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'Pink slime additive' making a comeback but why?

Pink Slime Additive makes comeback
Pink Slime Additive makes comeback
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Back in 2002, an ABC News report claimed that some 70% of ground beef sold in grocery stores had the pink slime additive. The story warranted such attention and hostile attitudes that manufacturers of pink slime were forced to shut down production of the pink slime additive, but that about to change because pink slime is about to make an incredible comeback- but why is the question?

Let’s start by defining what pink slime even is; and it’s defined by as “low-grade beef trimmings and other meat by-products such as cartilage, connective tissue, and sinew.” It is used as a filler or to lower the fat content of beef. Part of the processing involves spraying the trimmings with ammonia or citric acid to kill bacteria, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Why is pink slim making a comeback now!? Beef prices are skyrocketing so manufacturers are back to their old tricks again. If you so choose to avoid this pink slime additive simply look for the term “finely textured beef” or just “textured beef” because that’s the popular name for pink slime today.

If you recall, Ranco Feeding Corporation recently recalled 8.7 million pounds of beef products, which is well over a year’s worth of meat processing. This can affect the pricing of beef, therefore sending companies and manufacturers to heavily depend on the pink slime additive. Beef prices are expected to rise 3 to 4 percent this year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The price of meat has been sending shoppers into sticker shock, and yet beef prices are still expected to rise 3 to 4 percent this year, according to the USDA- partly because the cattle herd has shrunk to a 63-year low, according to Bloomberg.

It doesn’t matter, where we’re headed- eventually we won’t have to worry about spikes in the price of meat because soon enough it’ll be grown and made in a laboratory somewhere. It is coming very soon, because researchers have now held the first-ever taste test of what’s been named “cultured meat” which is cloned meat made in the laboratory.

How is it exactly made?

The meat is produced by using stem cells, from the cow shoulder muscle from the slaughterhouse. The cells are later multiplied in a nutrient solution and put into small petri dishes, where they became muscle cells and form tiny strips of muscle fiber. Nearly 20,000 strips are used to make a five-ounce burger, which contain breadcrumbs, salt, and some natural colorings as well. So, next time you’re eating a burger you may want to do your research first to see what that grocery store or restaurant is really using for meat.

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