Pink Slime Watch: An Update About the USDA Petition

by Bettina Elias Siegel on March 8, 2012

I promise I won’t turn The Lunch Tray into “all-slime-all-the-time,” but I wanted to update you about the petition started here on Tuesday morning seeking to ban “pink slime” in school food:

Latest Signature Count 

Our Change.org petition just hit 3,600 signatures at the time of this writing.  I’m awestruck that we’ve reached this point in only two days and of course I have YOU, the TLT readership, to thank for getting the social media ball rolling so effectively.

More Media Coverage

I appeared on local Houston news last night to discuss pink slime and the petition.  You can see that segment here and I’d like to thank reporter Amy Davis for giving me the opportunity.  The petition was also mentioned in the Washington Post online yesterday, and I’m scheduled to speak on Spanish language radio in San Francisco on Monday.  (Cómo se dice “pink slime” en español?).

Meanwhile, I had a great talk with the people at Change.org and was told they plan to actively promote the petition by sending out information to the press.  That should mean even more exposure for the petition in the coming days.

And The Daily reporter David Knowles, who on Monday first broke the story of USDA’s most recent purchase of slime-containing beef for schools, has been incredibly supportive of the petition by writing about it yesterday and mentioning it in his own interviews.

A Good Article on Slime

Finally, I know I’m preaching to the choir here, but if anyone needs convincing that pink slime is some really bad stuff, writer Tom Philpott had a great piece about it yesterday on Mother Jones.

I’ll return to covering other kid-and-food news for The Lunch Tray, but I’ll continue my “Pink Slime Watch” by posting petition updates when I have anything significant to share.

Thank you again, TLT readers, for your continued support.

Say no to slime!

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Viki March 8, 2012 at 7:29 am

and while you are signing petitions go find the Eat More Kale petition and sign it too!

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Chef Adam March 8, 2012 at 5:02 pm

Once again the Federal Government is being strong armed by the wealthy meat consortiums. Plus, we are harming our country’s most valuable asset, our children. You hear it every day, our children are directly abused by the food industry. Take for instance the epidemic levels of diabetes, childhood obesity, higher incidents of cavities, behavioral problems and the list goes on…… We are the one of the most advanced nations in the world, but big industry and money directs our actions. As a professional chef I am appalled that the government, especially with Mrs. Obamas healthy children agenda, will allow this over-processed, inedible, pink slime to come near our food supply. SHAME ON YOU!

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Minetta Vickers March 8, 2012 at 6:37 pm

I have a 12 year old grandson…and it literally is making me sick to the stomach to know that he would be forced to consume this garbage laden in ammonia!!!

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Amanda April 2, 2012 at 2:41 pm

Would it disgust you to know that ammonia is used in chocolate, vegetables, pudding and on and on?

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Cheri March 8, 2012 at 9:36 pm

There is precious little that my children will eat from the school lunch menu, which is fine with me. I find, at least in our district, that the hot lunch is pretty unappetizing. It is gross that we will serve our children these things.

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Natalie March 13, 2012 at 8:58 am

Right on!

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Linda April 2, 2012 at 10:51 am

The so-called “pink slime” is 100% beef. It is processed, so it is leaner and much healthier. With the increase in childhood obesity rates, it is a much healthier option for the lunch tray.

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Jazzmine March 9, 2012 at 8:35 am

How can i sign the petition?

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Bettina Elias Siegel March 9, 2012 at 10:12 am

Jazzmine: Here it is: http://www.change.org/petitions/tell-usda-to-stop-using-pink-slime-in-school-food Please both sign AND share if you can. Thank you!

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Gerardo Torres March 9, 2012 at 10:56 am

I am a 15 year old student and there is no way I’m eating this junk. If this is where school lunches are going I will bring my own damn lunch. In fact here are reasons I won’t eat it.

1. It’s not labled
2. It’s AMMONIA based same chemical in rat poison
3. The fact that it’s made from leftover pieces of food in schools is just DISGUSTING
4. They have recalled this “pink slime” because they had found several diseases in this including e-coli.

This is just another way our penny pinching government is trying to save another buck on school meals. If I unknowingly eat this and I get sick I will make shure the company responsible gets sued into oblivion.

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Calvina E Beers March 12, 2012 at 4:08 pm

I want this pink slime banned in the USA. Adults should not have to eat this crap any more than school kids.
This is such an unbelievable story.
The woman who authorized this nonsense should be eating this herself.

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Tara March 12, 2012 at 5:07 pm

I can not believe the statement was made that “If it’s pink, it’s meat”. So is gum and alot of other things. I would like to see the people who supported this “Pink Slime” eat it! Seem like they are putting money before common sense.

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Linda April 2, 2012 at 10:53 am

This is 100% beef. Once you cook it, you will see that it is ground beef. It is leaner and healthier.

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Alan March 12, 2012 at 5:52 pm

I know many people who make sure that meat by-products are not on the list in their pet food ingredients , yet this crap is OK for human consumption? At least on the pet food it is listed, but do you think anyone would buy it if it were listed on human food? How did they get away with not having to list it?

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Natalie March 13, 2012 at 8:52 am

I have an 11 year old daughter. She takes her lunch most of the time but occasionally wants to eat at school. This is so disgusting! If she knew what was in the meat she surely wouldn’t eat it! I understand that the government says it’s safe, but is it really? Does anyone actually know the long term effects of the chemicals in this stuff? I don’t know much about it but if McDonalds has stopped using it then it is certainly not good for human consumption. (McDonalds is not the best food for anyone!) I don’t even want it in my dog food! It is truly a shame that our health is constantly compromised for the “almighty” dollar. I’m just saying…….

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Dr. J March 15, 2012 at 6:04 pm

Good for you, Bettina. Democracy in action!

While we are at it, let’s start a petition to get the hack apologist for the beef industry who somehow got a job at USDA fired for this outrage.

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Deb March 26, 2012 at 12:43 pm

OMG if you people ACTUALLY researched anything before you ranted about it you would be scary!!! You’ve taken some out of context facts and blown everything out of proportion. Ammonium Hydroxide GAS is used in this process NOT household ammonia! There is more ammonia used in cheese & chocolate! Are you going to start a petition against THAT now too!! This is not new – FTLB has been around for over 20 YEARS! The only “hack” involved in this is the supposed microbiologist with an axe to grind against the company that makes LFTB! Did you even look into his claime & truely look into the SCIENCE involved before you started your smear campain? I really doubt it! All you are doing here is convicting a small family owned company in the court of public opinion! I hope you’ll be able to sleep well at night thinking about all the people that will be losing their jobs! AND the decreased amount of children the reduced lunch program will now be able to feed! I hope the owners of the companies involved sue for libel & slander! That is still ILLEGAL in this country! Get your facts straight before you ruin lives!!! I doubt you will post this.

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Linda April 2, 2012 at 10:55 am

Amen.

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Linda April 2, 2012 at 11:31 am

Where did you get your facts? The pink slime is 100% beef and is safe. Did you actually go to a BPI plant and see the process? Where did you get your information? Have you ever been to a meat processing plant? Before you blast a product, please do your research. This product is much leaner and is much better for us. What do you think ground beef is made of? It is not 100% ground sirloin. If this product is removed from the market, you can guarantee that your price of beef will increase substantially in the grocery store. Come on people….use your brains…think for yourself.

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Hap April 2, 2012 at 5:15 pm

“Come on people….use your brains…think for yourself.”

I’ve thought about it and have decided that I never, ever want this stuff in anything I, or my family, or my friends consume unless they have made an informed choice to go ahead and it it based on clear product labeling.

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Kevin April 2, 2012 at 7:28 pm

@Deb and @Linda,

You’re absolutely right. People are blowing this “pink slime” issue way out of proportion. It is 100% meat and millions of Americans have enjoyed it safely for the past 20 years without harm. If people have issue with this product than they will be devastated to learn of all the preservatives and chemicals used to treat almost every edible item in their kitchen. Get it together people BEEF is BEEF, and if you’d like to look into a leading cause of obesity and diabetes take a look at the label on soft drinks and you will likely all wish to ban every soft drink on the market…

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R April 13, 2012 at 10:53 am

Shame on the whole lot of you. How much real research went into this before the smear campaign began? BPI is an ingenious way to use a cow more efficiently AND healthier to humans by using every bit of the meat and taking the fat and cholesterol out. Then you bemoan the use of ammonia which has been used in the food industry widely for years. BPI voluntarily began the use of it in order to PROTECT you and your children even though they had never had a food borne illness traced to their product.
I suppose your solution to feeding the worlds growing population is to breed even more cows, to eat even more grass/grain/antibiotics so that we can throw even more waste out. Get real. We don’t live in the woods with one room schoolhouses anymore. We should be heralding innovations that allow us to use our resources more efficiently.

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Sarah July 16, 2012 at 6:34 pm

The main issue here is that everyone has a right to know what they are consuming. People have a right to now the manufacturing process of all foods including the birth and continued health of livestock through the slaughtering process. Using LFTB is a great alternative to waste. I preferable think it should be used for dog food but also for those people who choose to purchase it. These people who choose to purchase it do have the right to know what is in all of the foods they consume though. All people should also be aware beyond the little “pink slime” issue what’s really going on in the livestock-meat industry. Animals born in factories shipped out to huge farms which are overcrowded, deprived of sunlight and in their own filth and fed extra hormones to make them grow larger and more quickly, chicken given extra laying mash to make them lay more eggs per day and a primary diet of corn which is a filler when these animals should all be living on grass as a primary chickens with a mix of bugs for protein. Then in the middle of the night is when all of these animals are taking and treated extremely poor. Chickens are just flung into a truck then again flung onto a conveyor upside down where they are de-headed and began to slaughtered while still alive. The cows are made witness to other cows they have lived their whole lives with slaughtered right in front of them and panic as the watch their companions bleed out slowly from their throats being slashed. Cows that fight are often tortured even more. People think for yourselves and also do your research. Take your life and your children or future children’s lives into your own hands. This is all the food industry and what we condone. Put a stop to all of the big industries who are morally doing harm to our entire world. Pay attention to where your food comes from choose local farms who are not owned by the large food producers and eat from a butcher or organic products. Be smart and stop listening to only what the media tells you. THINK, LEARN and ACT and DO IT NOW!

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