We downplayed the "pink slime" controversy/debate/furor as long as we could because we thought it was being blown totally out of proportion. But it's one of those issues that doesn't seem to want to go away. So we jumped on this beef bandwagon with a story in today's paper.
There are two discouraging aspects to this story. One, because of the Internet and sensationalistic journalism, the American public has been led to believe this stuff - technically known as "Lean, Finely Textured Beef" - is gross and bad for you; and two, many bought every word of it.
Americans more and more tend to believe everything they see on the Internet, and "pink slime" has made a huge splash all over cyberspace. It's probably been Googled more than "Zimmerman."
No, mass hysteria hasn't occurred over "pink slime," but the moniker itself has influenced thousands of people in a negative way. And for no reason. Slime? Of course you don't want to associate yourself, much less purchase, anything that involves "slime," but it's only a word, and this is a product that has been around for quite some time. If it hadn't been for an email accidentally made public that included the author's decision to use the word "slime," we still wouldn't know anything about it.
If you've done you due diligence in your "pink slime" investigation and are of the population who puts stock in everything you read on the Internet and have bought into all the negativity surrounding "pink slime," then it should be just as easy to find testimony that there is no harm in eating it as it is to find posters and bloggers who are crying foul and are grossed out to the point they won't buy certain products anymore.
We here in the Midwest should trust our local grocery stores that they wouldn't sell us food that is bad for us. The people who work at these stores are our neighbors, our friends, and if it's good enough for their families, it's good enough for us.
You've probably seen pictures of "pink slime" on the Internet, and there's even a good chance you cringed when you saw them, but wouldn't you also cringe if you visited a large meat processing plant and saw some of the behind-the-scenes stuff that goes on there? It's probably not pretty, which is why so much attention is paid to treating and processing the food that ends up on our dinner plate.
Food safety is a major concern in the United States, and there are more important things to worry about than something called "pink slime."