The answer to the title question is “It depends.” It depends who you are listening to, who you trust, and how important eating all natural food is to you.
First- what is Pink Slime? Pink slime is a nickname given to Boneless Lean Beef Trimmings, also knows as BLBT.
How is Pink Slime (BLBT) made? In order to extract valuable lean beef trimmings from fat, centrifuges are used to separate the fat out of the trimmings. The resulting meat is then squeezed through small tubes where it is exposed to a small amount of ammonia gas which turns it pink. This gas is necessary to kill e-coli as the trimmings are from parts of the cow that are more susceptible to being contaminated. This product is then added back into the beef, typically by grinding.
Is it dangerous? According to the FDA- no. It is still a meat product and is treated as such. Some food safety advocates warn against it, others say the criticism is overblown.
Is it edible? Again- yes, it is. It is basically just the scrapings off the bone. However, it has been exposed to a type of ammonia.
Should you eat it? That’s up to you. Are you ok with eating meat that has been chemically treated to kill e.coli? Are you ok with eating a product that does not specify all the ingredients? Keep in mind, unless you have been buying organic, locally grown beef, you have been eating pink slime for 20+ years. Does it make a difference now that you know?
Why is pink slime used? I’m guessing the politically correct answer from beef producers/processors is that they want to use every bit of meat they can so nothing goes to waste. I’m also guessing that money is a huge factor. The more product you can scrape and squeeze out of each cow, the more you can sell.
We as consumers are very much to blame. Additives keep costs down and we love to buy our food as cheaply is we can. People run all over town to save a few pennies and heaven forbid, one store tries to charge a bit more for quality. We’ll fuss about pink slime for a few days, much like we fussed about eggs from abused chickens, but when it comes to paying a bit more…..well, that’s a different story.
Food has become like everything else. We want cheap toys! What? It contains lead paint? We want cheap clothes! Do we think about the conditions in sweat shops? We want jobs! Wait- it can be manufactured cheaper overseas?
We want locally grown, grass-fed beef with no antibiotics, fillers, or “pink slime.” What??? It costs more? We seem to quit being outraged when it comes to our pocketbook.
Is pink slime dangerous? The jury is out so the choice is yours. Do your research and do what you think is best for you and your family.