Gary Truitt responds to the muck the “pink slime” scandal has created for the beef industry.
Once again, the U.S. cattle industry finds itself in the midst of a media firestorm. As has happened time and time again, an unfounded media slander campaign against a perfectly safe meat product has been splashed across the front pages, sensationalized on TV news programs, and gone viral on the Internet.
Boneless lean beef trimmings (BLBT), also known as lean finely textured beef, have been safely consumed by adults and school children for decades; but, let the media label it “pink slime” and describe in detail how it is made, and all of a sudden it becomes unsafe and something consumers no longer want to eat. So what is the problem, is it the name, the appearance, the way it is made, or just the bad PR?
It is a fact that most consumers do not know how their food is produced and, in some cases, that is a good thing. For example, the school kids whose parents do not want them to be served hamburger with “pink slime” will happily wolf down gelatin, which is made from cows’ hooves. Many of America’s most popular and revered food products, such as hot dogs, sausage and creamed corn, are not things most people would enjoy seeing made.
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