Lean finely textured beef is back in the news. Is the industry ready?
Beef producers, get ready. The bashing of lean finely textured beef (LFTB) is gearing up once again. Reportedly, seven states have ordered about 2 million lbs. of LFTB to serve in public schools, and an orchestrated backlash is likely from some quarters.
The beef industry is still stinging from the LFTB scandal that occurred last spring when ABC News ran its sensational “pink slime” coverage on LFTB, and British chef and food blogger Jamie Oliver fueled a social media frenzy against LFTB, using a dramatized demonstration to help stoke the hysteria regarding this USDA-approved product that has been safely in use for decades.
But the news about the inclusion of LFTB on school lunch menus this year came as a shock to some parents and community members who had previously championed a boycott of Beef Products Inc. (BPI) LFTB that led to many school districts vowing to no longer serve the product to students. The news that some schools are again serving LFTB to students has stirred up the controversy once again, although it appears boycotts on use of LFTB in school lunch programs are continuing in some communities.
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As reported by Austinist.com, “Austin, TX-area parents concerned about their kids consuming the beef in question at school can rest easy: The ASID [Austin Independent School District] said last year when the hullabaloo reached mass hysteria that they've never served it and never will.”
As the topic of LFTB is revived in the media, I thought it might be pertinent to share some resources that explain what the product is, so we can share this information with others on our social media sites and help alleviate any concerns they might have.
The American Meat Institute has a great resource that will help accomplish just that. It answers many questions about LFTB, and you can refer to it here.
Are you concerned about the press LFTB is getting once again? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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