Pink Slime: My Correction to Yesterday’s NPR Story

Because I was traveling yesterday, a lot of you heard the NPR All Things Considered Story about pink slime before I did and you gave me good feedback, for which I was grateful.

But when I finally could hear the report myself, I was not so happy.  Just FYI, here’s what I sent this morning to reporter Allison Aubrey’s editors:

While I was glad for the opportunity to speak with NPR about pink slime yesterday, reporter Allison Aubrey greatly mischaracterized my position on the substance.  She said in her report that on my blog The Lunch Tray I “pointed out that it’s [pink slime] treated with ammonia, something [I] use as a cleaning agent.”

In none of my posts on The Lunch Tray (or in my conversation with Ms. Aubrey) did I ever  mention “cleaning agents” — a conscious choice — and therefore I was disturbed to hear her put those words in my mouth.  Indeed, I once publicly criticized Jamie Oliver, otherwise my ally against pink slime, for doing a demonstration on his Food Revolution show in which he doused beef with household ammonia, a stunt I found hyperbolic and potentially misleading.

By implying that I started this campaign because I’m afraid of ammonia hydroxide (which I am not) greatly misrepresents my position and undercuts my credibility in the eyes of the beef industry and the public.  I oppose pink slime because it comes from a highly pathogenic source, it is a cheap filler which is not “ground beef” as consumers commonly understand that term, because it is thought to be less nutritious than regular beef, and because it is widely used in our food supply without any disclosure to consumers.

Thank you,

Bettina Elias Siegel


[Ed Update:  An on-air correction was read by NPR the next day.]


  1. Timmi says

    O wow, you keep fighting. With more and more people getting wind of this they will do their research (or should) and hopefully read all that you post and see clearly why you do what you do and understand why change must happen.

  2. Sarah says

    That’s how big business works – if you can’t attack the position of your opponent, you portray them as ignorant fools who doesn’t understand “the science.” It’s the same crap doctors pull when they tell parents (every so kindly, but still condescendingly), “You know, you can’t believe everything you read on the internet.” Not only does it cut their feet out from under them, it reinforces the idea that you can’t trust anyone but an “expert.”

    Hang in there, and keep spreading the truth. Based on hundreds of thousands of petition signatures, people are listening. If we refuse to back down, things will eventually change!


  3. says

    While I have a vague memory of hearing you say that in the interview, I wouldn’t worry too much about being misquoted. You sounded very well-informed and educated about this pink slime business, and I was impressed. Keep fighting the good fight! :)


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