This morning I woke up and said, today is the end of daily pink slime reporting on The Lunch Tray! And then a few items came to my attention that seemed worth sharing with you, given the commitment of TLT readers to the Change.org petition and the issue generally. So here’s this morning’s round-up:
Lean Beef and Trim Prices Impacted By Petition and Media
Two sources provided me today with an article in Meatingplace, a meat industry publication, regarding the impact of the LBT controversy on meat prices. The publication requires membership for access, but it reads in part:
Increased cattle carcass weights — brought on by a warm winter — is bringing fatter cattle to market, which doesn’t mean more steaks so much as it means more beef trim.
That, along with reduced demand for lean finely textured beef (LFTB) due to the media storm and its new “pink slime” nickname, is lowering trim prices . . . .
. . . . With less demand for LFTB, it is likely that packers have had to change some of their trim practices . . . . As a result, we are now seeing significant premiums paid for lean and extra lean product (generally from cows) and discounts for fat.
Safeway Discontinues Use of LBT in Ground Beef
This is huge news. In response to overwhelming consumer demand, Safeway has announced that it will stop selling beef containing LBT. Says Jim Avila of ABC News:
Safeway has 1400 stores coast to coast, second only to Kroger. The chain now joins Publix, HEB, Whole Foods and Costco promising their ground beef is additive free.
Local Efforts Spring Up Around LBT, Grocery Stores and Schools
Now that USDA has left the choice to use LBT up to each school district, and because individual grocery chains have always had the ability to chose to sell meat with or without it, it’s been interesting to see that local efforts are starting to spring up to influence these potential LBT purchasers.
For example, a consumer activist group in Pennsylvania is circulating a petition to ask Giant stores to label beef with LBT. Meanwhile, Avaaz.org, a social action website, is urging members to circulate local petitions to influence their school districts on the issue. (I did note, though, that an email to Avaaz members announcing the effort contained a fair amount of misinformation about LBT which could undercut that campaign.)
Petition Nears a Quarter Million
Finally, thanks to the launch of Stop Pink Slime.org by Jamie Oliver and his Food Revolution Team, the Change.org petition started here on The Lunch Tray a mere 15 days ago is now getting hovering near a quarter million signatures. Current count: a little over 244,000.
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