70% of all Ground Beef Contains “Pink Slime” … and USDA Bought 7 Million Pounds of the Stuff for School Lunches

ABC news notes:

“Pink slime,” a cheap meat filler, is in 70 percent of the ground beef sold at supermarkets and up to 25 percent of each American hamburger patty, by some estimates.

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The USDA just bought 7 million pounds of pink slime to add to school lunches (up from 5.5 million pounds in 2009).

Jamie Oliver gave a must-watch demonstration on the subject a year ago:

But at least we know where the real meat part of ground beef comes from … right?

Nope … the World Trade Organization struck down American laws requiring labeling of beef to disclose the country of origin:

But at least beef is being tested for horrible diseases like mad cow disease, right?

Negatory: the government does very little testing … and prohibits private citizens such as ranchers or meat packers from testing it themselves.

What Should We Do?

So what’s the answer?

You could buy a pot roast or another cut of meat and grind it yourself. That way, you’ll be sure there’s nothing but real meat. (Talk to the butcher in your grocery store’s meat department; he’ll help you buy the right cut.)

Or you could buy grass-fed beef. Organic, grass-fed usually contains no pink slime.

And all grass-fed beef – organic or not – has a much lower risk for mad cow than other types of beef.


Because mad cow disease is most commonly caused by feeding animal products to cows. For example, Wikipedia notes:

A British inquiry into BSE [the scientific abbreviation for mad cow] concluded that the [disease] was caused by cattle, who are normally herbivores, being fed the remains of other cattle in the form of meat and bone meal (MBM), which caused the infectious agent to spread.

If they are fed grass – their natural food – they are much less likely to get sick.

Stores like Trader Joe’s label grass fed, so it is easy to find.

Grass-fed beef also contains more Omega 3s than beef from cows fed corn, meat or other “modern” feeds. See this and this.

Why is this important? Because eating Omega 3 rich foods can increase gray matter in adults and boost neurological development in children. Conversely, low dietary levels of Omega 3s in mothers can reduce their kids’ IQ. (This is not entirely surprising, given that (1) our brains are about 60% fat, and (2) leading nutritionists say that humans evolved to consume alot of Omega 3 fatty acids in the wild game and fish which they ate (more), and that a low Omega 3 diet is a very new trend within the last 100 years or so).

And if you think that asking for organic beef is a counterculture hippy thing, note that Ronald Reagan insisted on organic meat.

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  • Seventy percent of US hamburger contains up to 25% per pound of “pink slime” which consists of the slaughterhouse floor wastes treated with ammonia and water to kill E. coli and Salmonella bacteria.

    The problem is, ammonia does NOT inactivate mad cow prions which may be part of the ankle-deep muck of blood, fats, tissue and scraps on the floor:

    Slaughterhouses are required to remove “SRM” – specified risk materials- the parts of a cow with the highest concentrations of prions. SRM include the skull, brain,ganglia, eyes, tonsils, spinal cord and small intestine. Power tools, including chain saws, are used to cut up the carcasses.. It is unavoidable that potentially prion infected wastes from high risk tissues end up on the blood-soaked slaughterhouse floors – to be incorporated into the pink slime.

    Alzheimer’s is a prion disease – 6 million US victims. http://www.alzheimers-prions.com/ .

    Pink slime is a likely pathway to deliver infectious prions to an unsuspecting public, including school children at risk for autism which is approaching epidemic proportions.. The Prion Institute in Alberta, Canada, is studying Autism as a prion disease


    Helane Shields, Alton, NH hshields@tds.net

  • Ridiculous that they passed laws allowing the stuff despite protests by the FDA’s own scientists.
    Also, the lady who was responsible for allowing this to go through is now on the board of the top distribution company for the “pink slime”. Conflict of interest anyone?

  • Patrick Joyner

    I believe that if meat has pink slime in it the lable should say as much, even if the meat product costs more without pink slime at least we would have the choice of what we feed our families.

  • The government should be ashamed! The new FDA chief is former Monsanto Chief and is probably promoting this so he doesn’t have to ever label Genetically Modified foods! We’re in for a mess.
    Keep it going!

  • That should be the emblem of the U.S. federal government.

  • vicky calizo

    This is such good research and deserves to be simply spread far and wide, as here in the Philippines, for example, “pink slime” is thought to have never come from “clean, rich United States” and could never be bought by clean, rich Americans. Thank you for the research and Helen Shield’s added information!! How profit really rules !

  • Louis Maige

    If this is true. Every U.S.A. citizen who has ever eaten a serving of ground beef has as much right to sue the company that put pink slime in the beef as those who have successfully sued for impure ingredients found in partially consumed food at restaurants . For example rat droppings in a serving of food, or a salad contaminated with salmonella, or human flesh found in ground meat food. These are just some of the instances where people have sued. Just because the Food and Drug Administration says its ok will, these companies be relieved of their responsibility to the general public for their actions concerning the public health?

  • Charles Chalfant

    Look, it’s bad enough that American food in general is by far the worst quality I’ve ever had anywhere in the world. And we allow Pink Slime in 75% of our package ground beef?

    Mmmmmm. That helps.

  • sanatana

    Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet
    — Albert Einstein

  • fred

    the globle eleet want to kill off 80,000,000,000 people on the planet so they can better control you

  • Wayne S.

    Boycott: “Beef Products, Inc.” Parent should stop buying it ask the store is there poison in the beef I read the back of Windex it state don’t drink and the FDA state it’s OK to fed us this Shi!. The Slim company Beef Products, Inc. should loose sale this day forward we as American can do it in about 6 month. The thought that schools have to buy can’t opt out why our tax dollar fund that school OK that day food should goto dump. Parents pack a lunch get a copy of the menu , if your child goto school and fed this poison he or she should be trained by parent to act and get sick. That school felt a law suit could happen it will opt out all 3 kids after having the beef threw up, I’m no Dr. yet I would guess thats the bodies way of saying no good. I believe we are the rats in a lab and the FDA, Medical board and some other who profit from this are testing it. The want to see will it hurt us, Really if a average American eats the slim+NH 3 at 4 to 7 time a month what will happens? lets see 2 years pass almost 90% of the US has cancer oh well we messed up. Then we have all the real rats because can’t opt out “Group A” NEWS teen have cancer. The winner new drugs, money for Hospitals and drug company fix in that part of the market. Meat should be just that yet were tested on and fed poison. what’s allowed is 1st 1920 no real talk of the cancers look it up, not today then 1970 stuffs added to what we eat and slowly that seen by the body as bad and our body make a change yet after years cancer all time hi, Obesity was it the new oil at fast foods finally after it was done a nation of fat people we were done and that made $. “Oil test works money for Government and new medicines made for it oil rats test makes billions. Recall the “sweetener” we have migraine headache new pill, Then it came out neuropsychiatric disorders, Pill including panic attacks Pills, mood changes new pill, visual hallucinations pill lock up care, manic episodes pills, and isolated dizziness pill and the FDA has not stop it. Why payments they knew it’s on the net. This experiments should stop FDA we should boycott the sale don’t buy were doing more then we need to kill ourselves, my bad if this ran dyslexic and mad that our kids will suffer bet the FDA’s big wigs house has no NH3 in the kitchen. I would like to see random looks in their shopping carts and medical companies, heck most of Congress. I ask my doctor if he’s ate any of this new beef with slim 1st tried to state vegetarian when I ask the staff caught him say NO! So he knows it’s a test in the medical journal about this test.

    boycott is an act of voluntarily abstaining from using, buying, or dealing with a person, organization, or country as an expression of protest,

  • Another example of a goverment gone berserk.To many gov. workers trying to prove their worth, inacting harmful rules. AND WHEN WAS IT PASSED THAT YOU DON’T HAVE TO DICLOSE WHERE FOOD ORIGINATED. They are the real enemy,subjugating everyone and every thing.

  • MAK

    # 3,978 of 1 million ways to get hurt or sick from the negative externalities of corporate greed…. Pharmaceuticals #1 in US when it comes to highest profiting industries so that after theyve made us fat, sick, short of breath and incontinent they can then make us charge them billions for pills to help save us…. this. is. messed. up.