Written by Joe Scotchie: firstname.lastname@example.org Friday, 06 April 2012 00:00
The Roslyn School District has announced that effective immediately, it will no longer serve meat containing the ammonia-treated filler.
“The meat product, called ‘lean finely texture beef’ but now widely known as ‘pink slime,’ has been used in many beef products that were sold through the National School Lunch Program to schools nationwide, which are contractually obligated to buy products from specified vendors,” a statement on the school district’s website said.
“Though the filler met USDA approval, questions have arisen recently about its use,” the statement continued. “Since the controversy over ‘pink slime’ erupted in recent weeks, schools have now been given the option of refusing products containing the filler beginning next fall, at the start of the 2012-13 school year. However, the Roslyn Public Schools has already stopped serving any meat products to children that contain the filler.”
Recently, The Roslyn News ran an exposé of meat with the filler in question, one that is served in school lunches all across America.
Pink slime comes from waste products of a slaughtered cow. In the past, such products were either discarded or used for dog food. In recent years, however, a company called Beef Products, Inc. put the discarded parts through a centrifuge, compressing them, while also spraying them with ammonia gas and flash freezing them, all of which produced a filler for meat. The ammonia was permitted to be excluded from the labeling process because it was considered a processing agent and not an ingredient.
According to the article, “Attack of The Pink Slime,” (The Roslyn News, March 22, 2012), ammonia is found in the human body as a building block for proteins. It is also used in fertilizers, pesticides and cleaning solutions among other things. It is one substance that is capable of crossing the blood brain barrier. Elevated levels of ammonia can lead to impaired memory, shortened attention span, sleep disturbances, ataxia, seizures and coma. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has deemed the ammonia-treated waste product Lean Finely Textured Beef (LBTB) or pink slime as “safe.”
However, school district officials have deemed it not safe enough for Roslyn area schoolchildren and so, it has been pulled from the school lunch program.
—Dr. Cynthia Paulis contributed to this article