

{ 222 comments… read them below or add one }

Janet April 4, 2012 at 10:05 am

Please do NOT refer to LFTB as “filler”! It is NOT a filler, but ground meat!

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Bri April 4, 2012 at 10:16 am

That’s all you took from this? I’m surprised. It seems to me that Bettina has enumerated her views very, very clearly many times, and summed them up beautifully — yet again — in this post reaching out to someone who has expressed quite a lot of emotional reaction to the recent events surrounding this debate. Wouldn’t this be a good time to let things rest, as it’s clear that Bettina does not intend to be swayed by insistence that LFTB is just plain old meat?

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Janet April 4, 2012 at 7:59 pm

That’s all I had time to read. I had a lot on my schedule today.

To me, filler is when you add flour, oatmeal, soy, wheat, ground carrots(?), or whatever. Something that is not of the same base. If I add bottled water to tap water, that is not filler.

Even if one is not going to be “swayed”, it would really be nice to not call beef a filler.

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Hondo April 5, 2012 at 3:49 pm

@Janet, I might agree with you that if you ‘add bottled water to tap water’ that indeed may not rise to the level of an act where you could be accused of using a ‘filler’ in the final product.

After all water is water and the only difference between ‘tap’ and ‘bottled’ is a slight qualitative difference.

In the scenario that you posit, assuming that you are going to end up labeling it as either ‘tap water’ or as ‘tap water with bottled water added’, then you are only adding something of an agreed higher quality to the tap water and therefore could not be accused of wrong-doing.

However, I would argue that if you added ‘tap water to bottled water’ then a legitimate claim of ‘filler’ or ‘adulterated’ would reasonably apply.

And if you did so and then tried to pass it off as just ‘bottled water’ without labeling that it included plain old tap-water then you would not only be guilty of misleading people, you’d actually be guilty of fraud and could face criminal penalties.

I like your analogy, it really is a perfect fit for this LFTB/Pink-Slime vs Ground-Beef debate.

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Brad April 4, 2012 at 10:51 am

I think that is a matter that is very much in dispute it is also one of semantics. Nobody is seriously questioning that pink slime/LFTB is beef. However, in the sense of ground beef that prior to pink slime/LFTB someone today is trying refer to THAT type of ground beef, pink slime/LFTB is a filler because it is something other than what I wanted to be buying. Further because of the lack of labeling I don’t even know what I am buying.

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Phyllis May 15, 2012 at 12:33 pm

Brad, the “lack of labeling” was the fault of the seller, not of BPI. BPI’s customers knew EXACTLY what they were buying from BPI, and knew how they were going to use the product (as a supplement to their own product)…. Seems to me the Buyer’s of BPI’s product are the ones who “dropped the ball” – and NOT BPI.

PS Thanks to all this negativity, I have lost my job there; but I still wholeheartedly support and will continue to defend their product.

PPS SEMANTICS is where the trouble started – someone (who was it, a fired FDA/USDA scientist?) used the phrase “pink slime” and so did Bettina in her petition. HAMBURGER is pink slime – with or without LFTB….

Just sayin’

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Nancy April 4, 2012 at 11:48 am

Janet, once something has been processed and then added to freshly ground meat it is indeed a filler. Comments like yours that LFTB is the same thing as fresh ground beef are what infuriate many consumers. Yes, you start with fatty beef scraps to make LFTB but once the processing takes place it is no longer freshly ground beef and is instead a cheap filler made from beef scraps. I would recommend that the beef industry start to listen to American consumers about what THEY consider to be beef. Industry’s job is to please the consumer, not to tell them they are wrong and don’t understand what they are talking about. If consumers don’t want this filler in ground beef, then label it so people can make informed decisions.

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Janet April 4, 2012 at 8:08 pm

Where do you think hamburger comes from? It is from the fatty scraps that are cut off roasts, steaks, etc. It’s just that someone has found a way to remove more fat from scraps that are extra fatty. It’s difficult for the beef industry to please the customer when most of the customers don’t know where different cuts of meat come from.

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Erin April 7, 2012 at 2:12 pm

Okay isnt Hamburger processed some? It is ground meat….thus processed!

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Phyllis May 15, 2012 at 12:38 pm

Nancy “CHEAP filler”? uh huh … it’s BEEF – no fillers – just BEEF. I wonder how many American consumers know where their T-bones and Filet Mignons and Sirloins really DO come from – they come from live animals which are slaughtered (read KILLED) and cut up into pieces. The trimmings from thos cuts of BLOOD RED meat are then GROUND UP into hamburger. The American consumer wants lean Lean LEAN HAMBURGHER, and Eldon Roth and Company (BPI) found a way to not only separate the protein from the fat, but also a process to kill pathogens to make it healthy. IT’S NOT FILLER.

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Steve April 6, 2012 at 12:38 pm

Janet, I would prefer oatmeal, soy, wheat, etc as a filler rather than pink slime. hmmm a natural product verses chemically treated, ‘defatted’ scraps that were once unfit for human consumption. It’s a no brainier since ammonia tainted food should have no place on a diner table.

Also, technically, it is a filler. It is added to a cheap product to extend another product, that’s a filler. Read the sales literature. Also, thanks for charging me more to by lean ground that cost you less to grind; very noble of you.

PS: Janet, NO ONE, in their right mind would consider eating ammonia tainted beef fat – NO ONE. And, pink slime is not beef btw; it is ‘defatted’ fat cells tainted with ammonia; there is a difference. The USDA even states pink slime and beef ARE NOT equivalent. And, those are your buddies who allowed you to commit fraud for 10+ years.

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doug April 8, 2012 at 2:54 pm

Steve,

Your post is full of inaccuracies and myth.

1. “‘defatted’ scraps that were once unfit for human consumption.” These scraps were never unfit for human consumption any more than the meatier scraps that have been going into ground beef since grinders were invented. Until Mr. Roth’s innovation it was economically unfeasable to extract the muscle from thos scraps so they were diverted to pet food or rendering. BPI’s process made that muscle viable for ground beef.
2. “It is added to a cheap product to extend another product, that’s a filler.” Not sure what that means.
3. “Also, thanks for charging me more to by lean ground that cost you less to grind; very noble of you.” If you knew anything about the role of competition in a free marketplace you would knor that you have been paying less for ground beef that you would have otherwise.
4. “NO ONE, in their right mind would consider eating ammonia tainted beef fat – NO ONE.” True but irrelevant. No one is eating ammonia tainted ground beef or fat.
From Merriam-Webster: Taint
1: to contaminate morally : corrupt
2: to affect with putrefaction : spoil
3: to touch or affect slightly with something bad
5.”The USDA even states pink slime and beef ARE NOT equivalent.” Please cite your source. The USDA allows LFTB to be labled as hamburger precisely because it is equivalent.

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Steve April 9, 2012 at 10:54 am

1. History speaks for itself; I rest my case on past events where the product went into dog food and was never fed to humans because of the high level of pathogens amongst other things. Research how beef is processed and where these fat scraps come from.

2. My poorly worded point; sorry. I intended to say it is an undisclosed, cheap filler.

3. I don’t mind paying more if it is the true cost. But, don’t deflate the price and feed me trash I would never purchase on my own. Above all. label it so we can make a choice.

5. USDA Scientist such as Kit Foshee, Carl Custer, etc…
“Much of the protein in lean finely textured beef is different than protein in pure ground beef. ”

“It may be pink, nutritionally, it is not equivalent to whole-muscle tissue.”

“Pink slime” does provide nutrition, but not as much as ground beef, according to Richard Ludescher, a nutritionist at Rutgers University. Ludescher said that because lean finely textured beef has five times the collagen level as standard ground beef it “will have a lower nutritional value than beef muscle.” Collagen is a protein, he said, that is higher in non-essential amino acids and lower in essential amino acids than meat from an animal’s muscle.

“Addition of LFTB would thus lower the nutritional quality of ground beef,” Ludescher said.

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doug April 9, 2012 at 9:17 pm

1. The pathogen level of those scraps is no higher than the meatier scraps that have always been used.
5. Kit Foshee is a former BPI employee who was fired, lost his wrongful termination lawsuit and now spends his time discrediting BPI. He is not a USDA scientist. Dr. Ludescher is not a USDA scientist. Carl Custer is a retired USDA scientist. You are confusing the USDA position with the opinion of of people not affiliated with the USDA.

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George from UC April 10, 2012 at 2:08 am

@doug
1. Practically everyone agrees (BPI included) that the pathogen level of beef trimmings aka scraps is substantially higher than whole cuts of beef.
2. You don’t need to be a USDA scientist to know that LFTB has a lower nutritional value than beef muscle. A study funded by BPI concludes “LFTB contains more serum and connective tissue proteins and less myofibrillar proteins than muscle meat” Joseph G. Sebranek, professor of animal science, professor of food science and human nutrition http://www.exnet.iastate.edu/Pages/ansci/beefreports/asl-1361.pdf
And this comment taken from Meatingplace, a meat industry publication “If a person were to take 95% lean ground beef (no LFTB inclusion) and compare it to LFTB (also 95% lean) would those products have the same physical and functional properties? I think the general sentiment would be “No – they are clearly different products” – even the beef industry likely recognizes this fact given that LFTB is included at a 10-15% level in ground beef products rather than 80-, 90-, or 100-% levels.”
So LFTB is NOT equivalent to whole muscle ground beef, no matter how many times you repeat your “beef is beef” mantra.

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doug April 10, 2012 at 2:19 pm

1. Trim is has a higher pathogen level than “whole cuts”. That is not in dispute. The reason is that the pathogens live on the surface of any cut of meat and there is far more surface area in 10 pounds of trim than on a 10 pound whole cut. What I said is that the trim used for LFBT is no more pathogenic than the peices of trim that have always been used. If Steve’s statement (the product went into dog food and was never fed to humans because of the high level of pathogens) were true all trim would be diverted away from ground beef.
2. Nowhere have I said “beef is beef” nor am I here to get in a semantic argument over the definition of beef. That would be pointless. My issue was with Steve’s false statement “The USDA even states pink slime and beef ARE NOT equivalent.” I stand by what I said earlier.
By the way, quoting a comment from Meatingplace carries no more weight than quoting a comment from one of the commenters here. One of us may not know what we are talking about ;-)

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doug April 10, 2012 at 4:28 pm

Bettina,

What’s up with automatically turning my painstakingly and perfectly crafted emoticon into that dorky smiley face. Admittedly it’s a clever bit of technology but you’re messing with my hallowed artistic integrity.

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Brian B April 10, 2012 at 8:46 pm

Hey Bettina….a little FYI….BPI has had the LFTB on the label for quite sometime…even way before this all broke out…They can not contol what the people they sell there product to do with the label but LFTB is on the box when it leaves the plant. They have never hid that….Did you ever think to ask??

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George from UC April 11, 2012 at 1:37 pm

@Brian B
What SHOULD be on the label when the box leaves the plant is “contains ammonia” or “processed with ammonia” to avoid problems like the one in 2003 “Unaware that the meat was treated with ammonia — since it was not on the label — Georgia officials assumed it was accidentally contaminated and alerted the agriculture department.”
I agree that supermarkets should label their product something like:
Contains up to 15% ammonia treated beef (or “ammonia disinfected beef”, “ammoniated meat product”, “ammoniated beef”). Take your pick.
“Lean finely textured beef” is too nice of an euphemism for this product (sounds deceptive), just as “Pink slime” is too derogatory.
So BPI did not label it for what it was, I imagine they wouldn’t ship out blank cardboard boxes, it had to say SOMETHING on the label. And before we go into “ammonia is just a processing aid and does not need to be labeled” check out my reply above to Tiffany, to avoid cluttering up Bettina’s blog with the same information.

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Tiffany April 12, 2012 at 7:33 am

@George
Where did you read that they were unaware it was treated with ammonia? I believe it said they detected a strong ammonia smell. Just any company things can happen, recalls happen everyday. I believe the ammonia level was too high. Now there are no documents telling what happened, why it was too high(like equipment failure during the ammonia process), and that was 9 years ago. 1 time in all these years doesn’t seem to bad.

Steve April 10, 2012 at 4:42 pm

1. According to then USDA Scientist Gerald Zirnstein, “Pink slime” is beef trimmings. Once only used in dog food and cooking oil, the trimmings are now sprayed with ammonia so they are safe to eat and added to most ground beef as a cheaper filler.

5. They may not be with the USDA now, but they were then when the product was being approved. According to Zirnstein, “It’s economic fraud”, “It’s not fresh ground beef. – It’s a cheap substitute being added in.”

According to Custer, the product is not really beef, but “a salvage product – fat that had been heated at a low temperature and the excess fat spun out.”

I already cited where the pink slime protein is not equivalent to muscle beef.

Now, in terms of credibility, I will take the word of Kit Foshee and retired USDA scientist before I depend on anything USDA under secretary Smith, the beef industry, and BPI have to say about pink slime. According to Smith, “It’s pink, therefore it’s meat”. That, is not exactly scientific. To me, they are all discredited – according to ABC News, “When Smith stepped down from the USDA in 1993, BPI’s principal major supplier appointed her to its board of directors, where she made at least $1.2 million over 17 years.”.

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George from UC April 10, 2012 at 10:06 pm

@doug
My apologies, I jumped into the thread without carefully reading what you and Steve had posted.
1. I agree that the pathogen level of the scraps used before and now are equivalent.
2. People that worked at USDA and the USDA’s position are not the same thing.
The “beef” thing was something of a cheap shot, just that it get repeated ad nauseam on TLT that I lost track of who said it last.
My point with the Meatingplace comments is that it’s a very pro-beef site, so it’s refreshing to read that not all beef people follow BPI’s/AMI’s official line.

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Phyllis May 15, 2012 at 12:39 pm

Ssteve, these scraps are NOT “not fit for human consumption”. Please check out beefisbeef.com to learn the truth.

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Happy's Greenhouse April 4, 2012 at 10:38 am

I think it’s wonderful that TLT exists and has helped to bring public awareness to the Pink Slime issue. Even better is that the internet is being used to allow us ordinary citizens to share our voices when an injustice is found. Who would have thought that by simply voicing displeasure that something like Pink Slime exists, and is fed to our children, would be the catalyst for getting corporations to back down on bad behavior?

I missed the Pink Slime vs Pink Goo debate , but just the existence of a debate with that title is a winner in my book!

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Amy H April 4, 2012 at 10:42 am

One thing that may have been overlooked in this discussion (I admit I haven’t read ALL of the comments because it’s a little overwhelming) is that our industrical food system has many processes, ingredients, systems etc. that could make consumers uneasy at best, and disgusted at worst. Several commenters have pointed out that ammonia is involved in the making of lots of foods. If you are going to rely on chain grocery stores for most or all of your food, you are relying on corporations to make it for you, and they do it on such a massive scale that processes and fillers become necessary for economic and safety reasons. Add to this the fact that the USDA and FDA are severely underfunded, leaving industry to largely regulate itself, and you can rest assured they cannot and will not make food the way you would at home. I’m not passing judgement on this system in this comment; I’m merely stating facts. If the particular product and/or process makes you uncomfortable, you need to start thinking about where you get your food, because this is just the tip of the iceberg as far as practices that will seem weird or wrong or gross to the average consumer. Buy from a farmer’s market or join a CSA. Grow your own. Search out farmers in your area and ask them questions about how their animals are processed. I get it that lots of people are OK with LFTB and the process it goes through, but lots of people are not, and you can tell them all day long that it is beef, but that doesn’t quiet the naggy voice in the back of their heads saying it is not the same as beef. I’m all for transparency and labeling, but at the end of the day, this is the food system we have built, possibly demanded, with our desire for cheap and plentiful food. If you don’t like the system, get out of it.

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Mary April 4, 2012 at 12:19 pm

@Amy sometimes people don’t have a choice to get out of it and I would think a good example of this is the school food lunch program. My sister works for a school district and many of the kids in that district depend on the school food as their only real source of nutrients in their day.
I live in an area where “organic”, “grass-fed” etc… are looked down upon and people look at you funny, like your crazy if you ask for chemical free foods. So the choices for me and my family are very restricted so much so that I raise my own chickens and pork and essentially opt out of eating beef for the most part because I can’t get it without hormones, antibiotics etc… The one beef product I was buying regularly was ground beef and then I come to find out about what the other 15% of that ground beef consisted of. So it’s easy to say get out of the system but many just don’t have that option.
I also just read an article about a Japanese scientist that has created a process to turn human waste into “beef-like” food for humans to eat. Just because we can doesn’t mean we should.

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Adrienne April 4, 2012 at 2:27 pm

Amy, I love your comments.

I do want to further discuss something you wrote: “Add to this the fact that the USDA and FDA are severely underfunded, leaving industry to largely regulate itself, and you can rest assured they cannot and will not make food the way you would at home.”

I’d say that more than the industry regulating itself due to underfunding in the USDA and FDA, that the industry is very profit-hungry and powerful, and that the USDA and FDA are often at the hands of the industry. The USDA and FDA need to grow a pair (for lack of better words) and make labeling a no-brainer. If consumers are able to make choices based on good information, they will drive demand, and the free market will work because the industry will have to respond to consumer demands in order to stay in business. In the semblance of Nike, JUST LABEL IT.

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Jake April 4, 2012 at 2:39 pm

Amy

That couldn’t have been said any better! If only others actually understood it like you do. I also must add that had the packaging originally been labeled with Lean Finely Textured Beef it wouldn’t have made any difference to a majority out there asking for the label and bashing this process in this very moment. It would have been 4 very small font words on a package of ground beef that no one cares about. In the end the last word is still beef.your everyday consumer filling their grocery cart would have known any difference.

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Amy H April 4, 2012 at 4:24 pm

Jake and Adrienne,

I agree with both of you. The USDA and FDA are full of former employees of the industries they are supposed to regulate and vice versa. They issue meaningless “voluntary guidelines” instead of hard and fast rules and then call it a day. I think a lot of consumers would rather not know all the grisly details of how their food gets into neat packages in the store, and for them the system works just fine. I’ve done a lot of digging since my kids were born and I had to decide what to feed them, and the current food system just doesn’t work for us.

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Erin April 7, 2012 at 2:20 pm

Amy,
With regards to the minimum guide lines….BPI received the highest of awards because they exceeded far and beyond what was expected of them! I wish people who lived else where could really and truly see Eldon Roth’s determination in making safety and technology the top of his goals in this business. That is one reason the company is relatively small with a little over 2500 employees….it can be regulated better and kept up to Eldon’s standards which are extremely high!

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Bob April 4, 2012 at 11:04 am

Janet: LFTB does not touch a grinder. It’s false to claim it’s ground meat.

Centrifugally-separated meat, sure. But not ground.

As for whether it’s “filler” — it’s added to ground beef to alter the texture and lower the price of the final product. How is that not “filler”?

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doug April 4, 2012 at 3:03 pm

Of course it’s ground. At the same time that the other 85% of your 100% beef burger is ground.

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Bob April 4, 2012 at 5:25 pm

Actually, no. It’s formed at the factory into strands that are a similar shape to ground beef, then mixed in at the processor *after* the other beef is run through a grinder.

Go back and look at the video and photos from inside the BPI plant — after the beef is separated in a centrifuge, it’s flattened on huge rollers, then passed through an extruder to give it the appearance of having been ground.

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doug April 4, 2012 at 7:48 pm

Let me try again. You are correct to say that the product that BPI sells is not ground beef. You have not heard BPI say that. Anyone who does say that is misinformed or distorting the facts. BPI’s customers buy LFTB, mix it with various other components such as chuck, sirloin, round, bench trim, etc., to acheive the desired lean/fat ratio and then grind it. None of the components are ground beef before this. The end product is. You are incorrect to say that it never sees a grinder since this is the primary application for LFBT.

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Bob April 5, 2012 at 5:00 pm

If the process you’re describing is accurate, then why would BPI go through the expense of shaping LFTB to look like ground beef?

It would be way more efficient and cheaper to ship it from the factory as bricks. But it doesn’t leave the factory that as a solid brick — it leaves BPI’s factory as beefy strands that blend in naturally.

Why? Because LFTB is added to other cuts of beef after those cuts have been ground.

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doug April 5, 2012 at 5:45 pm

I’m guessing it is because pellets are easier to grind than blocks. In any case I can tell you that any mixing/stirring/etc. after grinding would negatively affect the perfomance of the ground beef in the kitchen.

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Janet April 4, 2012 at 8:16 pm

Do you know that it alters the texture? And, yes, it lowers the price because it is getting more out of the meat so it actually lowers the price per pound. Just because you add leaner beef to fattier beef does not make it a filler. That might even be done to other ground meat to get the percentage of fat that they want. I don’t call that filler either.

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Bob April 5, 2012 at 4:52 pm

Yes, BPI’s own research shows LFTB has less soluble (digestible) protein and a different texture from ground beef:

“Because of the protein differences, LFTB has less functionality in processed meats, resulting in lower yields and softer texture.”

and

“Texture evaluation of the frankfurters showed the products with LFTB to be softer and more tender, a desirable characteristic for low-fat products.”

Source.

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Phyllis May 15, 2012 at 12:46 pm

This study was for hotdogs, not hamburger. Hotdogs have a very fine (one could almost call it slimy) texture than hamburger.

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Brian B April 4, 2012 at 2:35 pm

I am curious….Bettina have you ever seen this finely texture beef in its true form that everyone seems to call pink slime?? Just trying to educate myself on your education of the beef industry before I give my opinion…..

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Bettina Elias Siegel April 4, 2012 at 3:40 pm

Brian – actually seeing what LFTB looks like seems irrelevant in that I’ve never based my objections to LFTB on its appearance, whatever that may be. But in point of fact, an anonymous, highly reliable source provided me with a photo of LFTB as it purportedly appears in BPI’s plant. Funnily enough, this pink-gray block looks nothing like the rosy, food-styled photo sent around by BPI recently. And it does looks a lot like what we all saw in Food Inc.

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Matt April 4, 2012 at 9:37 pm

Someone has been so creative with Photoshop. The enhanced colors…or dulled colors (depending on the picture), definitely favor anti-LFTB supporters…or what I like to call…those people who haven’t had any beef processing FIRST-HAND experience. Those who rely on the buttons and a mouse. I can tell you THIS….. I have seen BPI LFTB first hand. BIG QUESTION….have you?

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Bettina Elias Siegel April 4, 2012 at 9:40 pm

Matt: I can tell you that the photo from my anonymous source was not photoshopped.

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Matt April 4, 2012 at 9:45 pm

Hmm… well. Come on! Don’t dodge it. The BIG QUESTION….do you have FIRST-HAND experience….cow slaughter….from slaughter to plate???

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Bettina Elias Siegel April 4, 2012 at 10:59 pm

Matt: I can’t always tell from the back end of my blog to whom a comment is directed, but if you’re asking me whether I have personally slaughtered and processed cows . . . well, maybe I’ve been managing the comment thread for too long because the only answer that comes to mind right now is, “Dude, I’m a lawyer!” :-) Seriously, I’ve never represented that I DID have experience in your field, and I totally respect the information you can share. But I don’t even know why we’re having such a big debate about the appearance of LFTB — I never discussed the appearance – my concerns are quality, potential safety issues, consumer deception, etc.

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kristi April 5, 2012 at 5:37 am

What do you mean you never discussed the appearance? Isn’t “pink” and “slime” descriptive of appearance? It is a bit disingenuous to now say you were all about the facts all along. Your very own petition used those words.

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Happy's Greenhouse April 5, 2012 at 8:43 am

Pink Slime is a descriptive name applied to a slimy filler that the Beef Federation has been secretly adding to ground beef for 20 years because they were secretive and…. getting away with it. Plain and simple…they got caught. Bettina didn’t coin the usage of that title but is simply using the name that this slimy spun filler goes by (across the world) as seen in the 184 million entries in Google attest to. If she referred to it in any other way, it would be a disservice to her readers.

184 million entries in Google when you type in Pink Slime.

184 million reasons that the Beef Federation should use as a big wake-up call to clean up their act. Also, would one of you pro-Pink Slime posters (seems to be all that are left here) please post a copy of the official email asking you to come here under various names and post pro-Pink Slime comments?

184,000,000 (million) Pink Slime entries on Google.

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Matt April 5, 2012 at 9:20 am

Bettina: I respect your concerns of quality, potential safety issues, consumer deception, etc. But you won’t find those answers behind a computer. If you claim to not have experience in the “field” than how can you justify to your supporters what you are doing? The word credibility comes to mind.

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Brian B April 8, 2012 at 1:14 am

Well Bettina I am sure if you called Beff Products they would be more then happy to give you a tour because I know they are proud of the product they sell and the safety record it has.

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Phyllis June 2, 2012 at 7:17 am

Bettina, your comment “Dude, I’m a lawyer!” reminds me of a dialog in “The Devil’s Advocate” where Keanu Reeves’ character, when asked why he doesn’t lose, say “I’m a Lawyer, that’s what I am – that’s what I do!” and Al Pacino’s character says, “Vanity, my favorite sin!”

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Happy's Greenhouse April 4, 2012 at 4:03 pm

What I find interesting is that the Beef Federation (makes it sound Starwarsey) has taken to having these web blog posters sent out to post all of these made up versions of what this stuff is, i.e. that it is actually ground beef, not filler, inaccurate science here, fibs there, tall beef tales, that LFTB is safer than hitting a tree with your car, etc, etc… when all of the dishonesty and secrecy is what got them in trouble in the first place.

BPI flooded the news media with the pelletized picture so that the first slimy picture that accompanied the first stories would disappear. It showed a bowl of some pretty slimy and disgusting stuff and not the neatly arranged rabbit pellets we see here. And now looking at the gray block of stuff….bleeech!. It really looks like it has gone bad.

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doug April 4, 2012 at 5:06 pm

The first picture disappeared because, much to the embarrassment of ABC, Huffington Post, TLT, et al, it wasn’t a picture of LFTB.

If you leave a package of ground beef in the refrigerator for a couple of days the exterior will oxidize and turn grey. The picture of the block that was being held for testing would seem to be consistant with that.

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Happy's Greenhouse April 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

And you are the expert exactly….how? Did you test it? Why did everyone suddenly start using the pellets pic? Because BPI did a press release to every news outlet in the nation. The scientist that coined the term “Pink Slime” didn’t do so because it looks like dry rabbit pellets. He used the word slime due to the slimy, ooeey, gooey, oopy consistency of Pink Slime. Otherwise he would have said pellitized, dry as a bone 6 month old salami, flaky, crunchy meat food-like spun & extruded substance (add milk and YUM!) that the pellets picture shows.

Also, Jamie was showing how meat nuggets are made for school lunches with a beef slurry; the fact that they have been using Pink Slime as a filler for Beef Slurry is all the more disgusting.

I don’t eat that much ground beef but a big honkin’ health warning that you should throw it in the garbage is when it starts oxidizing and turning gray.

Now you are trying to pass off “…oxidizing and turning gray” as OK along with Pink Slime too? Ever watch Kitchen Nightmares? How far down do you have to scrape off the rotten part of the Pink (gray) Slime brick till it is safe to use as filler?

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doug April 5, 2012 at 12:49 pm

So you villify BPI for releasing a picture of the actual product for the media to use instead of the picture they were using of something that wasn’t even beef? Pardon me if I don’t find that to be sinister, as you seem to.

I’m guessing that BPI makes blocks of the product and then pelletizes it for the convenience of it’s customers. I have no first hand knowledge of this but maybe one of the BPI employees that are posting here can corroborate.

Even if I accept your proposition that oxidation is somehow a health hazard (it isn’t, although it may be an indicator of age and excessive age gives time for the bugs in a product to reproduce to toxic levels) why would you be concerned that a block that was being held for testing is oxidized? Clearly that block isn’t going to find it’s way into your refrigerator.

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Erin April 4, 2012 at 8:12 pm

Happy Greenhouse,
If you read the news you would actually of found out and even on this site Bettina has put this fact in as well…the original pictures put out in the public that you are refering is not beef at all….this picture was incorrectly related to LFTB
The original picture is actually machine seperated chicken.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/blogpost/post/pink-slime-photo-isnt-what-it-appears-to-be/2012/03/09/gIQApJJd1R_blog.html

Also I would like you all to check out these quotes:

“Ammonia’s not an unusual product to find added to food,” Gary Acuff, director of Texas A&M University’s Center for Food Safety, told a recent press conference hosted by Beef Products Inc. “We use ammonia in all kinds of foods in the food industry.”

Kraft Foods Inc, whose brands include Chips Ahoy cookies and Velveeta cheese, is one company that uses very small amounts of ammonium compounds in some of its products.

“Sometimes ingredient names sound more complicated than they are,” said Kraft spokeswoman Angela Wiggins. She also pointed out that ammonia, made up of nitrogen and hydrogen, occurs naturally in plants, animals, water, air and in some foods, including milk.

Wiggins said that in turning milk to cheese, a tiny amount of ammonium hydroxide is added to a starter dairy culture to reduce the culture’s acidity and encourage cheese cultures to grow.

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Happy's Greenhouse April 4, 2012 at 9:59 pm

So, do you really think that the gray slime brick looks better than the pile of pink meat foam? Really?

I think the oxidized gray brick of Pink Slime should be used rather than the prettied up rabbit pellets PR photo provided by BPI then. I mean, why are we relying on a PR press photo from the company that hid the existence of Pink Slime from Americans in the first place?

Why do you keep quoting all these out of context quotes? You do realize that you are digging a deeper hole, right?

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Erin April 4, 2012 at 11:05 pm

I am not digging any hole I am simply stating that all food products have things done to them….Beef Products Inc. Did not hide anything the USDA was right there.
Pink slime was quoted by a former employee…..what people need to realize is there are pros and cons to everything we buy but at least the consumer should have the freedom to buy what they choose too!

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Brian B April 8, 2012 at 1:26 am

Hey Unhappy’s Greenhouse if you don’t like BEEF then don’t eat it but the other 99% of us like beef especially safer and cheaper and more lean. I suggest you go blog on a ToFu site or something. The real issue here is that we as Americans should have a choice and by what the media has done NOT giving us all the facts and calling a perfectly good product a terrible name (unless it’s a dessert of course) we no longer have a choice and now 3000 people will be out of a job and our whole Beef industry will sufer because of this. I can honestly say I do not like where our country is going…

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Janet April 5, 2012 at 8:55 pm

Happy’s Greenhouse, You keep referring to the Beef Federation. The Beef Federation is a national organization of Beef Cattle producers.

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Melody Singer (**really!**) April 4, 2012 at 6:22 pm

Your wonderfully warm and sheltering blog is so so much better now you are deleting mean people who seriously disagree with you! It is just wonderful. You let in just enough soft argument to give us easy targets to shoot down and that makes your delightful blog more fun than ever! Now we can feel smarter and more powerful than ever before!! Bettina you are a saint for wrecking those evil companies. Keep up your important work. You rock!

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Bettina Elias Siegel April 4, 2012 at 6:50 pm

Melody – You are so nice but do you want to know something interesting? With just one or two exceptions, I have let ALL comments in since laying down the law yesterday. And they’ve ALL been civil. I almost feel that someone on the pro-LFTB side expressly “called off the dogs.” Nothing else can explain the sudden, 180 degree reversal in the tone and tenor of the comments I’m getting. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

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Erin April 4, 2012 at 8:18 pm

Bettina,
With regards to the calling of the dogs…..there are a lot of upset employees…yes they were originally very upset and wanted to go after who they felt was at fault rightly so…..but after a group of us have mentioned over and over take the high road and all we want is the message heard…this is why you are seeing change…..people dont listen to barking….they listen to civil conversation. That is all.

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Bettina Elias Siegel April 4, 2012 at 9:14 pm

Erin: Well I certainly appreciate that. Thank you.

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The truth April 4, 2012 at 10:16 pm

I am a proud worker for Beef Products. I have been working for BPI for about eight years. I have seen many comments regarding people want to know what they are buying. Yet everything i know says you do know what your buying. Before you go to the grocery store you make a list. A list of things you need for the day maybe for the week. In some instances you look for coupons in the hopes of saving some money and put it away in your childs college fund. You get to the grocery store and you stop by the meats department, you ask the sales person you want two pounds of 95% lean ground beef. The sales person grabs a hand full of ground beef and puts it on the scale. Not quite there so he grabs a little more. You gather the rest of your groceries and get home. Its late in the day and you havent made dinner yet. You start to think about what to make for dinner. Its needs to be ready before the husbands/wifes and children come home from work and school. You think of the ground beef you bought and think of making spaghetti and meat balls. After cooking everything you have a few minutes to clean the mess you just made, when you hear the door open and some one says “Honey um home” A few minutes after that you two kids come running in. Now its time to eat. Every one sitting, you begin to serve what you proudly made, spaghetti and meat balls. Everyone eats and even ask for seconds. They thank you for the wounderfull dinner you prepared that day. They tell you that the food was delicious. We all know what we buy. We dont go to a store with our eyes wide shut and grab anything we touch. Ground beef with LFTB has been in the cosumer market for 20 years. In those 20 years over millions of people have injoyed ground beef. The process of obtaining LFTB might not be preatty just like when the cow is being butchered in the slaughter houses. Yet you still enjoy that sirloin steak every know and then. Summer is around the corner, so what do you say and lets grill us some hamburgers with LFTB like the good old days.

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Tiffany April 5, 2012 at 1:12 am

Bettina, first I would like to thank you for responding and also for understanding that I am not initially a rude person but can turn sour when provoked. I will admit that I have come to TLT only on a few occasions. Initially when all of this started I felt I should stay way until I could find the right tone. Of course I’m upset and scared just as many of my bpi friends are. We are mothers, fathers, grandpas, grandmas, aunts and uncles all defending our young. Tho is may seems strange to some to imagine defending LFTB and bpi as a way to defend our young it is what it is. Bpi puts food in our little ones mouths, clothes on their backs. It pays the mortgage etc., to a lot of us bpi is more than just that. They are a company who has stood by us thru some of our own personal battles. Like my fathers suicide, others illness, the list goes on. Some of us maybe more passionate than others and our emotions entail have taken over. I have always said that I respect the choice of others, that I even applaud others for making changes in their diets. When speaking with Tina today as you saw, we may not agree on LFTB but we can be civil, understand and accept that this is your view and this is mine. As Tina and I learned we have a lot more in common that would have ever thought. I still hold my same view as she does hers but we accepted one another. I will say when she told me what her school children eat I was quite disappointed. It made me question her  school districts policies and funding. Not saying it is only the district obviously this is approved on federal level. In my opinion before I tired to ban LFTB I would have banned trix yogurt and honey buns from the menu(something I am proud to say my school district does not serve). There are very few people who are ever going to fully agree on the LFTB debate, and that I understand. I won’t go into the whole beefisbeef deal either. I respect people wanting a label. I am saddened that a lot of the media out there did portray LFTB in a false manner. I am from Nebraska and I know my beef. If I didn’t my father would roll over in his grave. Respecting that others do not know as much about beef as I do, I feel they should be given the facts about beef and LFTB in an unbiased manner. Many of the media pictures were not of LFTB, and if I was a person who didn’t know my beef I probably would have feel over in my chair if that’s what I was told was in my ground beef. Jamie Oliver’s segment was highly dramatized and really did not educate people it scared them. Scared them into thinking bpi was poisoning them with poop covered meat that is soaked in liquid ammonia. This is what I mean by false protrayl. There are a few posts and links on TLT Facebook and here at TLT that I have viewed, that contain inaccurate information along with some truce. It is those inaccurate bits that I feel people continue to see and fear. Bpi was not intentionally trying to dupe anyone. They do in fact care for consumers. One good example is their hold/test policy, the only company that does this. Ensuring contaminated beef does not leave their facility, an extra step of safety. LFTB tho some might not agree does have a greater purpose. Our nations population is growing, making it harder to feed people. Our economy well… sucks, again making it hard for hard working people to put food on the table and our children are at high risks for obesity. LFTB and the innovation used to produce it was in no way ever ment to hurt anyone and has not done so. Some people may not like the process and that’s ok, again everyone is allowed their opinion. I feel that as Americans we have the ability to educate ourselves and we should. We are also stronger united than not. I feel that the only way for the people of our nation to truly get what they want, they need to come together educate one another on fact, not on opinion and let people make an educated choice based on their own opinion. There are so many more things I can say about LFTB it’s public portrayal and about EX employees of the USDA and bpi alike, but today I will not go there. We are all allowed our opinion we are all allowed choice, I do choose LFTB, not only because my husband works for bpi but because I have knowledge about the product, how it’s produced etc. and I feel it’s best for my children and my budget. With that said to TLT and it’s followers. I respect your choice I respect your opinion. Please allow and help educate on facts not on opinion, not on dramatization or falsehoods. Down right fact. If someone comes up to you and says “Hey what do you think about this pink slime stuff?” Respectfully say it’s known as LFTB you should really research it, I did. No sway of opinion no calling it a name a certain guy gave it do to consistency and texture, not nutritional value, etc. because that was his opinion. I thank you all for your time.

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Phyllis May 15, 2012 at 12:52 pm

WOW!!! THANK YOU!!!

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Truth Seeker April 5, 2012 at 7:45 am

Now since Cargill(another beef processor) comes forward and states the FTB is safe and is 100% real beef with no fillers. Are you going after them also and try to ruin them? Still trying to figure out your motive in this on going smear campaign against BPI and the meat industry? Did you get a bad steak once?

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Happy's Greenhouse April 5, 2012 at 9:00 am

This is not about any single producer of Pink Slime except in your eyes. Any meat facility in the United States that has been producing Pink Slime and secretly adding it to the ground beef they sell to an unsuspecting public, is now on notice to change their ways.

If you want beef consumption to drop, just keep on treating the public the way you arrogantly have been. “You’ll eat this Pink slime no matter what we call it!”

Does anyone have a list of all the companies that produce Pink Slime? I know there is a list of the grocery stores that were selling Pink Slime.

This internet thing has made us wiser consumers. I would think it would make for wiser beef producers as well. No one is trying to ruin anyone, Americans simply want their food to be safe.

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Tiffany April 5, 2012 at 9:27 am

Cargill is one along with prettying every ground beef producer in the nation(they make their own). I do hope that you read my post earlier. With what you just said, I doubt it. Bpi is the only LFTB producer that has been singled out by this and i am sure that’s why many of us are upset. Especially when you walk into a store and ask if they sell bpi LFTB and they say no we don’t sell “pink slime”, we carry Cargill product that’s all we have a shelf. Still LFTB but since bpi was said our product is pink slime while the same product different com

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Tiffany April 5, 2012 at 9:28 am

Cargill is one along with prettying every ground beef producer in the nation(they make their own). I do hope that you read my post earlier. With what you just said, I doubt it. Bpi is the only LFTB producer that has been singled out by this and i am sure that’s why many of us are upset. Especially when you walk into a store and ask if they sell bpi LFTB and they say no we don’t sell “pink slime”, we carry Cargill product on our shelves. Still LFTB but since bpi was said our product is pink slime while the same product different company is not. Sure you could see how that’s a bit disheartening.

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Matt April 5, 2012 at 9:30 am

Happy Greenhouse: You said “This internet thing has made us wiser consumers.”

This internet thing sometimes makes us THINK we are wiser. Then, come to find out that some of the “facts” we read are opinions in disguise. We must remember to not be so naive when it comes to relying on the internet or media. “The internet said so, so it must be true”. “Diane Saywer said so, so it has to be true”.

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Happy's Greenhouse April 5, 2012 at 11:41 am

“Cargill is one along with prettying every ground beef producer in the nation(they make their own). ”

I have no idea what that sentence is saying.

Matt- there are 184,000,000 entries under Pink Slime on Google. I trust that figure much more than half a dozen pro-Pink Slime posters on a chat board.

We must remember to not be so naive when it comes to relying on the motives of the pro-Pink Slime fuzzy facts crew.

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Erin April 6, 2012 at 6:58 am

Happy Greenhouse,
You are not portraying yourself very nicely, first off there is no wrong side to be on I’m this touchy debate….there is always going to be sides however don’t state there are only a dozen supporters of LFTB (the actual name) when I’m actuallity, the petition that got this whole thing started only had 200,000 signatures 7% of the population….there are thousands of supporters of LFTB and there are thousands against……all the supporters want is to allow everyone to have a choice in what they buy and not let 7% get their way and the 93% of the population not have a choice in the matter!

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Erin April 7, 2012 at 12:52 pm

It is about BPI because the name is the name being brought up constantly for the process of salvaging perfectly good and wholesome meat from trimmings. Oh and people making a big deal out of the use of Ammonium Hydroxide, which is in almost all food processing….this process has been used in food production since 1974.
What everyone has a problem with is a the term Pink Slime which is not a proper term for the product and was used in combination with a fraudulant picture of pink playdough looking stuff.
The term is Lean Finely Textured Beef, and it is a great product bringing safety, nutrition, and cost effective!
The point of this whole ordeal is that there are going to be different views on this product…but whats interesting is even people that I have spoke to that dont really understand what the product is…I tell them and show them and once they hear of what the product actually is (Beef) and the process has to how it is made….then they basically say whats the big fuss.
When it comes to all of this attention so called Pink Slime has gotten…I strongly believe it all started over the name in the first place….that is a horrible name and almost like a scarlet letter on the company now.
I feel that this whole thing is a very unfair way to portray this product.
Once again this is MY OPINION.

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Brian B April 8, 2012 at 1:38 am

Hey Benitta I thought you were screening blogs….how come every time I see and hear those two words “PS” that these blogs are not blocked. As far as I am concened he is using bad language that is NOT truthfull. Unhappy’s Greenhouse could you please refer it to LFTB please….Thank you. And once again if you don’t want to buy LFTB that’s fine but don’t take our right as consumers away and that’s to have a choice in what we want to buy.

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Phyllis May 15, 2012 at 12:55 pm

The producers of LFTB do no “add it secretly to the ground beef.” They sell LFTB to customers who knowingly incorporate it into THEIR product and sell it to consumers. Go after the customers, not the producers….. just sayin’

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George from UC April 8, 2012 at 5:12 pm

@Truth Seeker One thing that bothers me is that Cargill’s use of citric acid in its “Finely Textured Beef” completely contradicts BPI’s reasoning for using ammonia in theirs. In BPI’s own “Ammonia in Foods” video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Fj81Ljx58s Dr. Dave Theno (Food Microbiologist, 3:20 to 3:40 min) states “Because E. coli grew up in an acid environment, a high pH is very effective and lethal against gram-negative bacteria” and you can see the ammonia molecule “crushing” E. coli bacteria at what appears to be pH 11.
Citric acid is found in lemon juice and appears at pH 2 in that video, assuming “Pure Water” represents pH 7. By his reasoning, citric acid would be ineffective in controling bacteria in LFTB.

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doug April 11, 2012 at 2:01 pm

I am not a chemist by any means but I don’t see a contradiction there. It seems to me that it could be similar to temperature. It can either be too high to sustain life or too low to sustain life.

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George from UC April 11, 2012 at 3:36 pm

@doug
I had a very nice email exchange with Dr. Gary Acuff of Texas A&M University http://agrilife.org/today/2012/04/09/expert-beef-industry-has-made-huge-changes-to-ensure-food-safety-with-lean-finely-textured-beef/ and he confirmed just that. Extreme pH at either end kills bacteria, although he mentioned that higher pH (ammonia) would be more effective against E. coli than low pH (citric acid), “since E. coli O157:H7 is known to have some inherent acid resistance”.

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Phyllis May 15, 2012 at 12:56 pm

Doug it’s not temperature, it’s PH balance that kills or grows bacteria.

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sarah April 5, 2012 at 8:32 am

this whole debate is ridiculous….the beef provided by BPI is not slime, looks nothing like slime, it’s not a filler, it’s beef….it comes from the same place the rest of the beef does, right off the cow….you people complain about the ammonium hydroxide…the other foods you eat have higher amounts of a.h. in them and you aren’t saying a word about that…in fact, where is the riot about labeling all products that are misted or even soaked in ammonium hydroxide? what about the buns you put your hamburgers on? what about the processed cheese you slap on that meat? they have ammonium hydroxide treatments too, where’s the riots about that? so why don’t people just calm down, become fully informed about BPI’s beef, and leave it alone…let people like my friends and my husband get back to work….

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Happy's Greenhouse April 5, 2012 at 9:52 am

Lost in what you are saying is that there is a movement afoot in America and the world, to grow, produce and eat/prepare healthier food. I won’t speak for Bettina, but that seems to be the crux of this debate, if you can call it a debate. I mean, a beef company got caught passing off Pink Slime filler and now there is a litany of false posters acting like they shouldn’t have been caught. The company that got caught…That is who you should be mad at! Use your ire to get them to conduct business out in the open in the light of the day. If the product is so wonderful as all of you are saying, it should be a cake walk to have USDA change the laws.

There are many millions of Americans that are taking a closer look at the food they are offered in the open marketplace and how it gets there. As a result of secretly using this stuff as a secret filler, Pink Slime is now good friends with BPA, BHT and rBHS, GMOs, High Fructose Corn Syrup (aka Corn Sugars), etc… as things to avoid to lead a healthier life. There is plenty of money to be made in producing healthy foods, why not do that?

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Erin April 5, 2012 at 1:49 pm

Happy Green House,
Beef Products Inc was not secretly doing anything…..the USDA was right there approving the process….that is hardly secretive…..Eldon Roth the co-founder had spoke in the past of this amazing technology…..nothing secretive about it….you critize others for speaking before finding the facts or at least you come across like you know it all! The truth being you don’t and neither do I however. On this product along I will keep buying it because it has been in the market for decades and I really like that this process also helps us to not waste good meat! I don’t live a wasteful life and I don’t think wasting beef is a smart thing to do…it is beef…it may go through a process but it is beef

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Happy's Greenhouse April 5, 2012 at 2:32 pm

This bears repeating:

“I mean, a beef company got caught passing off Pink Slime filler and now there is a litany of false posters acting like they shouldn’t have been caught.

The company that got caught…That is who you should be mad at! (They are the ones that took your jobs away.)

Use your ire to get them to conduct business out in the open in the light of the day. If the product is so wonderful as all of you are saying, it should be a cake walk to have USDA change the laws.”

No matter how many twisty ways you say it, you and the other pro-Pink Slime posters are on the wrong side of history on this discussion.

So, is it true that they used to put this Pink Slime in dog food before they figured out they could pass it off as a beef filler for school kids? So the term “mystery meat” does have a historical connection after all.

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Brian B April 8, 2012 at 1:45 am

Unhappy’s greenhouse it would of been a cake walk to change this if the media hadn’t come out calling it “PS”….I am curious on what you do for a living…you keep calling this “PS”……I ask this question to Benitta as well…have you seen LFTB first hand?? You seem to be an expert…..Just curious……

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Janet April 5, 2012 at 6:14 pm

I don’t know who you are calling false posters. Probably those who don’t agree with you. I have NO ties to BPI. I am not employed there nor do I have any family or friends employed there so if it closed, it would have no effect on me. And no one is paying me to respond to posts here or anywhere else.

BPI is not hiding anything. There was announcements when this process was first used and no one has ever tried to hide anything. Seconly, BPI does not package ground beef! They supply LFTB to other companies who do. (It’s like going after a flour manufacturing company who supplies flour for a cake mix company that you have an issue with.)

High Fructose Corn Syrup has a different source and texture than cane sugar, but there is really no difference in calories or taste when used in manufacturing. Companies try to sway you by saying “contains no high fructose corn syrup”, but it really doesn’t make a difference in the product.

If you want to make sure what is in ALL of your food, then you might want to raise all of your own, starting with the food that your animals eat. That way you can make sure you know exactly what is in your food. If you buy anything from a store, chances are it contains something that you wouldn’t want.

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Bettina Elias Siegel April 5, 2012 at 8:37 pm

Janet:

I’m glad you brought up high fructose corn syrup because I’ve been thinking lately that the analogy is quite apt here.

I know you believe that HFCS is a sugar like any other, but you at least recognize that many people (even if you disagree with them) feel quite differently, such that they are eager to buy products that say “HFCS-free” and might even be willing to pay more for such products. And you recognize that FDA also must perceive enough of a difference between HFCS and cane or beet sugar that it does require the former to be labeled, and not lumped in with “sugar” in the ingredients list.

So putting aside whether you think avoiding HFCS is justified, let’s engage in a thought experiment. What HFCS were white and granular, so it could be mixed in with bulk cane or beet sugar — let’s say up to 15%– and no one could tell from just looking at it. And let’s say the HFCS just slightly altered the overall bag of sugar in some material way, maybe making the sweetness more or less intense, or the calorie count a bit higher or lower, or affecting cookie-baking one way or another, but it didn’t have to appear on the label. Do you feel that’s a fair deal for the consumer? Shouldn’t the people who would absolutely avoid HFCS if they could have every right to be told what they’re buying?

I think this is exactly what’s going on with LFTB — it’s not visually detectable in the final product, it is passionately objected to by some consumers, and it alters the final product in material ways. (BPI itself says LFTB improves taste and texture, even though others disagree, so even the company admits that LFTB is NOT neutral in the final product, i.e, it changes it in some way). To allow it to be used without a label alerting consumers seems to me to be just highly deceptive.

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Happy's Greenhouse April 5, 2012 at 8:55 pm

Brilliant post Bettina and a great way to connect the two issue issues. However, Janet only brought up HFCS in response to where I brought it up. Also, the HFCS group is petitioning the FDA (or USDA) to have the name of High Fructose Corn Syrup changed to “Corn Sugars” for labeling purposes as there seems to be “some cloudiness” in the buying public’s perception as to the understanding of the “health benefits” of said HFCS. so far they have said NO.

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Bettina Elias Siegel April 5, 2012 at 10:02 pm

Oh, sorry for my confusion! It is, ironically, a little hard for the Word Press comment moderator (of all people) to follow the thread from the back end of the blog. What I should do is approach it from the front end and switch back and forth to moderate, but I do get lazy. :-)

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Janet April 5, 2012 at 9:00 pm

Bettina, You are not comparing items made from the same source. It’s like comparing ground beef to ground pork. Yes, if someone put ground pork in ground beef, then there is a difference and should be labeled.

Some labels are marked HFCS free because their recipes started with sugar. They want people to think there is a difference so they are on this campaign to make people think that here is a huge difference between HFCS and cane sugar and “OUR product is HFCS free”.

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Bettina Elias Siegel April 5, 2012 at 10:00 pm

You’re right, of course, but my larger point is that those who feel HFCS is harmless take the position that “sugar is sugar” and those who want to avoid HFCS or who demonize it are making much ado about nothing. Which feels eerily similar to “beef is beef” and “stop asking for labeling.” But I agree – not a perfect analogy at all, since LFTB and ground beef all come from cow, as opposed to my cane vs. corn example.

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Happy's Greenhouse April 5, 2012 at 8:45 pm

“….then you might want to raise all of your own…”

No Janet, we don’t need to do that, we just need to keep a closer eye on companies that put stuff like Pink Slime in our food without telling us, companies that try and deceive us, companies that have no morals about mixing in just about anything that has weight to it so they can make a few pennies more per pound. I wonder if Pink Slime is where they put the eyes? Have always wondered where the eyes go… anyway, there are many healthy and organic food chains and stores in the US and their growth testifies to how seriously Americans are treating this issue. Even America’s beloved Walmart now sells organic food! Walmart!

The false posters are an obvious group of pro-slime chatters here that have obviously been sent by someone…don’t know who…might even be just one poster with multiple user names. The syntax of each sounds identical to the others and the punctuation is so similar… The mind wanders. Could it be?

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Janet April 5, 2012 at 11:21 pm

Happy’s Greenhouse, You sound very paranoid, like companies are out to get you! You blame BPI for extracting the rest of the meat out of the fat. They don’t mix it with hamburger meat. The only job BPI does is separate the meat and the fat. Find the companies that mix the FLTB with the hamburger and go after them to label their products then!

You won’t find eyes in BPI FLTB. What is sent to them to extract meat out of the fat is only the part of the cattle where the different cuts of meat come from. Therefore, that does not include eyes, ears, noses, tails, testicles, uterises, intestines, stomachs, hearts, or anything that I would not care to eat.

Don’t be too sure that just because a food says “organic” on it that it doesn’t have harmful products on it or in it.

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SuperMom101 April 5, 2012 at 9:49 pm

Dear Janet,

After having breast cancer at age 38, I’m leery of any “food product” that requires a lab coat, chemistry degree and scientific study that tells me “it’s safe, delicious and nutritious.”

This is how I decide what’s on our plate and in our glass:

Can I “manufacture” LFTB in my kitchen using everyday household items? Is it next to the whole chicken at the butcher? Or, does it require an advanced degree to “manufacture”?

Can I bake cookies using a Betty Crocker recipe and HFCS? Is it on my kitchen shelf next to the unsurlaped molasses? Or, does it require a clean room and a PhD in chemistry? (To your flour analogy – yes, I can mill my own flour but probably won’t grow my own wheat similar to how I wouldn’t raise my own 100% beef.)

To your comment, “Starting with the food that your animals eat” was the LFBT cow fed genetically modified corn, administered growth hormones, steroids and antibiotics and basically “factory” farmed?

I had no idea about America’s highly processed, GMO, fake, franken-food supply until I discovered much of the world calls breast cancer – “the rich women’s disease.” Thankfully, that was over 11 years ago.

Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food. – Hippocrates (founder of Western medicine)

Your health is your wealth. – Irish expression

An “organic” apple a day keeps the doctor away. – Ben Franklin

Common sense is not so common. – Voltaire

Who knows – maybe when America (and her children) focus on the “quality” of our food and not the “quantity” we might not only save a few bucks but shed a few pounds too and avoid all the diseases of affluence to boot!

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Happy's Greenhouse April 5, 2012 at 10:35 pm

SuperMom101 is Super! Glad you are well.

Regarding the poster who said the Beef Federation is an actual group…I didn’t know. I thought it was from Star Wars but for beef. Let me work this out…OK…. I was in the wrong movie…it was Star Trek and it was the Beef Order Regulatory Guard (BORG) that I was going for. Just a FYI for you here but did you know…that replicators can’t clone Pink Slime? I know, I’m shocked too. It has something to do with

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Janet April 5, 2012 at 11:35 pm

SuperMom101, I’m sorry that you had breast cancer at age 38. There are all sorts of food products out there to be careful, and things in the environment too.

Yes, you CAN produce LFTB in your kitchen. But you can do it in a manner that would be too time consuming in the beef industry. All you have to do is take that really fatty piece that is trimmed off tha roast or steak and cut all the little pieces of meat out. There you have it.

I assume you can make your Betty Crocker cookies using HFCS if you know how much to put in. I’m not sure that you can even buy it in a store since I have not looked for it. I don’t make a lot of sweet things.

LFTB was fed the same thing as the rest of the cow that was butchered. What I was saying was that if you want to make sure that NONE of the products you eat contain any unwanted products, you should grow everything yourself, including the food that your animals eat since the hay or grain might contain something you don’t want. That’s the only way you can make sure your food is totally free of any chemicals.

I also have learned that just because of product says “organic” does not make it free from every thing that might be unhealthy. Be wary of thinking it is all safe.

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SuperMom101 April 6, 2012 at 8:13 am

Dear Janet,

Comparing HFCS to sugar is like comparing LFTB to pink goo (mechanically separated chicken.)

HFCS is “derived” from factory farmed genetically modified corn NOT sugar cane or sugar beets. (The movie King Corn provides a great overview.) It requires a PhD in chemistry and most probably a clean room to “manufacture.” You might be thinking of corn syrup that’s used to make pecan pie.

Can you provide the detailed “recipe” for making LFTB in my kitchen since I don’t have a device to spin the fat off or the machine to add a “puff” of ammonia. So…in my humble opinion, I can’t really manufacture it in my kitchen to the “manufacturing specifications” and USDA requirements can I?

Thanks for the good wishes on my health. According to National Cancer Institute research – as much as 50% of cancer risk may be related to diet. No gene here…my mom who had breast cancer twice doesn’t have the gene. You bet it’s diet and lifestyle ‘cuz those countries that don’t eat and live the western lifestyle don’t have 1 in 8 women getting breast cancer over their lifetime…in rural China it’s only 1 in 100,000. Go figure! And, close friend didn’t see one person in China – not even one in the course of ten days – that was even close to being overweight.

Don’t you find it so strange that America (and her children) have never been fatter or sicker (diabetes included) and we can’t seem to figure out why.

Meanwhile, we have the food and beverage industry telling us everything is safe and nutritious with our highly processed, chemcial, hormone laced, antibitoic fed, fake, franken food supply.

I’ll stick by my comment: common sense is not so common. – Voltaire

Until 11 years ago, I was with you hook-line-and-sinker.

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Janet April 6, 2012 at 12:07 pm

SuperMom101,

I don’t believe you are correct in saying comparing HFCS to cane or beet sugar is like comparing LFTB to “pink goo”. The sugar can come from corn, sugar cane or sugar beets and all ends up the same. Here is a link to facts about sugars:

http://www.cornsugar.com/simple-facts/

Here is another link as to how sugar cane and sugar beets are processed:

http://www.sucrose.com/lcane.html

Ok. Your recipe for LFTB. Take one fatty cut of meat (steak, roast, etc.). But the extra fat off, then take a small knife and cut those little pieces of meat away from the fat. That is the preferred way of doing it, but it is not cost efficient enough to do it that way in a processing plant. So, as an alternative, someone found that if you heat the fat to about 100 degrees, the meat comes out easier. If you are doing this on a large scale and want to be cost effective, you invent or purchase a device to spin to separate fat from meat. But on a small scale operation, just pick the meat out. If you feel that the meat may have had a chance to have become contaminated, or just want to make sure it is bacteria free, then just take a little spray bottle and put a little ammonia in it with water and spritz on the meat using a very fine spray. There you go, simple enough.

I am quite aware that the food we eat can contribute to health problems. This is why I am more concerned about those growth hormones and antibiotics that have been put in to that cow than the fact that someone has spritzed it with ammonium hydroxide. It is also those growth hormones that help cause obesity as well as other issues. As well as those prepackaged foods. Maybe if we can find a way to grow more beef without those growth hormones and can lower the price of foods (including organic) and make it more available nationwide, people might avoid using those foods that contribute to health problems. It is also a problem that our portions are way too large. We don’t need that much to eat but we seem to overeat anyway. Other countries seem to have better control over that.

I do not disagree with you about the additives that are in foods. I am just saying that I think LFTB is no worse than the cut of meat it came off of. Plus, it is helping both in having more beef from the cattle we now raise, it decreases the fat content in ground beef, and it helps keep the cost down. It is no less healthy than that roast, steak, or hamburger that you eat.

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Tiffany April 6, 2012 at 1:56 am

@Supermom101
First I would like I applaud your victory over breast cancer. After what you have been thru I can understand the change in your diet and so forth. Unfortunately there are many things that science has found that can lead to cancer and other terminal and or chronic disease. Whether it’s genetics, chemicals we breathe, touch, and/or ingest, or even plain old bad luck it’s still a life changing experience. There are many things used in our foods that we don’t know about. Probably because the science behind them is not to easily understood by most. We do live in a nation where quantity plays a big role in how we produce foods. Some may take this as a bad thing others as a good thing. As a nation we already have millions of homeless, underfed and undernourish people. If we did not think of quantity more people would be starving. Yes, organic is better for you. Thats a given. But, it is not practical for the average American household. With that said, chemicals make up the world around us and they make up the human body. You won’t find Bpa, mercury, Deca DBE, oxybenzone, etc. naturally occurring in our bodies. What you will find is ammonia, hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, sulfur, chlorine, sodium, magnesium, and of course oxygen. So in a nation suffering from hunger and obesity, unemployment and poverty. Wouldn’t it seem a bit practical to use a compound (ammonia is NH3), that naturally occurs in our bodies to help innovate a way to make our food safer?

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Hondo April 6, 2012 at 11:45 am

Tiffany,

Ammonia shows up in the human body only as a metabolic waste, which the body works to get rid of as quickly as possible because it is toxic, even in tiny amounts. And I’m talking about it being toxic for even short exposure times in really small amounts, down in the 25 ppm range or less.

Any build up of it, or external addition to it’s levels, is to be avoided at all costs.

Your argument (that NH3 is in our bodies so using it as a processing agent on LFTB is jsut fine) is specious because there are many things that are ‘in our bodies’ but that we want as little as possible of, or that we want gotten rid of as quickly as possible.

There is uric acid and a host of other noxious chemicals that are ‘in our body’ at all times, however, that doesn’t mean we want even a tiny bit more of them in there or that it is in any way healthy to add to them from an external source!!

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Tiffany April 6, 2012 at 7:50 pm

@Hondo
I dont think you give our kidneys enough credit.

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Tiffany April 7, 2012 at 3:24 am

@Hondo
Yes, ammonia it is a byproduct formed by the breakdown of proteins in the body. Ammonia is a byproduct of normal protein metabolism and is also created by bacteria in the intestines. The liver converts this ammonia to urea. Urea is a water soluble chemical that is then collected by the kidneys and eliminated from the body in our urine.
Protein is an important factor of our body and cell system and it is used to build, repair and maintain tissues and cells. Our body system also uses proteins which is absorbed through the intake of food, to make essential hormones, enzymes and many body chemicals. As a matter of fact, protein is also an important building block of muscles, bones, cartilage, blood and skin. Even if we do not eat and allow our bodies to go in to starvation mode, which is a state in which the body is responding to prolonged periods of low energy intake levels. During short periods of energy abstinence, the human body will burn primarily free fatty acids from body fat stores. After prolonged periods of starvation the body has depleted its body fat and begins to burn lean tissue and muscle as a fuel source, thus still producing ammonia. So ammonia is always found in our bodies, that is why it is considered as a naturally occurring chemical (compound) in our bodies. I would also like to state that ammonia is essential for maintaining the acid-base balance in your body so it keeps you healthy.
A list of foods that are protein rich (remember proteins breakdown into ammonia).
Hamburger patty, 4 oz – 28 grams protein
Steak, 6 oz – 42 grams
Most cuts of beef – 7 grams of protein per ounce
Chicken breast, 3.5 oz – 30 grams protein
Chicken thigh – 10 grams (for average size)
Drumstick – 11 grams
Wing – 6 grams
Chicken meat, cooked, 4 oz – 35 grams
Most fish fillets or steaks are about 22 grams of protein for 3 ½ oz (100 grams) of cooked fish, or 6 grams per ounce
Tuna, 6 oz can – 40 grams of protein
Pork chop, average – 22 grams protein
Pork loin or tenderloin, 4 oz – 29 grams
Ham, 3 oz serving – 19 grams
Ground pork, 1 oz raw – 5 grams; 3 oz cooked – 22 grams
Bacon, 1 slice – 3 grams
Canadian-style bacon (back bacon), slice – 5 – 6 grams
Egg, large – 6 grams protein
Milk, 1 cup – 8 grams
Cottage cheese, ½ cup – 15 grams
Yogurt, 1 cup – usually 8-12 grams, check label
Soft cheeses (Mozzarella, Brie, Camembert) – 6 grams per oz
Medium cheeses (Cheddar, Swiss) – 7 or 8 grams per oz
Hard cheeses (Parmesan) – 10 grams per oz
Tofu, ½ cup 20 grams protein
Tofu, 1 oz, 2.3 grams
Soy milk, 1 cup – 6 -10 grams
Most beans (black, pinto, lentils, etc) about 7-10 grams protein per half cup of cooked beans
Soy beans, ½ cup cooked – 14 grams protein
Split peas, ½ cup cooked – 8 grams
Peanut butter, 2 Tablespoons – 8 grams protein
Almonds, ¼ cup – 8 grams
Peanuts, ¼ cup – 9 grams
Cashews, ¼ cup – 5 grams
Pecans, ¼ cup – 2.5 grams
Sunflower seeds, ¼ cup – 6 grams
Pumpkin seeds, ¼ cup – 8 grams
Flax seeds – ¼ cup – 8 grams
Here is a list of ammonia found in some foods (measured in ppm, based on 1 serving size)
American cheese – 813
Apples – 11
Bacon – 161
Beer – 1
French dressing – 134
Grape fruit – 166
Grapes – 87
Orange juice – 35
Peaches – 24
Grape wine – 18
Pears – 30
Gelatin – 342
Pecans – 71
Bread – 30
Brewer’s yeast 217
Broccoli – 62
Brussels sprouts – 110
Ham – 157
Radishes – 44
Raisins – 95
Green Peas – 60
Cabbage – 17
Carrots – 14
Cauliflower – 43
Catsup – 352
Salami – 1112
Spinach – 10
Cheddar Cheese – 1104
Lettuce – 8
Squash – 86
Lima Beans – 28
Chicken – 171
Corn – 14
Cucumbers – 47
Milk – 20
Tomatoes – 37
Mushrooms – 66
Turnip Greens – 29
Onions – 269
Egg White – 4
Egg Yolk – 41
Ground beef – 200
Peanut Butter – 489
Even in death we produce ammonia thru decomposition. Of course there are things that are naturally occurring in our bodies that we wouldn’t eat. Probably because they are quite disgusting and also because they would hurt us. Ammonia as it is used in the food industry, in minute levels will not hurt us.

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SuperMom101 April 7, 2012 at 8:41 am

Janet,

With all due respect, providing links to industry sponsored websites isn’t exactly adding to the discussion. One would expect industry to agree with – well – themselves. Here are some resources that you may find interesting:

The Unhealthy Truth by Robyn O’Brien
Michael Pollan’s books (Omnivores Dilemma, Food Rules, etc)
Skinny Bit%$
The China Study
The No Dairy Breast Cancer Prevention Program
King Corn – movie
Food Inc – movie
Forks over Knives – movie

In my humble opinion – America has never been sicker or fatter because:

1. We have traded in an apron for a white lab coat
2. We “manufacture” our food supply instead of grow, raise and cultivate
3. We focus on the “quantity” of our food and not the “quality.”

Last night I fed four adults: chicken*, organic peas, a loaf of freshly baked non GMO frozen bread and dipped in olive oil, basmati rice and water – for under $15 bucks. (*Four chicken pieces (thigh/leg) that were hormone, steroid, antibiotic free with a home-made molasses based sauce that I whipped up in less than four minutes and the meat cost $6.25.)

It took me less than 10 minutes to prepare, place in the oven, turn on the burners and an hour for the chicken to cook in a cast iron pan that I bought at a huge discount. (Ran an errand while the rice was cooking and was back in less than 18 minutes.)

It can be done – no fillers, scientific studies or industry spokesperson. In fact, my friend asked for the recipe.

Best health always…

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doug April 8, 2012 at 7:46 pm

Agree that industry spokespeople are suspect on this issue. However, citing mockumentaries and their literary equivalents is no better. Your pride in not cluttering up the issue with science is troubling as well.

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SuperMom101 April 13, 2012 at 5:59 am

Dear Doug,

“My pride in not cluttering up the issue with science” is because common sense tells me I don’t need a PhD in chemistry to make my family an affordable, healthy, nutritious, delicious meal that won’t in the very least cause food poisoning and in it’s very worse – chronic diseases.

An “organic” apple a day helps keep the doctor away. – Ben Franklin

Ask the chief of oncology at a major teaching hospital if he too believes, “let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.” – Hippocrates (the founder of western medicine).

But hey, what do I know, I only get my information from “mockumenatries and their literary equivalents”, and I post to blogs because I have a financial incentive? Or do I want to share the truth about America’s highly processed, fake, franken food supply and America’s declining health.

Cheap food can be very expensive! And 11 years ago – I was with you hook-line-and-sinker.

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Phyllis May 31, 2012 at 7:54 am

and in MY humble opinionAmerica has never been sicker or fatter because: they eat unhealthy foods and don’t excercise. PERIOD

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Steve May 31, 2012 at 11:24 am

100% agree Phyllis, our nation is in the saddest states it has ever been and keeps going deeper every year.

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Matt April 6, 2012 at 3:34 pm

Why would the company making LFTB have to feel like they were “caught”. Afterall, they are just making beef aren’t they? As far as healthier…isn’t LFTB lean? The comment you made about it being a “filler” doesn’t make sense either….filler IMO is like breadcrumbs in meatloaf. Adding more beef to meatloaf isn’t a “filler”. I agree, wholeheartedly, that it should be labeled however. Although there is not mandate for it to be labeled, I think that producers of LFTB would actually benefit from labeling.

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Tiffany April 5, 2012 at 4:13 pm

Sorry my phone has been skipping some of the words I type. I was saying in re: to a list of LFTB producers. Cargill makes LFTB as do many ground beef producers, they make their own. Meaning other ground beef producers don’t buy LFTB from bpi or Cargill they actually producer their own LFTB in house.

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FreeMarket April 5, 2012 at 4:53 pm

Erin, it was secretive because consumers didn’t know that they were buying it. Should have said LFTB somewhere (ie 85% ground ___ & 15% ground LFTB). Some of us actually read labels and choose not to buy products that say “mechanically separated chicken/pork” and this product goes through a similar process. This wouldn’t be happening right now if they had done that from the start. The USDA didn’t require it because BPI lobbied against it – why? Consumers want choices and they were not given the information to make a choice in this for decades. Now not only do they lose business to those who don’t like the product, but also to people who are just plain angry they didn’t know what they were eating.

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Janet April 5, 2012 at 6:18 pm

Then as the company who has supplied the store why they didn’t list LFTB. They are the ones who mixed it together.

People may read labels (and yes, I do also) but everything in a product is not listed on the label. You may want to start researching everything you eat to find out for sure what is in it. My soda pop does not list ammonium hydroxide on the label as an ingredient, but I’ve been told that it has that in it.

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FreeMarket April 7, 2012 at 9:29 pm

But your soda pop does indicate what kind of soda pop it is. Some is cola, some is root beer, some is clear, some is fruity, but it’s all soda pop. Some colas have sugar, some have hfcs, some is diet, some is caffeine free, but it’s all cola, the difference in taste is pretty minimal, and they all have the same nutritional value (none!). But they are all labeled accordingly so people can make the choice of which cola and which soda pop they want to drink.

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Tiffany April 5, 2012 at 5:46 pm

Where is the proof that bpi lobbied against labeling years ago when this process was introduced? That I would like to see!

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Erin April 6, 2012 at 7:00 am

I want to see it too….don’t spout off about this and not show fact!

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FreeMarket April 7, 2012 at 9:10 pm

Sure. 2001 letter from Agriculture Department to Beef Products’ representative http://documents.nytimes.com/meat-industry-and-government-records#document/p26/a2 Lots of interesting information in these documents for both sides of the argument.

Olsson, Frank & Weeda to whom the letter is addressed is the lobbying firm hired by BPI. BPI very actively continues to lobby and pays a considerable amount of money for it. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it does help gain access and influence with policy makers that isn’t available to the average citizen. There isn’t always proof of lobbying since much of it is verbal and undocumented like in person and phone conversations. It’s a given that it happens and you can fairly speculate on what they are trying to accomplish and why it’s worth spending so much money.
http://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/clientsum.php?id=D000038650&year=2011

http://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/firmsum.php?id=D000028137&year=2011

Then there’s the power of the entire meat industry http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/meat/politics/ composed of groups like the AMI with Eldon Roth serving on the Board of Directors. http://www.meatami.com/ht/d/sp/i/234/pid/234
http://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/clientsum.php?id=D000000401&year=2011

Buying or not buying a product is really the only way the average consumer will be heard on this issue.

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Tiffany April 8, 2012 at 6:47 am

@ free market
I would like to know exactly what you thought you were reading when you read these. What I mean by that is what was your understanding of what they meant. I would like your input on what you think the documents in these links, they are saying quite interesting mightbday. I’m just not sure you actually grasped what they mean.

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FreeMarket April 8, 2012 at 12:28 pm

I completely and thoroughly understand them. I don’t mean this as rudely as your comment came across to me, but I think it’s you who doesn’t understand. People think lobbying is always a big, bad, dark, mysterious, shady thing, but it’s actually essential in our representative government. If you understood what lobbying actually is and what the documents above say, you wouldn’t even ask this question. Please explain how the first letter is not proof of lobbying when it’s clearly in response to a request that was made by the lobbying firm on behalf of BPI to use ammonium hydroxide as a processing agent so it wouldn’t have to be listed on the label. You asked for proof that they lobbied to not label. They contacted government officials to persuade them that ammonium hydroxide should be considered a processing agent. If they didn’t, ammonium hydroxide would have appeared on the label, the public would have quickly questioned it and learned upfront what this process is. Again, as I already stated, proving specific lobbying happened is about as easy as proving it didn’t. The entire industry has something to gain from BPI being successful, so they haven’t been the only ones lobbying on behalf of their product. Best you can do is follow the money.

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Tiffany April 9, 2012 at 2:47 pm

I agree lobbying isn’t always a big bad dark thing. It is essential for companies who especially ones whom are highly regulated by the government to hire a lobbying firm to get patents, contract changes, etc. approved in a more timely fasion. So I am glad you understand that, most people don’t. Ammonia hydroxide is a processing agent. Bpi’s original patent when was approved in 1990 did not include ammonia hydroxide. This was their original LFTB process which was used for many years. Then I think it was the jack n the box beef e-coli outbreak, bpi decided to try to see if there was a way to reduce these bacteria in beef. Thus, the first sheets you see are lab result(the comment box about bpi tested positive more than neg is in accurate, as that was the control group and altered product not the final product result). Then you see the letter requesting a letter of “no objection” this is how business ask for permission to go ahead with the process, it’s how they ask permission. They provided proof that with the ammonia hydroxide does not alter the product from the original patent in 1990. It does not change texture, color, taste, spoilage time, etc. That is how a product is considered a processing agent. There is nothing in there stating that they have lobbied over many years to not label the product. They submitted forms thru a lobbing firm the same way Enfamil did to use DHAand ARA in baby formula. It’s a normal business practice. I would like to state this. The beef industry is a huge industry that a lot of peopl do have to gain from bpi is a small company out of millions a beef producing companies. Bpi employs approx 1,100 people many beef producers employe 2-3 times that many. Also the school contract that started this entire thing was for 111.5 million pounds of LFTB bpi’s contract was for 7 million of that. That’s what 0.06% of the contract. This alone says that bpi is a small part of what people were fighting against. What about the producers providing the other 99.94%? Just saying. Sorry if I came off rude most people don’t understand lobbying practices. You can also see in your links that there were many years when bpi paid $0 for lobbying justifying that the years they did pay for lobbying was to support contracts and changes to their beef trimmings providers. Again sorry if I came off rude.

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Happy's Greenhouse April 5, 2012 at 7:51 pm

OK, all you pro-Pink Slime chatterers, you were asking why we seem to be upset that we were lied to by the Beef Federation about Pink Slime. Well, here is a NYT article about arsenic and other good things found in most of the chicken we eat. Interesting to note that the two researchers, when asked, said they don’t eat conventional meats, only organic. If your industry quits loading up all of our food with these toxins, chemicals and deception serving up Pink and Pinker frothy Slime & gray pellet bricks (that were pink until they went rancid), why then, we might as a country, begin to trust your products a bit more.
You guys still grinding up downer cattle for hamburger & pink slime?

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/05/opinion/kristof-arsenic-in-our-chicken.html?_r=2&emc=eta1

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Tiffany April 6, 2012 at 12:13 am

@ Happy’ Greenhouse.
I guess I don’t understand why in every post you seem so bitter and rude. Maybe I’m wrong, but to me it seems that way. Ammonium hydroxide has been used since 1974, personally I was not alive then so I could not tell you if they had some press release back then about using ammonium hydroxide. I would also like to add that ammonia is naturally occurring in our bodies. We humans have a very extraordinary way of keeping homeostasis. So with ammonia naturally occurring in our bodies it does not pose as a threat to our bodies. Kidneys are quite interesting, you should study them. Also the article about the chickens I read that one it is a bit of a concern but before I fly off the handle I will further research on fact not opinion. Also ammonia is not used as an ingredient that is why it’s not labeled it is a way to preserve or used as an antimicorbial. There probably will never be a way to list every on a label that comes in contact with a product. So if you want to know that passionately what came in contact with your food grow your own and go all organic, and let the rest of educate ourselves based on fact not opinion. Not everyone can grow there own food and raise their own livestock. Some of us can’t afford organic. And as one of my CNA’s said to me today ” Tiffany, please don’t tell me any more about what’s in my food. I just want to eat it and enjoy it, I’d rather not know”!

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Tiffany April 6, 2012 at 12:42 am

@ Happy’s Greenhouse
The picture of “grey pellet bricks (that were pink before they turned rancid)” . Bpi has a test/hold policy which I have stated before, thus ensuring that contaminated beef does not leave their facility. If this were indeed a picture of LFTB. I would take that as a good thing. Holding part of a batch of LFTB and allowing it to oxidate, is a simulation as if you were to buy a pound of ground beef and set it in your refidgerator. Allowing appropriate times and tempertaures to be monitored for bacterial growth. Thus, leading to appropriate and accurate testing.

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Erin April 6, 2012 at 7:10 am

Happy Green house,
You are just one of those people that is useless to have a discussion with because your always going to be right! You and Jim Avila have a lot in common maybe you should have some organic tea sometime.
You are in a fantasy world if you believe all consumers cam afford to eat organic all the time….I don’t know what you do for a living but I am middle class with 3 kids and now may have 1 income to support them because of people like you!
I have a partner who is diabetic that I have to worry about….you are spouting of this and that about this product these are you opinions….Bettina made this blog to have discussion….you seem to take that in stride and come of like an arrogant individual that only sees the one side to this country….why don’t you Lobby as to why there are still people in the US without running water!
There are much bigger environmental impacts this whole thing is going to cause….no LFTB 1.5 million more cows have to be slaughtered….more cows produced more methane gas in the emviroment…more wasted meat at slaughter houses to either fill landfills or get burned putting more into the environment. There is a much bigger picture here!

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Bettina Elias Siegel April 6, 2012 at 7:18 am

Allowing this in but, for both sides, let’s keep the tone as civil as we can. Thanks.

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Erin April 6, 2012 at 7:34 am

Bettina sorry but sometimes I find issue with some.of the.commenters nit picking….I may have crossed a line but I feel like if this blog is truly there for the public my views should also get the same respect from others on here….I am a big advocate for choice here and I think too many times people in general get caught up in being right that they lose focus on the big picture. Sorry again for coming across with like that but this is frustration at its highest to say the least.

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Happy's Greenhouse April 6, 2012 at 9:02 am

To “Erin, Tiffany,Janet,Erin, Erin, Janet, Tiffany, Tiffany”…

Pretty obvious that you are all the same poster or you are at minimum all sitting in the same room passing a laptop around the table. When people play the “organic is too expensive” card it tells me that they have no intention of eating or even exploring a healthy diet.

The grocery chains in the USA are the holy grail of bad eating habits (school lunches are a close second) and the resulting end product of eating overly processed food/Frankenfoods/conventionally grown foods is that it eventually will clog your arteries, raise your blood pressure, get diabetes, make you smell bad, heart disease, etc. Go take a walk thru the heart wing at your local hospital and look at all the morbidly obese patients there. It really is where you go to die or get patched so you can go home and die. It is all connected; the bad diet, lack of exercise, too much fatty meat, and on and on. You are becoming quite bitter to me because I raise uncomfortable points that you don’t want to hear. Tough. You are en masse supporting an unhealthy substance on a blog that supports healthy food in our schools for children. You are the ones on the wrong side of this discussion.

“Organic food costs too much.”
Change the way you eat, it’s killing you!

Once a person starts eating organically or at least in healthy mode, a number of remarkable things start to happen; the first is that you start losing weight, the second is that you start paying attention to what you eat (reading labels, making sensible food choices) rather than just buying processed foods at random and gulping them down. Hint: all those jumbo bags of prepared snacks and foods are expensive. Just cut those out and you start saving money. Just adhering to the old adage of shopping the perimeter (produce, meats, fish) of the grocery store and staying away from the aisles can save you a lot, and I mean a lot of money.

If you cut out all that processed food crap that you are obsessed with and addicted to and only buy healthy, fresh, and yes organic foods and learn to use that big white thing in your kitchens for cooking food rather than using it as a fast food warmer, you know what’s going to happen? Bingo, you will actually save money by buying fresh and organic.

I was shopping in a chain store the other day and the lady in front of me was buying $187 worth of pre-packaged foods. Filled her cart up. I noticed bags and boxes of fried foods,
snacks, potato chips, tons of bread products, frozen dinners, and about $3 worth of veggies. Looking at her, and looking at the contents of her food cart, all I could think of was the heart wing. I know for a fact that I can go into a Whole Foods type store and spend $100 and fill my cart up.

And bringing up politics, don’t go there, because Bettina won’t allow my posts to go through. Having said that, does Michelle Obama’s White House garden ROCK, or what”

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Bettina Elias Siegel April 6, 2012 at 10:28 am

Happy: I’m letting this through but you’re flirting dangerously close to ad hominem attacks. I have no reason to think I’m being spammed by the same person and if I am, that’s my problem not yours. With that in mind, carry on

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Happy's Greenhouse April 6, 2012 at 11:51 am

From Merriam Webster:

Definition of AD HOMINEM
“1
: appealing to feelings or prejudices rather than intellect
2
: marked by or being an attack on an opponent’s character rather than by an answer to the contentions made ”

I was really trying to appeal to the intellect of your posters and, how did I attack their character by defending organic food?

Bettina, I am truly sorry that all you got out of my post was what is your perception of an ad hominem attack. You are a lawyer so perhaps you have a shorter fuse than the public. Everything I said comes from actual experience and the topic was raised that organic food costs too much. I didn’t raise that…”three”of your pro-slime posters did. I did not name any names of the people in hospital nor the name of the lady with the cart of groceries. My post is reality. It is all from first hand observations.

Also, you say you are reading posts from the back end. Well, maybe if you were reading each post as it is sent to your mail box you would begin to see the “voice” of the posts are quite similar. Janet, Tiffany, Erin…all the same. You do understand how easy it is to set up multiple accounts on a blog like yours, right?

Anyway, it’s your blog that has attracted a group of pro-Pink Slime posters who, if you haven’t figured it out already, are using you at this point.

I am so happy that you started this blog and wish you continued success because healthy school lunches are a big part of the solution, but I’ll give you a tip, drop the Pink slime topic. You have done your job and now you are simply giving a hard won platform by you, over to the pro-Pink slime people. As I said, they are using you. There are many other topics you might look into…HFSCS, GMO, etc…

This will be my last post.
Cheers!

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Bettina Elias Siegel April 6, 2012 at 12:12 pm

Happy: It seemed to me that by accusing several commenters of being the same person, you were focusing on them/him/her and not the substance of the comments. And I don’t agree I’m being used – if people want to continue discussion of a controversy in which my blog played a part, I don’t feel — despite many unfounded accusations of “censorship” against me in the last two days — that it’s right to unceremoniously shut it down just because others might have tired of it and want to move on. But I’m sorry you won’t come by anymore – you may be new to TLT, but we do discuss all kinds of issues related to children and food, including food policy/politics. (But also recipes, lunch box ideas, coping with picky eaters and other issues – it’s an eclectic mix.) At any rate, thank you for your valuable contributions to this particular discussion. – Bettina

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Janet April 6, 2012 at 11:19 am

Happy’s Greenhouse, I do not know nor have I ever met Erin or Tiffany. Maybe we all sound the same because we are from an area (maybe even the same one) where we are have processing plants and are familiar with how things work.

I understand all you are saying about eating well and healthy. I totally agree with that. I am more concerned with the hormones and antibiotics that the cattle are exposed than the ammonium hydroxide. If I could, I would raise my own cattle and fruits and vegetables. I do not have access to that kind of land any longer, but I still grow a few of my own vegetables.

I agree that it is the prepackaged foods that cause a lot of the unhealthy eating habits. I have usually cooked all my meals from scratch, even when I was working long hours. A tv dinner was considered a “treat” as we only had them once a year, or maybe less often. I know a lot of people don’t and use the prepackaged products. I can understand that. When you work and need to be a meal on the table quickly after you get home so you can get the kids to bed, you sometimes resort to those time savers known as prepackaged foods.

There are no “health food” stores in my area. I can get some organic items but not enough to use in my meals, etc. I try to serve less fatty things which is why I use LFTSB—because it contains less fat. If you cut back on the more fattening things where you can, it is better than not doing anything at all. As for the ammonium hydroxide, my body produces it naturally, and it is so many other things that I eat (and I’m not sure what all) that I figure a little puff of it that gets diluted in the rest of the ground meat it is mixed with is not going to harm me as much as a lot of other things.

All we are trying to do is tell you that a lot of the information you are reading or seeing on television is not correct. It is frustrating to tell someone that LFTB is just meat from regular meat products and then to have them say that it contains noses, tails, eyes, etc.

We understand people have concerns about the foods they eat and we are trying to help educate you that it is not what has been portrayed in the media. I would not be too happy about eating something called “pink slime”, but if you educate yourself and realize what it is, then maybe you can get past that “pink slime” label.

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Tiffany April 6, 2012 at 9:53 pm

@Happy’s Greenhouse
Just because people share the same view or have similar comments doesn’t mean they are the same person or siting next to one another. If that were so I guess you and many others are Bettina and she has created thousands of accounts impersonating people who don’t exist
My name is Tiffany. I’m from Nebraska. I am in fact my own person and I  do NOT know the other people who are posting. Yes I am pro LFTB. I have 4 children ages 12,6,5 and 2.  Because I choose LFTB doesn’t  mean my children are obese and I run thru the drive thru every night. If you must know I cook most most every night. Sometimes my life is hectic so we may eat at a restaurant. My kids love their fruits and veggies and actually prefer them over sweets and treats. When I go clothes shopping for my children I don’t have the problem of their waist being to large. In fact it’s the opposite, it’s hard the find pants long enough to fit their slim waists. We are an active family. We go for walks and bike rides. We swim and play. In my basement you will find a bow flex, a weight bench, an ab roller, hand weights, exercise bands and a treadmill. I live on an area growing a garden of my own isn’t possible so I have to buy my produce. Also, there is only one season where I live that you can go to the farmers market and buy fresh, organic produce.I am in fact a registered nurse and a mother, so you are quite wrong about me not caring about health first etc. As I have stated before I applaud people for making healthier choices and I respect their opinions. I do feel that there are ALOT more dangerous things our nation consumes and LFTB is NoT one if them. I choose LFTB because
know about LFTB, what I know is not based on opinion it is based on fact. I’m sure everyone in our nation shares a similar dream. A dream where everyone has a home, running water, electricity, clothes, food and are healthy. But in all reality we live in an imperfect world where the rich get richer and poor get poorer. A nation where people are poor, homeless and hungry. I strongly believe that if our nation was not so innovative, many more would be poor, homeless and hungry. My budget is small and tight but I know many have less than I. So I can only imagine how hard it must be for others. I do feel and this is MY opinion by you and others forcing their organic views down the throats of others, is going to a massive backlash on out nation and it’s economy making it harder for those whom are already struggling to find jobs, homes and food. With that said thank you for validating my thought of you being bitter and rude. Also, when I fist came to Bettina’s Facebook for TLT and this site. I came with respect for other peoples views and opinions, it was people like yourself that left me a bad taste in my mouth. Also like I have said before I feel people should be able to make an educated decision on what they consume based on fact not someone else’s opinion. 
@Bettina, I thank you for allowing me to post my views. In no way was I ever trying to shove my opinion down someone throat. I was simply stating my case. Tho I do not agree with you on LFTB. I would be more than happy to help ban trix yogurt and honey buns from the school menu.

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Bettina Elias Siegel April 7, 2012 at 7:54 am

Tiffany: I understand that. And I’m glad you care about junk food in schools, which is a big focus of this blog and my work in school food reform here in Houston ISD. (In fact, Trix yogurt served in school breakfasts was one of the reasons I thought to start TLT.)

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Tiffany April 6, 2012 at 9:26 am

@ Happy’s Greenhouse
We all know organic is in fact more expensive. So I would like to give you an example of why it is most people can’t afford that life style. My husbands paycheck after medical ins, vision ins, dental ins, life ins and taxes is about 389 a week but we will round to 400. My check after taxes is about 825 every two weeks. So 400 * 4 = 1600 and 825 * 2 = 1650 total monthly house hold income 1600+1650=3250. Now expenses.
Rent-675
Electric-220 (includes water, sewer and garbage)
Gas-210
Car payment-485
Cable/Internet-110
Cell phones-265
Car ins- 115
Student loans-325
DayCare-400
My sons medicine- 415
Gas to drive to work- 425
Grand total = 3645
That’s means every month I an negative -$395, but wait did you notice what wasn’t listed? Ah…yes… Food and household items. Guess what each moth I have to rob Peter to pay Paul. What I mean by that is pay some bills but not the others and then alternate the next month just to buy food! So do you really think I can afford organic? Especially if my husband loses his job? That would put me $1995 in the whole from the very start. Plus we wouldn’t have ins so my sons medications go to a whopping $1045 a month! That puts me pretty much up a shit creek without a paddle! Organic nah… How about I’m lucky if my kids get to eat!! And this as well applies to those who started the LFTB ordeal for the kids who’s only meal comes from school. If the prices of beef go up(and they will), along with everything else, do you really think you helped them get food at home? No you made a struggling family struggle even more!

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Erin April 6, 2012 at 2:32 pm

Happy Greenhouse,

I am just 1 person, I don’t need to any more then that….believe me there are plenty of people who share my views.
Also, don’t assume I am not a healthy eater because I am pro LFTB…I live in the country I garden and grow my own veggies…my kids are extremely healthy and happy…..my daughter is actually a 5 th grader reading high school level books.
Don’t for one second asume because I am stating not everyone can afford organic does that mean I drive thru to feed.my family!
All I am stating is some people don’t have the ability to buy organic you are right it is healthier but not always do able.

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Tiffany April 6, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Just being smart here!! Maybe LFTB enhances brain development!!! My son is advanced in math, reading and science by 3 grade levels!! :)

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Erin April 7, 2012 at 1:22 pm

Lol Tiffany maybe it does! Congrats on your child!

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Tiffany April 9, 2012 at 3:19 pm

@ Erin
Thank you and congrats to you and your child as well.
Best wishes from my family to yours.

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Adrienne April 6, 2012 at 11:19 am

First of all, SuperMom101, YOU ROCK! Right on, sista!

Second, in response to all:
Are the people saying that organic food is more expensive thinking of how costly processed foods are? Probably not. I’m sure they’re not thinking of the rising health care costs that are a direct result of chronic diseases caused by the poor American diet. I’m sure they’re not thinking of the taxes they pay that subsidize the corn, soy, and grains that are altered to make up the bulk of packaged, processed foods. Those items may seem cheaper on the shelf at the grocery store, but we’re all paying for them in different ways. We’re all contributing dollars before we make that purchase and we pay for it long after it has been consumed in medical care. Our food system is costly in so many ways. We need to be more conscious of food production, food portions, etc. Each and every one of us needs to take responsibility for our health. Unfortunately, we’ve made this very difficult on ourselves.

Our reliance on cheap, fast, and easy food-like substances promotes more food to be grown and processed, and the more processed food there is available, the easier it is to choose (Americans are lazy. They take the path of least resistance and choose fast food and processed goods rather than preparing something from whole foods. Then they justify by saying they work full time, it’s less expensive for my family, blah, blah, blah). Not to mention all of the marketing and mixed messages consumers receive. Just because your yogurt is low-fat, does not mean it’s good for you, especially when it’s been loaded with sugars, stabilizers, thickeners, etc. But I digress.

This beef controversy is a great example of a huge societal problem. LFTB was originally created to eliminate bacteria found in ground meat. It was a solution to a bigger problem. What’s the problem you ask? “The answer,” written by Tom Laskaway, Grist writer, “lies in the industrial production of livestock on a scale that’s far too large to sustain without significant collateral damage. E. coli, found in the digestive tracts of cattle, is common on factory farms where cattle are fed only grain. (Their stomachs are meant to digest grass.) The incomprehensible quantity of manure produced by these cattle — also often containing E. coli — is deposited on the land, sometimes seeping into the water supply; that’s how you wind up with E. coli in vegetables. To make matters worse, “healthy” farm animals are routinely fed so many antibiotics that E. coli, salmonella and other pathogens are developing resistance to commonly prescribed drugs.”

And what’s with the comments about needing to slaughter 1 million+ more cows to make up for LFTB? I don’t buy it. There are plenty of alternatives to this:
1. LABEL beef products with LFTB in them so consumers can choose (may significantly reduce the amount of beef with LFTB added that people consume, but in collaboration with other alternatives, this may be fine.)
2. Replace LFTB with barley or oats. Sounds like a healthy and less expensive alternative to me.

And those who don’t like either of those options, can purchase their beef from local farms that raise their beef in pastures and allow them to feed naturally on grass. I highly recommend this option. We need to scale back our industrial production of beef. We all have social and economic responsibility here.

And then there’s the argument that organic farming would never be able to keep up with the growing population. Growing how? As in numbers, or in terms of individual size? It’s no secret that Americans are OBESE (aka dying of chronic diseases). WE DON’T NEED THAT MUCH FOOD. A fresh vegetable picked from the garden provides so much more value to our bodies than thousands of processed items on the grocery store shelves. Quality > Quantity.

I’m sick of the big ag lies and consumer misinformation. We all need to take a stand for our health–our individual health, environmental health, economic health, and the health of our nation.

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SuperMom101 April 8, 2012 at 9:54 pm

Thank you Adrienne. You rock on too! And, agree with your post 100% (with zero filler).

I’m sick of the big ag lies and consumer misinformation too. Here’s yet another nutty example: Your child’s school lunch menu can not offer water as a beverage “choice.” The child is offered three types of cow’s milk (including chocolate) but your school lunch program will not be reimbursed if water is offered as a beverage “choice.” So, our teenage daughter (who doesn’t drink cow’s milk) has to take a milk carton, throw it in the trash, and pays extra for water or gets it from the fountain.

Why isn’t water offered as a beverage choice? The federal government sees no nutritional value in water. Hmmmm… wonder what industry got that on all the lunch menus. How about some filtered water and she bring a water bottle?

Meanwhile, our finely textured beef friends tell me it’s all about “choice”. Where’s the beef, dude, and what’s up with all the waste? 1,000,000 pounds of ground beef and beef products recalled in 2009.* What happens to all the recalled beef? Is it treated and put back in the food supply? (Unlabeled?)

Here’s another in 2008: The U.S. Department of Agriculture ordered a recall of 143 million pounds (143,000,000 lbs) of from Chino-based Westland/Hallmark Meat Co., The USDA insists the threat is small.

Westland/Hallmark provides meat to the National School Lunch Program and about 150 school districts have stopped using its products. Now officials are scrambling to prevent the questionable beef from reaching school lunch counters. They estimate about 37 million pounds of the beef has gone to schools.”

Talk about waste…

Thanks for listening.

*”This strain of Salmonella is resistant to many commonly prescribed drugs.”

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Tiffany April 13, 2012 at 9:14 am

Bpi beef is tested before it ever leaves their facility, so these recalls have no relation to bpi.

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Tiffany April 7, 2012 at 7:03 am

@Adrienne
Frist please read my comment to Happy’s Greenhouse April 6, 2012 at 9:53 pm
“I’m sure they’re not thinking of the rising health care costs that are a direct result of chronic diseases caused by the poor American diet.” Please elaborate on what diseases I would love to study your view, as this is my cup of tea.
“(Americans are lazy. They take the path of least resistance and choose fast food and processed goods rather than preparing something from whole foods. Then they justify by saying they work full time, it’s less expensive for my family, blah, blah, blah). ” In some cases this maybe just that, I will agree. But, on the flip side it can be and is a money issue. Many families make eough to just make it by. Others come from illparented homes where they were abused and neglected, they know no other way. Many were not even taught how to cook. I would like to give you an example of cost.

After seeing this post I decided to go around mulitple stores in two cities and compare prices of organic and non organic for the same meal.

Same meal organic vs None organic (my kids love this meal). Steamed cauliflower and broccoli with a bit of cheese sauce, white rice with peas, baked pork chop. I have a family of 6 so I am going to base it off of what I would have to buy. *Note organic is sold in different sizes then as if you were to buy non organic, so I made the comparison as close as possible*

Organic
Cauliflower $2.99
Broccoli $3.95
Cheddar cheese (8oz) 8.99
Milk 3/4 gallon (for cheese sauce and drink) 29.99
White rice (6oz bag) 3.99
Peas (3.5oz) 4.43
Chicken broth (8oz) 4.00
Pork loin chops 6 (4oz) $59.98
Grand total= $118.32

Non Organic
Cauliflower $1.89
Broccoli $1.68
Cheddar cheese (8oz) $2.00
Milk 1 gallon $4.19
White rice(14oz) $0.88
Peas(12oz) $1.77
Chicken broth(14oz) $0.75
Pork loin chips 6(4oz) $15.00
Grand total= $28.16

The cost of one organic supper is MORE than 4 TIMES AS MUCH as non organic! One organic supper is almost a weeks worth of non organic suppers. To research even further I decided to price frozen foods and other boxed/processed foods and see how many suppers you could make for a family of 6. (I do not condone feeding your family frozen food every day!)

Banquet tv dinners(assorited meals, each) $1.00*6 =$6.00
Frozen Pizzas (totino’s brand, each) $1.25*3 =$3.75
Stouffer’s Family size lasagna $13.99
Frozen chicken nuggets (29oz bag) $6.75
Frozen french fries (ore-ida 30oz bag) $3.29
Frozen burritos (case of 6) $15.43
Velveeta Shells and Cheese(per box) $1.99*2=$3.98
Oscar Mayer beef franks(per package of 10)=$3.29
Stouffer’s Chicken Alfredo Family Size=$13.99
Milk 1 gallon(a weeks worth) $4.19each* 4=$16.76
Grand Total = $87.23

You could have 7 suppers for a family of six and have $31.09 more in your pocket compared to one organic supper.
So i can understand why those who are in deed less fortunate tend to eat this way. Yes in deed cost does play a role in how we eat.

“And what’s with the comments about needing to slaughter 1 million+ more cows to make up for LFTB? I don’t buy it. There are plenty of alternatives to this:
1. LABEL beef products with LFTB in them so consumers can choose (may significantly reduce the amount of beef with LFTB added that people consume, but in collaboration with other alternatives, this may be fine.)
2. Replace LFTB with barley or oats. Sounds like a healthy and less expensive alternative to me. ” & “And then there’s the argument that organic farming would never be able to keep up with the growing population. Growing how? As in numbers, or in terms of individual size?”

LFTB and the beef trimmings used gives us 10-15 more pounds of ground beef per cow. And our nation is growing in numbers as in people. Do you think people are going to stop reproducing? Labeling, yes and bpi is doing this. That way those who want to buy it knowingly(as you would say) can. Problem with that is alot of false media has scared people from the product and stores wont carry it, due to customer demand to remove it. Again what I mean by false media is Jamie Olivers outrageous dramatization, the pink goo picture, News papers and tv saying its scraps from the floor soaked in ammonia. I have emails from grocers to prove they pulled it not because of the product but customer demand.

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FreeMarket April 7, 2012 at 10:43 am

Organic is definitely more expensive, but it really doesn’t have to be that much more expensive. You can get a gallon of organic milk for $5/$6 much cheaper than 29.99. Like all products there is a price range. Some of the products are WAY more than I could ever or even want to ever buy. There are also many products that aren’t certified organic but are very close. Finding a place to buy rice grains and flour in bulk also save a lot of money. I did something similar last time I went shopping, I replaced everything I normally get with organic or as close as possible and it only cost me $10 more. $10 can add up but it’s reasonable enough that I can cut it from something else and know I’m eating good food.

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Erin April 7, 2012 at 1:53 pm

FreeMarket,
I agree on certain things….although I am a huge supporter of LFTB…as a mother of 3 you have to know this about who I am…I dont know where you live in this wonderful Country but depending on the area organic maybe easier to come by….living in the Midwest….and I also live in the country :) I have my own garden and grow my own veggies. My family drinks Soy milk…and I buy in bulk where I can… but I still believe in buying LFTB for my hamburger….that is just my choice as I believe in recycling and not being wasteful….if we ban LFTB we are wasting good meat….healthy meat that has been around for years….by my statement I am not suggesting that you waste food at all so please dont take it as that…but why would we waste meat? I guess I do not understand…if we have a safe product that helps us to reduce wasting perfectly good meat….and at the same time prevents more waste product in our landfills and being burned to put more stuff in or enviroment why is LFTB so wrong in some peoples minds…
I understand people are upset about the labeling but what I dont get is why people don’t realize that BPI does not mix LFTB with hamburger….LFTB is bought by companies and then they mix it in their hamburger….BPI never has hid this product as Eldon Roth has received awards for the work and the detication he has put into his technology to insure the consumers safety and health…BPI is a very good company and Eldon is a very good man…I dont know if you all know this but Iowa flooded last year and Sioux City where I live was effected horribly by it….Eldon made sure he took care of all the volunteers that were in the sun countless hours sand bagging were fed…he sent food trucks out to locations to make sure no one was hungry…he stopped some of the employees in his plant from working there to go out at help others move out of their flooding homes…..Eldon Roth is not just a founder of BPI he is a humanitarian and very generous to his community and to others.

http://siouxcityjournal.com/news/opinion/columnists/other-voices-where-was-publicity-for-bpi-when/article_3850df81-71f8-5488-8cf6-289ab2782f0b.html

BPI has agreed to labeling all of their products…no question….so lets leave it alone…and let some families get their jobs back.

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SuperMom101 April 7, 2012 at 12:44 pm

What is the difference between pork loin “chips” and pork loin “chops” (besides $45)?

We rarely have cow’s milk* in our house so we can take out the $30 for the three gallons of cow’s milk and the same goes for the cheddar cheese for $9 bucks. (I mix pasta’s with olive oil and peas – kids love it.)

As I noted in an earlier post – I basically made an “organic” dinner for four adults last night for under $15 bucks – the chicken cost $6.25 for four leg/thigh pieces, organic frozen peas, two cups of basmati rice, non GMO frozen loaf of bread (with olive oil to dip) and water for the beverage. Took me 10 minutes to prepare.

We prefer water over cow’s milk. (*I reframe from all dairy products since the tumor was hormone receptive.)

p.s. Our youngest has basically been eating this way since I was sick over 11 years ago. He can smell the funky filler in burgers when we go to cookouts and says it tastes “weird” too.

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Tiffany April 7, 2012 at 1:49 pm

It was a typo… Chips was supposed to be chops. Sorry. I work at night and my breaks are limited so I try to type as fast as possible, plus I don’t think my phone likes me! :)Also I have not been rude to you , and I am getting quite a rude tone from you. Maybe I’m wrong but your comment seems a bit snarky. Like I said I based this off of ONE meal, one my kids like. Not everyone can do things the way you do some of us do in fact have to buy from stores. The milk was 29.99 for three quarters of a gallon, not 3 gallons. My kids are young, I myself believe in milk for bone growth and development. We always have milk at supper. I would like to know as well how your child could smell LFTB ( it’s not a filler), especially since you don’t know if the ground beef that was used actually had it(remember the labeling issue), nor could you know if it was a bpi product or one of the hundreds of other LFTB producers product.

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SuperMom101 April 8, 2012 at 10:32 pm

Dear Tiffany,

Thanks for clarifying – had never heard of “pork chips.” That’s unfortunate that you don’t have access to lesser priced meats that are not administered growth hormones, antibiotics or steroids. I know it sounds nuts, but our youngest really can tell the difference between 100% highly processed beef patties and the 100% beef that’s ground that day in the back of the store – it’s on faith or course that they’re not adding anything else to the 100% beef since it doesn’t have to be labeled.

Anyway, he uses the best method I know for detecting the “quality” of the meat – the sniff test. And the second best, looking at it. If it’s gray and smells “weird” – I’ve seen him be polite (I hope) and discreet and disposes of it in the closet trash bin.

p.s. Not my intent to sound snarky; however, I do find it a tad disingenuous to list a 3/4 gallon of organic cow’s milk for $29.00 to make the argument that organic is more expensive. Responded to a previous post about “choice” and “waste” in the beef industry.

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Adrienne April 9, 2012 at 8:55 am

I’m more an advocate of eating whole foods than organic anything. I think my point got a little lost in my argument because there are so many things I wanted to say! I am able to spend less money on food by eating whole foods (rather than processed) and selecting organic where I can within my budget. My husband and I try to squeeze as much locally grown produce into our budget as absolutely possible (sometimes organic, sometimes not, depending on how the food was grown–we ask questions). For example, last year I purchased a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) share from a local farm. The share was for 22 weeks, and the price for the entire share turned out to be just under $23/week. Each week, we’d pick up a box full of farm fresh vegetables that were more than enough to get us through the week. We got so many cucumbers and tomatoes that we made pickles and tomato soup so that we could continue eating summer veggies in the winter months. In our city, there is a great program for lower income families that reduces the price of CSA shares or allows for payment programs. One of our local farmers even allowed a family to put half a cow on layaway until they were able to save up for it. This summer, I am participating in the work share program at this local farm. I put in 3 1/2 hours a week for a full share of the farm. In the future, I want to grow my family’s own assortment of produce, so by working on this farm, I will be learning the ropes while providing food for my family. I work full time and coach on the side, but putting in this additional 3 1/2 hours per week is worth it to get farm fresh, organic produce.
My largest point is that our food system is costing us a lot of money that we don’t see. We pay taxes that are used to subsidize commodity crops that are turned into the processed foods and frozen dinners. We may be able to get a $10/10 deal on frozen dinners, but we’ve already paid to help produce that meal. Then we eat those for the rest of our lives and end up with obesity and one or more of the following consequences of obesity: heart disease, stroke, breast and colon cancer, type 2 diabetes, liver disease, osteoarthritis, infertility, high total cholesterol, high blood pressure, and more. So now we’re paying all this money for health care because of our poor diets and poor lifestyle habits. This is the obesity epidemic we are currently witnessing in America. Your frozen dinner may be $1, but during your lifetime you’re actually paying a lot more for that dinner in real dollars.
Similarly to SuperMom101, I prepare simple meals with lower cost ingredients. Olive oil is the number one staple in my household. And beans are seriously the most budget-friendly, body-loving food ever. You can purchase bulk dried beans in your grocery store for dirt cheap. They do take some time to cook without a pressure cooker, but I make a whole bunch advance and freeze them in 1 cup portions. The thaw quickly and are extremely versatile in all types of dishes. Using more beans and whole grains helps reduce meat intake, rounds out the protein in the diet, and allows you to buy a little better quality meat when you do want some.
Tiffany, where on earth do you live that 3/4 gallon of milk costs $30?!?! That’s fantastically outrageous. I don’t understand. I can purchase 1 gallon of organic milk for as low as $4 depending on where I go to get it.

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Bri April 9, 2012 at 9:15 am

Tiffany, I respect the research you put into this, but I have to cry foul on your pricing — or on your local stores! $29.99 for NOT EVEN A GALLON of milk? I get organic milk for just over $5 per gallon. I can also buy white rice — or brown, or wild — in the bulk section of an organic grocery store for $1-$2 per pound. I shop sales of meat just like everyone else (and don’t always buy “organic” meat, but do find out where it came from and what’s in it and how it was fed) and can get pork loin chops for $3-$4 a pound on sale, then stock my freezer as needed. So six chops at $4/lb — assuming 4 oz. chops as you noted — would be less than $8. The cheese price you quote is one I’ve seen, but only for the highest-end cheddar in the store; it’s possible to get organic cheddar for $6/lb, often, so you could cut your cheese cost to $3 there. I can get organic frozen peas, also on sale, for $2 per bag (a bag being 1 lb of peas). And I make my own chicken stock in the slow cooker, which takes virtually no effort, can cook while I’m sleeping or at work, and eliminates the need to pay for stock.
The point I’m making is not to nit-pick you, but to say that if we’re going to go into a big comparison about organics — and by the way, I don’t think that’s necessary (just because someone doesn’t want LFTB in their diet doesn’t mean they think wholly organic is the only way to go), then we ought to be using realistic prices. Nowhere in the world is $30 for 3/4 gallon of milk realistic. I would be very interested to find out what store you used for pricing, so I could reach out to them and find out how they justify their prices.

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Tiffany April 9, 2012 at 3:05 pm

@ everyone stunned by the milk price!
I as well was shocked! I honestly looked and looked. I live in a small town in Nebraska. I have to drive 45 min to work every day. So organic is unfortunately hard to come across. I do understand some places have organic more available than others. I just wanted to come up with the closet comparison as possible for where I live. As I stated in a comment to Happy’s Greenhouse, my family lives fruits and veggies. I cook almost everyday. My budget is very tight but we do eat fruits and veggies. Organic is very hard to find here. We have one season where we have a farmers market available. Honestly we have NO organic food markets here. @supermom we like beans to… My kids even sign the magical fruit song!! Just a lil funy there.
I went to do many stores that day I can’t be certain but I think it was some little grocery store on the side of the hwy. I am all for the healthy eating side of the debate, I just do not agree on the LFTB debate. Where I live fish and other seafood are outrageously high so we do eat a lot of beef and pork. It’s all about the industry around you I guess. So to me if I can in fact get a leaner beef, that means less fat for my family, I am all for that.

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Tiffany April 7, 2012 at 1:34 pm

@Free Market
I did not do the experiment to argue. I did it to in fact prove a point to Happy’s Greenhouse. To prove that in the case of people who truly have next to no money, that cost DOES in fact play a role in how people eat. Also, prices are going to very. In a lot of areas including mine there are not a lot of organic products. Like I said I had to go to multiple stores in two different cities(I even stopped at stores along the way) In order to find just these items. The milk was the only milk I could find besides soy(I personally don’t like soy milk). I did go with certified organic on this comparison. Finding the pork was the most difficult.

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Tiffany April 7, 2012 at 2:08 pm

My experiment was for Adrienne as well. Sorry.

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Brian B April 8, 2012 at 2:10 am

After listening to all this back and forth going no where discussions I am just going to say one thing! We as Americans have a choice!!! LFTB or no LFTB you decide but please don’t let media smear campaigns sway us from the truth! I want a choice and by listening to the BS on ABC the consumer knee jerked without knowing what they were even banning. You ran to your stores and your schools and said I don’t want “PS” in my hamburger and you didn’t even know what “PS” was…..Once again I am saddened by how unprofessional ABC was and how they took a perfectly safe product off our shelves…and we will all pay in the end. I wish we could all have gardens in our back yard and go to your meat shop and know that the beef was just delivered from Henry’s farm down the road but that ain’t going to happen. There are over 7 billion people in the world and now we have to find away to fill that void of 1.5 million head of cattle that were saved by using LFTB. We already as a beef industry can’t keep up with consumer demand. So that means import MORE of our beef from Australia, Canada, and South America. I wonder how safe that beef will be….Everyone needs to open there eyes and understand the big picture!! Thank you!

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Janet April 8, 2012 at 12:21 pm

Brian B., I totally agree with you.

This whole subject is reminding me about how the Pledge of Allegiance or prayer is not allowed in school any more. Just because a few people don’t believe in God and therefore don’t want prayer in schools, NO ONE gets to. It’s the will of a few who change the way the rest of the country runs (or eats). Those of us who prefer to eat LFTB may not be able to because of all the uproar.

Yes, we Americans are supposed to have choice, but in some cases we don’t get to have choice. With all the bad press about LFTB, that choice may have been taken away. (Yes, maybe it should have originally been labeled that it contained LFTB, but those who supplied it to stores didn’t think it was anything but regular hamburger.) By damaging the reputation of BPI, Inc. the way it has been damaged, the company may no longer be able to stay in business, or at a lesser size. Or, businesses that use the hamburger with LFTB in it may be forced not to use it even if they believe it is safe. Prices on ground beef (and probably other beef cuts) will go up in the stores and at restaurants where you eat hamburgers. This will make it even more difficult for some people to feed their families.

There has NEVER been any act to hide what was going on or going in to our ground beef. It has been in press releases and newspaper articles. I just watched Jamie Oliver’s video on how LFTB is made. If I thought that was the way it was made, I probably wouldn’t want to eat it either. First of all, he comes in with this big bone and says tendons are used. NOT true. He also pours large quantities of ammonia in with a little water. If my meat was SOAKED in ammonia, I’d not like it. But only a puff of ammonium hydroxide is used. The tiny chunks of meat that he showed before dousing it in ammonia could be accurate. I don’t know. But it looks like something that pulled meat would look like before being cooked for that barbeque. Also, if it’s ground, what difference does it make if it is in tiny pieces? I guess people are going to believe the extreme things Jamie Oliver did instead of what others say are happening.

I frankly am extremely frustrated that people would rather believe that BPI would be so sinister that they would actually prepare food that was so unhealthy. Maybe somebody should take their little hidden camera in and see that they don’t do that. Or maybe just take an actual tour of the plant. (I know there are many companies out there that do questionable things to our food, but BPI is one of the ones who don’t.) As I’ve said before, I am more concerned about the growth hormones and antibiotics in the beef than the little puff of ammonium hydroxide which disappears. I have tried to explain to people how this is a safe process using good beef meat, and they refuse to believe it isn’t something swept off the floor, or that it isn’t the eyes, nose, ears, tails, etc.

I know that there are organic products out there, but they are not necessarily available to everyone, nor can everyone afford to eat all organic. Plus, all organic is not free from harmful pesticides and bacteria. I have given up trying to discuss things with others because they are determined that this is one of the worst things that could happen. I believe in LFTB and the safety of it but I don’t have the time to constantly debate this issue with people who I’ve discovered will never allow their minds to even think this product might be ok. I have tried to correct the image that the media as given LFTB. I’m tired of having everything I say attacked or questioned. I have better things to do with my time, so I won’t be continuing in this debate. Good luck to those who are still willing the take the time to try to get BPI’s reputation restored. I hope you can eventually get people to understand things and get rid of the false information. Thanks Tiffany for all of the details you are providing.

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George from UC April 9, 2012 at 12:38 am

@Janet I keep hearing from BPI, their spokespersons, followers, etc., that only “a puff” of ammonium hydroxide is used. I just don’t buy that argument because the process BPI filed with the USDA and in patent 6387426 “Method for treating meat products with ammonia” mentions reaching a pH of at least 10.5, and to raise meat from 6.0 to that value requires a 31,600-fold increase in OH- concentration. This process also requires the use of anhydrous ammonia gas at pressures ranging from 2,000 to 4,500 psi, which in my mind does not equal “a puff”.
I also find it ironic that in Eldon Roth’s own words, he calls it “ammoniated meat product”, not LFTB. If you’re still searching what to call it, BPI’s founder gives you the answer right there.

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Matt April 9, 2012 at 8:38 am

@George from UC – you said “This process also requires the use of anhydrous ammonia gas at pressures ranging from 2,000 to 4,500 psi, which in my mind does not equal “a puff”.”

I disagree with you…it still could be a puff…who’s to say the gas isn’t delivered through a .010 orifice (hole)…therefore the high pressure ( & low volume…i.e. “puff”)?? Also, how old is that patent? Isn’t it possible the process has been innovated since? Things you may want to take in consideration.

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George from UC April 9, 2012 at 6:28 pm

@Matt – you made me search my old textbooks for my Perry’s Chemical Engineers’ Handbook and confirmed what I suspected: at those pressures ammonia exists only in liquid form (ammonia liquifies at 212 psi @ 100°F, or 286 psi at 120°F). Since BPI uses 2,000 to 4,500 psi, no “puff” exists, more likely the meat is infused or saturated with liquid ammonia, forms NH4OH in contact with moisture, and returns to a gaseous state once the pressure is lowered.
In a sense that’s better than a “puff” that would only treat the meat at the surface, this would reach bacteria deep inside the cylinder of meat.
Regarding the age of the patent (May 14, 2002), the chemical characteristics of beef are the same now as 10 (or 10,000) years ago and require a large amount of ammonia to raise the pH from 6 to 10.5 so that age has no bearing on producing this ammoniated meat product. And no matter how much you innovate a process, beef is still beef (before being saturated with NH3, of course) and ammonia is still ammonia.

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Matt April 10, 2012 at 10:10 am

Research tells me PSI is closer to 175 or lower. Not sure where you got the 2,000 to 4,500 psi.

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George from UC April 10, 2012 at 6:59 pm

@Matt I got it from Eldon Roth’s (owner of BPI) U.S. Patent #5871795 “Method for modifying pH to improve quality of meat products”
Abstract: A pH increasing gas is placed under an operating pressure and in contact with the surface of a meat product to be treated.
9. The method of claim 1 wherein the operating pressure is in a range from 2,000 to 4,500 psi and the temperature of the meat product is in a range 33°F to 110°F.
From what source did you get the 175 psi? It really changes things if the ammonia is in a gaseous or liquid state.

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Matt April 12, 2012 at 8:25 am

@ George from UC: I am a credible source of information. That’s all I can say.

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FreeMarket April 8, 2012 at 1:00 pm

Or, we could entertain the thought of returning to more reasonable portions?

“In the 1950s, a Burger King hamburger was 2.8 ounces and 202 calories. Today, a Burger King hamburger is 4.3 ounces and 310 calories.” http://www.nutritionnc.com/resourcesforschools/pdf/esmm/AdvocacyTools/WhitePapers/RghtSizeYourPortions.pdf

Somehow people lived to tell about it.

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wl April 9, 2012 at 8:33 pm

if you are worried about ammonia in lftb go look at cheese and beer there are other thingsw out there look at preserves in all of our foods

beef is beef!!

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George from UC April 10, 2012 at 12:47 pm

@wl
It’s NOT about ammonia! It’s about an industry that did not disclose an additive, did not label an additive and sold highly textured beef as if it was undiluted, pure beef. This is fraud against consumers–and no amount of propaganda for its advantages/disadvantages is going to change the deception.
“Ammoniated meat product” (Eldon Roth’s own words) IS NOT beef!!

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wl April 10, 2012 at 10:49 pm

it is 100% beef!

dude its beef!

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Tiffany April 11, 2012 at 9:58 am

@ George
Please refer to comments between my self and FreeMarket on April 5 5:46pm thru April 9 2:47pm. You seem to know how to research patents, etc. so I would think you would know the difference between an additive and a processing agent.

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George from UC April 11, 2012 at 1:06 pm

@Tiffany
I checked those comments (I wonder if 150 comments is a new record for Bettina’s blog!) and some tweets I got that touch on the same question.
Several sources report that LFTB is frozen and leaves the plant at pH 8.5; since the meat was initially at pH 6 that means there is residual ammonium hydroxide in it, and that would make it an additive and not a processing agent.
On Twitter @paniconaplate has contact with BPI scientists or execs and confirms this (times are EDT):
04/11/12 06:50 AM well, given that it’s a ‘processing aid’, I don’t think it matters. But I’ve asked BPI for a comment anyway.
04/11/12 07:40 AM whether they respond is another matter, they may be in bunker mentality mode given recent events. Wouldn’t blame them.
04/11/12 01:02 PM Well, BPI say that the ammonium hydroxide that goes in, stays in. That’s all they add.

Those key words “the ammonium hydroxide THAT GOES IN, STAYS IN” turn it into an additive.

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Tiffany April 12, 2012 at 7:08 am

@George
Actually not the case. The USDA/FDA consider something that changes texture, taste, appearance, spoilage rate, etc. to be an additive. Since the ammonium hydroxide does not change those from the original 1990 patent the ammonia is not considered to be an additive. I think people want to make it seem like the company was hiding this, when in all actuality it boils down to how our government regulates things.

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George from UC April 12, 2012 at 11:58 am

@Tiffany
“not the case”? Ammonium hydroxide changes spoilage rate (lowers it, which is good) and pH (remains at 8.5 instead of its original 6.0) so it DOES change them from the original 1990 patent (number?). So I stand by my statement that it’s an additive and not a processing aid and therefore SHOULD BE LABELED.

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SuperMom101 April 13, 2012 at 5:35 am

Dude, it’s 100% ammoniated beef product!

Thank you “George from UC” for your in-depth research and common sense approach. It is very much appreciated by all of us mommy bloggers that are voting with our pocketbooks. If “manufacturing” dinner requires a PhD in chemistry, ingredients I can’t pronounce, or a clean room – we don’t want it in our shopping carts.

Talk about waste – in 2009: Colorado Firm Recalls (466,236 pounds) Ground Beef Products Due To Possible Salmonella* Contamination and earlier in July (386,483 pounds) due to possible e. coli (see previous post).

What happens to all the recalled beef?

*This particular strain of Salmonella, Salmonella Typhimurium DT104, is resistant to many commonly prescribed drugs, which can increase the risk of hospitalization or possible treatment failure in infected individuals.

Best health always.

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Tiffany April 13, 2012 at 9:10 am

@supermom
Good thing it wasn’t bpi beef since they test all their beef before it leaves their facility! I believe recalled beef is burnt.

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George from UC April 13, 2012 at 5:38 pm

Thanks SuperMom101, it’s been a pleasure to participate in this very civilized discussion. BTW, I love your “Dude, it’s 100% ammoniated beef product!” Maybe we can get some T-shirts printed and send them to Govs. Terry Branstad, Rick Perry and Sam Brownback !!

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Phyllis April 10, 2012 at 6:25 am
George from UC April 10, 2012 at 12:38 pm

@Phyllis
Check out this one http://fooddemocracynow.org/blog/2012/apr/9/pink_slime_versus_LFTB/
Farmers and ranchers are outraged over the continued political influence of the meat industry, which has driven more than 80,000 beef cattle producers out of business in the past decade with little response from Congress or USDA officials.
What about THOSE job losses?

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Tiffany April 11, 2012 at 10:22 am

@George
If true I would blame that more on the economy than LFTB. LFTB has been in the market since 1991 that’s almost what two decades. I feel for all job loss. This specific one I would blame the economy. It’s only going to get worse, especially with so many beef producers now struggling do to this entire ordeal. Why are they struggling? Well… People don’t know their beef. I have heard from numerous people “when I buy a pound of ground round or ground sirloin I expect to get just that”. Well people you are in are getting just that. Ground beef is different cuts of beef ground together, includes any type of beef. Usually the less desirable cuts mostly the flank, but can include other cuts. So it’s in the name of what you’re buying. Ground chuck is ground chuck. Ground sirloin is ground sirloin. Ground beef is ground beef.

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Chris April 11, 2012 at 5:16 pm

Regardless of whether or not the beef is ground or if it is pounded or pulled directly off the cow, I think it is ironic that a website and foodmommy whom are supposed to want what is best for our kids have chosen or caused the removal of “leaner, safer” beef from our childrens schools, just because they disagreed with the labelling of a product. I completely agree with the idea that as a consumer I want to know what is in my foods, however I disagree with the decision to label LFTB because “beef is beef” no mater how it is cut from the cow. But, if you want everything labeled hope they tell me all the amino-acids that are found in my beef (phenylalanine, valine, threonine, tryptophan, isoleucine, methionine, leucine, lysine, and histidine). By the way, these are the same amino-acids found in grass fed beef too.

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George from UC April 12, 2012 at 12:16 pm

@Chris
Undisclosed use of ammoniated meat product in ground beef for school lunches is hardly “what is best for our kids”.
Myosin and actin (the main proteins in meat) contain those (and more, 20 in total) amino-acids found not only in grass fed beef but in the proteins and enzymes of every single living thing on the face of the earth, so I don’t see the reason for listing them here. What was your point?

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ssmith April 17, 2012 at 10:11 am

Chris,

+1 with George’s entire reply. Also, you neglect to mention several things.

1. Inferring that if BPI’s product is not used will cause an outbreak doesn’t hold much water. The 30% of untreated ground beef is not causing outbreaks.

2. This BPI product is not sold in most countries. Yet those countries are not having outbreaks.

3. Grass fed beef has significantly lower levels of saturated fat. Thus, grass fed beef is not has harmful to the heart as grain fed beef *saturated fat is the fat that clogs arteries. Grass fed beef also looks better and taste far superior as many foodies will tell you.

4. Some people are able to see distinctions and similarities amongst many variables. As we can see on the blogs, many people choose to see a distinction between beef adulterated with ammonia and beef that has not. To some people, the process and origin of the beef makes a difference and will never choose the ammonia adulterated beef.

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Chris April 13, 2012 at 10:34 am

I think everyone would prefer not have chemicals their food. However, you have to be naive to think that chemicals are not in almost everything we consume. This is a good site http://www.codexalimentarius.net/gsfaonline/additives/details.html?id=380 that deals with ammonium hydroxide. As a hunter and outdoors person, i love the idea of catching, killing and eating what I can, however in modern society it would be impossible for everyone in this country to get their own food and if they did as in the days of past, thousands would die from parasites and other harmful stuff from unsanitary conditions and improper cooking. Therefore, I think that if you and everyone else whom says they don’t want food with additives and preservatives really thought it through you would realize we really don’t have a choice. If you want fresh fruit in Minnesota it has to be preserved with something or at least sprayed with bug killer so the fruit is fresh when it makes its way from Brazil, to my knowledge citrus fruit doesn’t grow well in Minnesota. The biggest opposition to the BPI problem is tree-hugging, tofu eating liberals from the coasts. (just my opinion) they want to eliminate beef in the US and therefore if our companies are not able to produce and protect our food supply we will have to import, and I don’t trust the Chinese cows. Also, I don’t see how we can give the thousands of kids in our school system non-preserved or chemically altered food stuff, like milk it has to make it around the country without spoiling. I would definitely love to have steak for dinner instead of hamburgers or brats (brats go better with beer though) the problem is that in our country not everyone can have steak from the local butcher and fresh vegetables each night and if they (some based on price and some on availability). As I see it, when your T-bone steak is removed from the cow, the part that doesn’t end up on your plate (because too much fat or too near the bone) is moved to the side. It could be thrown away, however as to get as much meat from the animal, the fatty beefy chunk is heated to separate the fat from the meat (bacon) and then centrifuged for separation. The mixture is cooled and hit with a “puff of ammonium hydroxide” to be sure that the meat is free from e-coli and other harmful things. The gas then dissipates (most of it) and it is then compressed into blocks frozen and shipped. As an American I would like the choice to feed my children as I please, I think fresh oranges are great; however I don’t live in Florida. Likewise, I think lean treated beef is a great option for my children, I know it is healthy and has been treated to reduce the likelihood of my kids dying from E-Coli. Thanks for listening, God bless us all.

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George from UC April 13, 2012 at 4:59 pm

@Chris
Thanks for sharing you opinion, and for quoting the FAO & WHO CODEX alimentarius. If you check your own link, ammonium hydroxide belongs to “Functional Class · Acidity regulator”, NOT “Preservative”. What this means is that it’s not particularly effective at controlling bacteria, but only achieves this by raising pH (a lot, to 10.5) and the high concentration of OH ions (32 thousand times higher than in raw beef) is what kills or inhibits bacteria. If you check this link http://www.codexalimentarius.net/gsfaonline/additives/results.html?techFunction=21&searchBy=tf you will find 47 additives having the functional class “Preservative” or antimicrobial, and, SURPRISE! ammonia or its salts ARE NOT on the list!
I took microbiology lab in high school and college and ammonium salts are actually ADDED to nutrient broths and agar for growing bacteria, including E. coli, as a “nitrogen source”.
While I don’t consider myself a “tree-hugging, tofu eating liberal from the coast” I imagine their agenda is not to eliminate beef from the US diet, just to be informed of what’s added to the food we eat.
And I agree with you 100% that we should all have the choice to feed our children as we please, but that choice is taken away if the products we buy aren’t labeled.
You’re entitled to “think lean treated beef is a great option for my children” but not everyone feels that way, and they shouldn’t be kept in the dark and tricked into consuming something that they find disgusting (just as you wouldn’t trick vegans into eating meat or Muslims into eating pork by not labeling what’s in the food they purchase).

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ssmith April 16, 2012 at 10:31 am

I read a lot of your post George from UC. Thank you for taking the time to post. The fact it was concealed has caused me the most problems with the beef industry. We were never given a choice and that is just wrong imho. I want to know what is in my food. If I choose to eat it and feed it to my family, that’s my decision. BPI, the USDA, and my grocer forced me into making a choice, unawares…

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Chris April 14, 2012 at 9:14 am

Just give people the choice and quit saying that companies have been trying to trick you. Does anyone know whats in Coke, absolutely not they wont tell its a secret, but most people drink it anyway, the pro-lftb group just wants people to know the truth, that it is a healthy and safe product and when people come up with crazy reasons to have it pulled and it costs the jobs of thousands, as americans we get upset. The truth will prevail, it may just take a while to convince some people. Please stop the conspericy theries and if you want to be fully organic and raise your own crops feel free, but these fear tactics have caused prices to rise, more cattle to be killed, more product wasted, and jobs lost. Hopefully nobody is sickened or dies from serious pathogens.

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ssmith April 16, 2012 at 10:25 am

Chris, If the “pro-lftb group just wants people to know the truth”, why have they gone through such great lengths to avoid labeling it? Up to a month ago, the package of my ground beef always stated, “100% ground minimally processed beef”. It turns out, it that was not the case.

Reread your entire last few sentences. Seems to me, you are the one fear mongering. Truth is, if people start to get sick, the demand for beef will take a huge hit; it is in the best interest of everyone, the industry included, to cure the problem instead of treating the symptoms with ammonia.

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SuperMom101 April 14, 2012 at 10:09 pm

Years ago…I once heard…he who speaks last…. looses….

Best health always….

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Blue April 15, 2012 at 11:48 pm

Irresponsible blogging has costed 700+ jobs and closed a company. What a shame.

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ssmith April 16, 2012 at 9:56 am

Many consumers disagree and are VERY thankful of bloggers for bringing up something that was concealed in the nation’s ground meat supply. The free market made a correction once full info was given and consumers are now voting with their dollars.

If the USDA changes the law to REQUIRE labeling on all fillers, then we will see what the actual demand for this product is in the real market. Voluntary labeling is useless and smart people will assume the filler is being concealed in the nation’s ground meat supply.

But, there may be a percentage of consumers where this filler fits their budget. However, many people do not want ammonia adulterated beef for their kids. As far as my household? I will always assume the filler is being concealed in the nation’s ground meat supply even with mandatory labeling. They concealed it once, it is safe to assume they will do it again after a few ‘fidgets’ of the laws and once the masses have forgotten with their short attention span. you know its true.

PS: A note to all of you beef industry propagandist who have been posting on these sites, don’t say it’s safe, it’s nutritious, etc… Your propaganda has nothing to do with consumer purchasing decisions. Before you spread bs, deeply study economics and the various market choice theories etc…. Concealing a filler, especially one such as this, is a direct distortion of the true market for a good.

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Janet April 16, 2012 at 11:49 am

LFTB is not a filler, nor does it contain a filler. It is beef. Filler is adding saw dust. Or in the case of meat loaf, adding cracker crumbs, bread crumbs, oatmeal, etc., is a filler.

BPI labels their product but they do not market directly to the public.

I may not be thrilled about an ammonia puff in my meat, but I would rather have that than risk sickness or death for me or my family.

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ssmith April 17, 2012 at 8:58 am

Janet, it is a matter of perspective. I was paying for 100% minimally processed ground beef, as per the label on my ground beef. When the product inside the package contains 15% of a cheaper adulterated product, to me as a consumer, that cheaper product is a filler. The industry can spin it however they want, to me as a prior consumer the spin is meaningless.

Now, the end result of recent events and seeing the beef industry’s response, how do you suppose my trust level is to the industry? Here is a hint, there is very little of it and there never will be anymore.

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George from UC April 16, 2012 at 12:17 pm

Thanks for the compliment ssmith, and I agree that these “Irresponsible blogging” comments recently stirred up by Bloomberg News (I guess the 1% has to stick together) go back to “shooting the messenger”.
I thought I had posted my last comment on this subject 3 days ago, but since the BeefisBeef people refuse to let it go, I would like to share these additional thoughts and documents.

In a 2001 letter from the Agriculture Department to Beef Products’ representative, Federal officials agreed to Beef Products’ request (more like a demand, I imagine) that the ammonia used to treat beef trimmings be considered a “processing aid,” and not be listed as an ingredient. http://sharesend.com/r7m14
I found it extremely ironic that the main argument for classifying ammonia as a processing aid was that after 11 days, the levels of spoilage organisms on both the treated and untreated products were essentially the same, meaning it was ineffective in controlling bacteria.
“Also, data in your submission show that, while initially reducing total plate count, this treatment did not have any long-term effect on the growth of spoilage organisms. Eleven days after treatment, the levels of spoilage organisms on both the treated and untreated products were essentially the same.”

And before someone jumps on the “but that was 11 years ago” bandwagon, I recognize that BPI has made changes to its process since (authorized or not, since you cannot change elements that affect process lethality, say time/temperature/pH, without re-submitting it to the USDA/FDA for approval) but these changes essentially weaken its bactericidal effect, lowering pH from 10.5 to 7.5 and ammonia from 800-1300 ppm to 400-500 ppm.

So one of LFTB/Pink slime’s most vaunted selling points, its superior safety, is apparently false. The last page (p. 46) in FreeMarket’s excellent link from April 7 has the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service essentially revoking BPI’s “no need to routinely test” status in Dec. 2009 due to changes in its original process as well as “recent findings of E. coli O157:H7 in BPI product”.

Thanks to all for participating, have a nice week.

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Janet April 16, 2012 at 12:44 pm

George from UC,

I think what that means is that the ammonia initially used to kill any e-coli and other bacteria has dissipated from the meat and it then has the same rate of growth of spoilage organisms because it is the same as untreated meat.

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George from UC April 16, 2012 at 4:22 pm

Hi Janet, you are correct, once the ammonia gas dissipates its bactericidal properties disappear.
Still, that leaves BPI’s unauthorized changes to a USDA approved process that weaken its bactericidal effect, resulting in the revocation of BPI’s “no need to routinely test” status as stated in this Dec. 2009 document http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/685/p46.png (the “last page” mentioned above).

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Janet April 17, 2012 at 3:23 am

George from UC, First of all, if the ammonia gas dissipates, why is everyone screaming about eating the ammonia from the LFTB? If it dissipates, it isn’t there!

Secondly, the letter does not state that the ammonia gas was reduced (or increased), just that the pH level was different than submitted originally. Just because the USDA didn’t routinely test BPI product, doesn’t mean that BPI wasn’t testing each batch for e-coli and other bacteria. It also doesn’t mean that there was any other reason for the USDA to retest routinely other than BPI changed the way they were doing things because they found there was a reason to change. (Possibly they found that the original way was not allowing the ammonia gas to dissipate thoroughly before being eaten and decided that it was better to use less so it would be gone.)

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ssmith April 17, 2012 at 8:35 am

The ammonia DOES NOT entirely dissipate. BPI could easily clear up any ambiguity surrounding this issue by publicly detailing its continual test readings on the amount of ammonia present in the ammonia adulterated product. Why do you suppose BPI does not do this?

The following is a direct quote from the NYTimes article.

Odor and Alkalinity
As suppliers of national restaurant chains and government-financed programs were buying Beef Product meat to use in ground beef, complaints about its pungent odor began to emerge.

In early 2003, officials in Georgia returned nearly 7,000 pounds to Beef Products after cooks who were making meatloaf for state prisoners detected a “very strong odor of ammonia” in 60-pound blocks of the trimmings, state records show.

“It was frozen, but you could still smell ammonia,” said Dr. Charles Tant, a Georgia agriculture department official. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Unaware that the meat was treated with ammonia ” since it was not on the label ” Georgia officials assumed it was accidentally contaminated and alerted the agriculture department. In their complaint, the officials noted that the level of ammonia in the beef was similar to levels found in contamination incidents involving chicken and milk that had sickened schoolchildren.

Beef Products said the ammonia did not pose a danger and would be diluted when its beef was mixed with other meat. The U.S.D.A. accepted Beef Product’s conclusion, but other customers had also complained about the smell.

Untreated beef naturally contains ammonia and is typically about 6 on the pH scale, near that of rain water and milk. The Beef Products’ study that won U.S.D.A. approval used an ammonia treatment that raised the pH of the meat to as high as 10, an alkalinity well beyond the range of most foods. The company’s 2003 study cited the “potential issues surrounding the palatability of a pH-9.5 product.”

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

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Tiffany April 17, 2012 at 3:37 am

@George
Bpi has had a test/hold policy all along the beef that tested positive for e-coli never left the faculty. The sample was tested at a facility outside of bpi. Tho it do test positive it never left the building. Also the ammonia weakens the bacterial cell wall then when the beef is pressed and frozen the bacteria die. We are taking about e-coli and salmonella not normal spoilage bacteria. It is the process as a whole that ultimately reduces the pathogens. Nice documents by the way. I think I refered you to them!

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ssmith April 17, 2012 at 8:42 am

Here are some facts according to the NYTimes article.

But government and industry records obtained by The New York Times show that in testing for the school lunch program, E. coli and salmonella pathogens have been found dozens of times in Beef Products meat, challenging claims by the company and the U.S.D.A. about the effectiveness of the treatment. Since 2005, E. coli has been found 3 times and salmonella 48 times, including back-to-back incidents in August in which two 27,000-pound batches were found to be contaminated. The meat was caught before reaching lunch-rooms trays.

In July, school lunch officials temporarily banned their hamburger makers from using meat from a Beef Products facility in Kansas because of salmonella ” the third suspension in three years, records show. Yet the facility remained approved by the U.S.D.A. for other customers.

Presented by The Times with the school lunch test results, top department officials said they were not aware of what their colleagues in the lunch program had been finding for years.

In response, the agriculture department said it was revoking Beef Products’ exemption from routine testing and conducting a review of the company’s operations and research. The department said it was also reversing its policy for handling Beef Products during pathogen outbreaks. Since it was seen as pathogen-free, the processed beef was excluded from recalls, even when it was an ingredient in hamburgers found to be contaminated.

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

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Jack April 21, 2012 at 8:52 am

“Even apart from safety concerns, it is simply wrong to feed our children connective tissues and beef scraps that were, in the past, destined for use in pet food and rendering and were not considered fit for human consumption.”

You misled a lot of people with this line. It is the most emotional line you used. The product is healthy for you. It is leaner meat and contains even more of certain vitamins, has virtually the same nutritional profile as standard ground beef, etc. You didn’t include that fact in your screed, eh? LFTB is not made up of “connective tissues and beef scraps”, it is high quality lean beef, just made in a modern way to maximize the good meat from the cow. So, you can tell yourself whatever you need to hear in order to not feel guilty or responsible, but, right there, it’s clear you could have done a better job informing people of the actual facts, the actual context. What does the history of beef production have to do with today? Is it only fit for dogs? NO! So you misled people by making them think it’s not fit for people. Among other things.

You could have repressed your inner torch and pitchfork carrying self and consulted a wide variety of experts before you entered this fray. Hey there is always next time.

I’m sorry for you because you meant well and just didn’t have a lot of experience in this field. And you’re the one that has to live with your hysterical actions the rest of your life, I didn’t start up a fearmongering campaign based on lies that made people stupider and punished innocent companies and employees. Jamie Oliver has to deal with being made fun of for that household ammonia poured on beef in a tub stunt too. Hey we’ll probably have product-defamation laws in the future (see Cass Sunstein), no worries.

Cheerio

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Steve April 22, 2012 at 12:18 pm

It may be as you assert, that you did not intend to “drive this company out of business” but let’s face, intentions do not ameliorate consequences of actions. It may be that the blame partly goes to the USDA, beef producers that use this substance, and the fast food industry that was fearful of people like you. But the fact is that you were the spark that ignited the firestorm and thus played a primary role in the demise of a legitimate company producing a safe product. More personally, you were the spark that cost hundreds of people their jobs in a very weak and unforgiving economy. Live with that. I hope your increased note dirty is worth it.

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Randall May 29, 2012 at 12:04 am

This pink crud they are dumping into the meat is what used to wind up in DOGFOOD, but now with beef prices high they are even incorporating the crud they scrape off the tables and other surfaces that once was only fit for dogfood.
This totally fits the industry’s history of deception and horrible practices. I suggest a read of the first 100 pages of Upton Sinclaire’s 1906 book “The Jungle.” The book was written about the Chicago stockyards and meat industry, and what they did to the meat- processing ROTTEN, mildewed returned meat with chemicals and reprocessing it into things like very spicy sausage (sound familiar?)
Here are a few excerpts from this book which is now public domain and available free on archive.org and elsewhere, the “pickel” it mentions is a chemical solution. This book was what caused the USDA to be created, and Sinclaire’s intention in writing the book was to call attention to the plight of the WORKERS, not the meat, but the public focussed only on the meat and didn’t care about the workers!

Chapter 14

With one member trimming beef in a cannery, and another working in a sausage factory, the family had a first-hand knowledge of the great majority of Packingtown swindles.

For it was the custom, as they found, whenever meat was so spoiled that it could not be used for anything else, either to can it or else to chop it up into sausage. With what had been told them by Jonas, who had worked in the pickle rooms, they could now study the whole of the spoiled-meat industry on the inside, and read a new and grim meaning into that old Packingtown jest—that they use everything of the pig except the squeal.

Jonas had told them how the meat that was taken out of pickle would often be found sour, and how they would rub it up with soda to take away the smell, and sell it to be eaten on free-lunch counters; also of all the miracles of chemistry which they performed, giving to any sort of meat, fresh or salted, whole or chopped, any color and any flavor and any odor they chose.

In the pickling of hams they had an ingenious apparatus, by which they saved time and increased the capacity of the plant—a machine consisting of a hollow needle attached to a pump; by plunging this needle into the meat and working with his foot, a man could fill a ham with pickle in a few seconds. And yet, in spite of this, there would be hams found spoiled, some of them with an odor so bad that a man could hardly bear to be in the room with them. To pump into these the packers had a second and much stronger pickle which destroyed the odor—a process known to the workers as “giving them thirty per cent.”

Also, after the hams had been smoked, there would be found some that had gone to the bad. Formerly these had been sold as “Number Three Grade,” but later on some ingenious person had hit upon a new device, and now they would extract the bone, about which the bad part generally lay, and insert in the hole a white-hot iron.

After this invention there was no longer Number One, Two, and Three Grade—there was only Number One Grade. The packers were always originating such schemes—they had what they called “boneless hams,” which were all the odds and ends of pork stuffed into casings; and “California hams,” which were the shoulders, with big knuckle joints, and nearly all the meat cut out; and fancy “skinned hams,” which were made of the oldest hogs, whose skins were so heavy and coarse that no one would buy them—that is, until they had been cooked and chopped fine and labeled “head cheese!”

It was only when the whole ham was spoiled that it came into the department of Elzbieta. Cut up by the two-thousand-revolutions-a-minute flyers, and mixed with half a ton of other meat, no odor that ever was in a ham could make any difference. There was never the least attention paid to what was cut up for sausage; there would come all the way back from Europe old sausage that had been rejected, and that was moldy and white—it would be dosed with borax and glycerine, and dumped into the hoppers, and made over again for home consumption.

There would be meat that had tumbled out on the floor, in the dirt and sawdust, where the workers had tramped and spit uncounted billions of consumption germs. There would be meat stored in great piles in rooms; and the water from leaky roofs would drip over it, and thousands of rats would race about on it.

It was too dark in these storage places to see well, but a man could run his hand over these piles of meat and sweep off handfuls of the dried dung of rats. These rats were nuisances, and the packers would put poisoned bread out for them; they would die, and then rats, bread, and meat would go into the hoppers together.

This is no fairy story and no joke; the meat would be shoveled into carts, and the man who did the shoveling would not trouble to lift out a rat even when he saw one—there were things that went into the sausage in comparison with which a poisoned rat was a tidbit.

There was no place for the men to wash their hands before they ate their dinner, and so they made a practice of washing them in the water that was to be ladled into the sausage.

There were the butt-ends of smoked meat, and the scraps of corned beef, and all the odds and ends of the waste of the plants, that would be dumped into old barrels in the cellar and left there. Under the system of rigid economy which the packers enforced, there were some jobs that it only paid to do once in a long time, and among these was the cleaning out of the waste barrels.

Every spring they did it; and in the barrels would be dirt and rust and old nails and stale water and cartload after cartload of it would be taken up and dumped into the hoppers with fresh meat, and sent out to the public’s breakfast. Some of it they would make into “smoked” sausagebut as the smoking took time, and was therefore expensive, they would call upon their chemistry department, and preserve it with borax and color it with gelatine to make it brown.

All of their sausage came out of the same bowl, but when they came to wrap it they would stamp some of it “special,” and for this they would charge two cents more a pound.

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Phyllis May 29, 2012 at 7:53 am

Randall, you are cruel and unfeeling and uninformed.

First of all, the product used in producing Lean Finely Textured Beef is NOT “scrape(d) off the tables and other surfaces that once was only fit for dogfood.” It is made from beef trimmings, the byproduct of cutting beef carcasses into steaks and roasts for us humans to eat.

Second of all, Upton Sinclair’s book, “The Jungle”, is a work of fiction (NOT FACT).

In the real world (not one of fictional books) the process used to make Lean Finely Textured Beef is safe and results in a leaner product, which is then incorporated in with the less-lean hamburger, resulting in a more nutritious, less costly way to eat cheap beef.

Opinions get people into trouble – just ask Bettina, who in her OPINION was right in using the term “Pink Slime” but her “cutesy little phrase” resulted in mass hysteria and the loss of hundreds of jobs and possibly the rise in prices of beef and in ecoli poisonings…. only time will tell.

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Bettina Elias Siegel May 29, 2012 at 8:15 am

Well, Phyllis, of course if someone did “just ask” me, I’d give them a very different assessment of the last few months – how consumers spoke loud and clear about their desire for transparency in our food supply and how even the beef industry now publicly concedes that the failure to disclose this product in ground beef redounded to its detriment. So I’d very much appreciate it if you don’t put words in my mouth in this comment thread, though you’re welcome, as always, to continue expressing your own views.

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doug May 29, 2012 at 11:45 pm

I appreciate your objection to Phyllis’s statement but should I conclude from your reply that you didn’t notice any hysteria? Or that it is irrelevant to the conversation? People’s desire for transparancy did not decimate BPI, hysteria based on misinformation did.

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Bettina Elias Siegel May 30, 2012 at 8:53 am

Doug: Don’t take from my failure to address each individual point in a comment as acquiescence or agreement. Rather, at this point, I’m not inclined to “re-litigate” an issue that has been discussed in great depth on this blog and elsewhere. But I certainly would not agree this was a case of mass hysteria.

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Phyllis May 31, 2012 at 8:02 am

Yah, it was hysteria. fueled not only by the petition “Get Pink Slime out of our school lunches” but also by the one-sided news coverage (Pink slime was EVERYWHERE). Funny, I don’t recall the term being used for what it was originally intended to label way back when – ground up chicken parts used in making chicken nuggets.

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doug May 31, 2012 at 1:25 pm

Bettina,

Ask yourself this. If I posted my petition in today’s climate, now that cooler heads are prevailing and accurate information about LFBT is commonplace, would I get the same number of signatures as the original, posted at a time when most people were relying on ABC and Jamie Oliver to educate them on the evils of LFBT?

Of course you would still get the folks that lean towards organic/natural and a great many of the vegans/vegetarians. You would get that highly vocal but relatively small group that is fanning the flames of this issue because they hate or mistrust either the meat industry or big business in general. You would also get those who object to the lack of labeling, probably the largest group of the three.

So what do you think? 25%? Less?

I would even venture to say that there are people that signed the original petition that have come full circle and would advocate that the USDA and their local school lunch programs include more LFBT now that they know the benefits; more nutritious than Trix, a way to free up money to to offer alternatives to Trix, the safety benefits, the green aspects of using more of the animal and so on.

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George from UC June 2, 2012 at 5:34 am

Doug, you say that “there are people that signed the original petition that have come full circle”. As you probably know, a counter-petition was started on March 26 and, unlike Bettina’s, it is still open so if any one of the 258,874 people that signed the original petition now wants LFTB in school lunches, they can go here http://www.change.org/petitions/beef-is-beef
And just how many people have demonstrated their support for LFTB? In over 2 months only 5,587 have signed, that’s 2% of the people against it, and 0.0018% of the US population (which is a major point made on the beef-is-beef petition against the original one).
BTW, I thought that this “thread that wouldn’t die” was over six weeks ago, but I’ve received close to 20 emails about it in the last 3 days.

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Janet June 4, 2012 at 2:01 am

George from UC, I was unaware of this petition. That may be the reason for so little response. Maybe it needs to promoted as much as the petition against LFTB!

I am surprised this is still going after this long also. But I guess I am not surprised. When over 800 people in 5 facilities have lost their jobs because of misinformation supplied to people who are not willing to try to understand what LFTB really is. They would rather believe what an uninformed alarmist says than someone who has knowledge of it.

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doug May 29, 2012 at 11:17 pm

Randall,

“the “pickel” it mentions is a chemical solution.”

It’s the same “chemical solution” that is used to turn cucumbers into pickles and briskets into corned beef; vinegar and spices.

“This pink crud they are dumping into the meat is what used to wind up in DOGFOOD, but now with beef prices high they are even incorporating the crud they scrape off the tables and other surfaces that once was only fit for dogfood.”

Your inference is that it isn’t wholesome enough for humans. A little research would have shown you that “they” created a way to extract the small bits of muscle from fatty trim that were formerly economically unrecoverable and therefore was sold to pet food manufacturere, renderers, etc. And scraping the tables? You made that up, right? It’s ludicrous to think that there is any profit in scraping stainless steel tables.

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Shawnee Anderson May 29, 2012 at 7:19 pm

This blog, thread, and “issue” are amazing. When people look back and do a restrospective on the internet and blogs impact on social issues, hopefully someone has this archived and can point here to illustrate how dishonest discourse can fuel public hysteria.

The most laughable image I have (so far) of this entire boondoggle is Jamie Oliver tossing ammonia on ground beef to illustrate the “treatment” method. /facepalm. Why not have cancer patients tossed into unsecured radioactive facilities to illustrate the dangers of radiotherapy by anti-radiation advocates? It is mind-boggling how much damage too much zeal, and too little science can do.

At best you can blame BPI and its clients for being concerned about their bottom line and not disclosing exactly where/how their meat came (and rightfully so looking at the reaction). This wasn’t/isn’t about transparency, it’s about busy bodies with far too much time on their hands and too little science demonizing a product. What is sad, is that those on the anti-BPI side are simply incapable of stepping back and saying “You know what, this issue might have been more blown up than it actually is. . .” No, instead they’ll point to Oliver with his bottle of ammonia and claim it’s all in the interest of transparency and “for the children.”

Just sad all around.

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Bettina Elias Siegel May 29, 2012 at 10:12 pm

Shawnee – clearly you’re new here and didn’t take much time to learn my views on this subject. In July 2011, almost a year before my petition, I publicly criticized Jamie Oliver on this blog for his ammonia demonstration, finding it inaccurate and misleading. Similarly, in March of this year I demanded and received an on-air correction from NPR’s All Things Considered when they implied that I had likened the ammonium hydroxide to “household cleaners.” Perhaps before you accuse others of factual inaccuracies you might do a little research of your own.

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Shawnee May 31, 2012 at 5:12 am

If the shoe doesn’t fit, don’t wear it. My comment about the absurd “ammonia demonstration” was a general criticism of this entire situation. If you found fault with Oliver’s theatrics, good on you.

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Steve May 30, 2012 at 1:20 pm

Shawnee, I expect to know what I am eating. If any manufacturer conceals anything in my food, I will boycott that manufacturer for life. Needless to say, I will never again buy ground beef nor supermarket meat. I now have zero trust in the beef industry and supermarkets for this concealment. That’s not hysteria, that’s learning a lesson courtesy of BPI and the USDA featuring under sec Smith.

Do an experiment. Cook the following in a frying pan, not n a BBQ…

1. Go to the supermarket (or jail or school lunch program or just hang out with the 3 gov posse) and pan fry the BPI treated product. When served, don’t smother it with ketchup, pickles, etc… Just a burger with a bit of pan fried onion and maybe some fresh grated cheddar on a quality bun; nothing more.

2. The next day, go to a butcher and have him grind you fresh, grass feed sirloin. Serve it the same way, don’t smoother and conceal the flavor of the beef. Grass fed sirloin is naturally lean so you’ll have to cook it with a bit of oil or water.

3. Let your taste buds inform you of the difference between an industrialized, treated “product” and free roaming grass feed cattle based sirloin. The difference will be apparent if you have functioning taste buds that have not been wasted away on industrialized, boxed food.

This is the other reason I will never again buy ground beef. I’ve learned the difference between supermarket ground beef and free roaming grass feed cattle based sirloin. There is no comparison. To me, supermarket ground beef now taste like …. well, I’ll spare you my descriptive thoughts on that one.

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Shawnee May 31, 2012 at 5:29 am

>>>Shawnee, I expect to know what I am eating. If any manufacturer conceals anything in my food, I will boycott that manufacturer for life.

I could sympathize with this if the addition of this “beef material” at all posed a risk to individuals who thought what they were getting was just beef; but it doesn’t. Boycotting beef because there was other-beef in it smacks of “first-world-problems”.

>>>Needless to say, I will never again buy ground beef nor supermarket meat. I now have zero trust in the beef industry and supermarkets for this concealment. That’s not hysteria, that’s learning a lesson courtesy of BPI and the USDA featuring under sec Smith.

No that’s not hysteria; that is simply throwing the baby out with the bath water. What was hysterical was this insistence that somehow the addition of this beef filler posed some sort of health risk to the American public. The demands from elected officials that this “slurry” be removed from federally funded school meals only added to the qualification of hysterical reaction.

Don’t misunderstand – the American public has a right to know what it is eating. However what happened here was not a fair and balanced analysis and rational resolution of the issue.

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Phyllis May 31, 2012 at 7:39 am

Steve, You have an interesting, if misinformed OPINION. You are so innocent. If you really want to stand by your statement, “If any manufacturer conceals anything in my food, I will boycott that manufacturer for life.” you won’t be eating much of anything. lol

What about a food that contains “ethoxolated mono- and diglycerides, datem, enzymes, azodicarbonamide”? The manufacturer stated what was in their bread; do YOU understand what it is? I don’t, but I still buy their bread. And this “range-fed” stuff – do you know what is used on the grass seed to preserve it before planting? do you know what is used on it to prevent weeds? Do you know “grass-fed” is more expensive? Can you afford it? (if so, more power to you; I can’t).

btw, have you even gone to the beefisbeef website?

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Steve May 31, 2012 at 11:13 am

Since March 2012, I have lost trust in BPI/USDA/The Beef Industry/Groups like the 3 Govs Posse/etc. So for me, the beefisbeef web site carries the credibility of a commercial.

I am careful while shopping and read labels; I expect manufacturers to be honest. When I find a manufacturer that is not honest, I do indeed boycott them for life; it’s not hard. I have a long list of well known brands I will never buy; consumer trust is hard earned, and lost for good in a flash. Since March, I will never again buy any meat in a large supermarket. I now go to a local butcher who has ties to local farms. The meat is clearly superior to what is available in the supermarket. And, he doesn’t pull tricks such as filling or lacing ground beef; it comes from 100% muscle based beef. In the past, I had assumed supermarket beef was the same. It was even labeled as “minimally processed”. The supermarket label turned out to be consumer fraud.

As consumers, we vote confidence in businesses with our dollars. Since March, I choose to vote no confidence in the industrialized agricultural industry. As a result, I am attempting to not buy products originating from industrialized “farms”. This is not only possible, but easily done by buying local and knowing your source. The meats I buy travel less than 20 miles small farm to plate; they are free range and fed a proper diet. Other examples… instead of buying BBQ sauce, I now make my own without high fructose corn syrup, chemicals, etc. We make our own salad dressing; it only takes 2 minutes for a few weeks worth and is based on Extra Virgin olive oil instead of the typical GMO oils and unknown chemicals. With knowledge comes truer choice. When businesses exert fraudulent practices, consumers are given forced, false choices.

If cost of food like grass fed beef, free range organic chicken, or wild salmon become burdensome, it is time to do the family budget and make choices. Do we serve tainted hamburg 5 nights a week or serve up grass fed beef once a week and maybe fill in the other 4 nights with things like spaghetti with broccoli, garlic & olive oil? To me, it is a ‘no brainer’ question of quality over quantity. To make it even easier, adults do not need to eat 3/4 of a pound of meat in one sitting. A 3 ounce serving of meat served with veggies and a side of rice/potatoes/etc will give better health for most normal adults. All of this is not hard, it just takes a bit of discipline and commitment.

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Phyllis May 31, 2012 at 6:07 pm

Steve, HOW DARE YOU TELL ME I NEED MORE DISCIPLINE AND COMMITMENT. YOU HAVE NO CLUE. I was let go at BPI, because of this “misinformation campaign” and now work for a company where I make 1/3 less than at BPI. Therefore, I HAVE “redone my budget” as you so naively put it. Guess what? I can’t afford hardly anything, now. Have you experienced anything like that? hmmmm…..

Must be nice to live in your world. Wish I could afford it.

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Steve June 1, 2012 at 10:58 am

How dare what? Seems to me Straw Man responses are very popular these days. You’ll note, I never said YOU need discipline and commitment. I used the pronoun WE. Had I been speaking to you, I would have used the correct pronoun “you”.

PS: besides being healthier, a 3 ounce serving of quality meat with veggies & rice is actually cheaper than 3/4 of a pound+ of meat with fries and a shake, which many Americans eat in one sitting. So, for many American families, eating a higher quality meal can cost less money.

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doug June 1, 2012 at 12:55 pm

3 oz of meat is cheaper than 12 oz? If I had only known.

So there’s your answer Phyllis. Just eat less. Problem solved.

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Phyllis June 2, 2012 at 7:25 am

Thanks, Doug! lol

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Phyllis June 2, 2012 at 7:25 am

Steve oops – matter of semantics; when you said “we” I thought you were including you, me and everyone else (the word “we” afterall is first person plural – and “first person” in grammar is “I”). My bad…. still doesn’t deny the fact that you’re lumping me in with everyone else who eats “unhealthy,” and I do take exception to that. If hamburger becomes more fatty or more expensive because of this uncalled-for label “pink slime” which some disgruntle fired scientist coined and folks like Bettina and the news media pushed, I’ll be really bummed. And not eating hamburger, either.

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Phyllis May 31, 2012 at 6:11 pm

btw, I can’t eat broccoli, I’m on coumaden. and garlic and olive oil are much more expensive that veggie oil. Now that I’ve had to, let’s see, how did you put it, “do the family budget and make choices,” I’m kinda stuck! Wanna help me out?

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Steve June 1, 2012 at 2:18 pm

Skip the broccoli & use chard instead. Use the regular oil or butter instead of olive oil but put some fresh grated Parmesan cheese on top. Some salt & pepper and you have a cheap healthy meal fit for a king. Topped with hot pepper flakes make it authentic for those who like spice.

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Janet June 4, 2012 at 1:45 am

Steve, Of course, corn fed beef and grass fed beef are going to taste differently! What they eat changes what they taste like.

I will go to the store and purchase LFTB and cook it as you suggested. But I will skip the cheese and bun since they have more ammonia than the beef. The small amount of ammonia that is spritzed on the beef will dissipate greatly during processing. And when it is mixed in with the fattier ground beef, it is further diluted. Plus, when cooking the meat, it will dissipate more. So I think that by the time it gets to my mouth, most, if not all, of the ammonia will be gone. If there is still some left, I prefer that to ingesting e.coli anytime.

I still don’t know how ground beef combined with leaner ground beef should be labeled. It all comes from the same place, but some with the fat removed.

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Phyllis May 31, 2012 at 6:25 pm

Yeah! Tiffany! :)

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George from UC April 13, 2012 at 5:10 pm

@Tiffany
If you Google “Georgia officials assumed it was accidentally contaminated” you get 548 links. Knock yourself out checking them. Remove the quotes and it goes up to 6,060,000 !!
The ammonia level was too high by design, they later reduced it without informing the USDA (which they should have since it modified the effectiveness of the treatment).
BTW, this is turning into the “thread that would’t die”, it’s been 10 days and over 166 comments!

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Tiffany April 14, 2012 at 12:47 am

@George
I agree this must be a record breaking thread. As far as googling things of course you’re going to come up with thousands of responses. To me the only ones that matter are original documents from the companies involved that’s why I asked you to look at the links between free market and myself. And really everyone has their opinion and their choice. I am pretty sure what bothers most LFTB supporters is that there have been ALOT of inaccurate information spread nation wide about the product, this inaccurate information has done ALOT of damage to the company and the product. A lot of people in all actuality have no idea how beef is even processed, let alone LFTB. What most of us Pro LFTB people want is just for accurate information to be told, so people can make a choice based on fact. Not a decision based on the opinions of others, and a media smear. Jamie Oliver’s outrageous protrayl of the product would scare anyone, the pink goo picture(mechanically separated chicken) made people think that’s what LFTB is. Stores are refusing to carry LFTB do to consumers seeing and hearing inaccurate information and asking for it to be removed. Bpi has agreed to a label not because the government says they have to but because that’s what people want. If you think back 15+ years ago most people didn’t look at labels like we do now. Our nation has become more health conscious and want to know more about where are food comes from. Following procedures set up by the USDA/FDA doesn’t make a company a sinister liar. They did what they had been doing for years. Times have changed and people are more curious. We just want to choose our product and let people choose on fact, not on a lie or another’s opinion.

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