'Pink Slime' Goes Back to School
Looks like Jamie Oliver's battle against "pink slime" isn't over yet. Turns out the "slime," or "lean, finely textured beef," is making its way back into school lunches, and parents might not be too happy about it.
The product, which caused plenty of drama last year in the form of factory shutdowns, Chapter 11 filings, and a slew of media reports denouncing the "pink slime," is actually beef trimmings treated with ammonia that are often used to fill up your ground beef.
Last year, all but three states denounced the meat; Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota were the only states with orders for beef that contained the filler. As of Sept. 3, however, Politico notes that seven states have put in orders for 2 million pounds of potentially pink-slimed beef, to be served in the 2013-2014 school year.
In addition to the original three, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Texas have also put in orders. And while the decision might not be popular with food-wary parents, Politico notes that using beef with the lean finely textured beef brings down the cost of gruond beef by some 3 percent.
Interestingly enough, however, the states themselves do not decide what type of beef to buy; rather, these decisions are made on the local level. "It has always remained the same, it’s a local decision. Schools have the option to request the type of beef they want to serve and USDA fulfills those orders," a spokesman for the Texas Department of Agriculture told Politico.
So don't go around writing letters to your state government just yet.