If you've turned on the news, looked at your news feed or even read twitter updates in the past two weeks you're aware the not-so-informed media are at it again- this time after the beef industry. An industry that has raised me, provided me with opportunities and got me to where I am today. As an agvocate I'm not just going to sit and let things "work out" for an industry that has given me so much. The media buzz that I'm referring to is the "Pink Slime" or as normal people call it Lean Finely Textured Beef. This beef product was developed by Beef Products Inc as a way to be resourceful in removing every last bit of beef from the bone and adding a dash of ammonium hydroxide to help it maintain a proper pH level and eliminate bacteria growth. This technique has reduced the need for 1.5 million additional head of cattle each year. Check out this five minute clip for a complete description of Lean Finely Textured Beef.
Basically people aren't concerned about the beef they're worried about the ammonium hydroxide. However what consumers don't realize is that this compound is found naturally in the environment and even in our own bodies. The funny thing is that when you eat that double cheeseburger the ppm (parts per million) of ammonia in the burger is lower then that of the cheese, bun or condiments. Check out Loos Tales for more information on this naturally occurring compound.
Take a look at the prevalence of ammonia in other foods that use this same process.
Domestic Blue Cheese 1389 ppm
Beer Cheese 917 ppm
Peanut butter 489 ppm
Catsup 352 ppm
Gelatin 342 ppm
Grapefruit 166 ppm
Ground Beef 101 ppm
Not looking so bad now is it? What's the result of all this negative media attention? Well, as of yesterday hundreds of Beef Products Inc employees are now without work and we as consumers will be forced to pay more of our hard earned money (as if the high gas prices weren't enough!) to put beef on the dinner table.
So now that you know the truth about modern beef production, don't think twice in ordering that delicious burger or firing up the grill for a steak dinner. Producers have been providing consumers with safe, wholesome and nutritious beef for hundreds of years. The only difference is that today they're able to provide beef in an efficient, resourceful and cost effective way to ease your wallet.