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Got Pink Slime?

Posted on: March 22nd, 2012

“Lean Finely Textured Beef” – AKA ‘Pink slime’

I’ve been warning folks about AMR (Automated Meat Recovery systems) for years because I’m appalled by the process.  At bulk processing facilities the bones and odd bits are sent to the AMR after cutting where they are stripped of every bit of ‘edible’ tissue from bones, including spinal tissue, cartilage and marrow, and blends them with the lowest grade and potentially contaminated trimmings, treating them with Anhydrous Ammonia (highly toxic and also used in methamphetamine production) to control dangerous pathogens.  The resulting product is a paste which was recently coined as ‘Pink Slime’, which is blended into ground meats and sold to price-first companies, who pass it onto price-first consumers.  Sadly the majority of ground meat sold today contain ‘meats’ from AMR systems.

And That’s Not All…
This is just one of a variety of facts that big corporations don’t want you to know about.  Other issues include the use of outside trimmings (of the lowest grade and potentially contaminated), and the blending of hundreds of different animals of various sources into huge batches of ground meats which are treated with ‘intervention kill steps’ to reduce pathogens such as e-coli.

My Rocky Mountain Green Chile Burger – get the recipe here

It’s Not Just Ground Beef

Tony’s Chicken Fingers are made with natural chicken breasts.

Sadly gimmicks and short cuts like Pink Slime, fillers, additives, chunked and formed meats, meat glues and the use of by-products is not limited to ground beef.  (Think of by-products as animal parts you’d never consciously eat – think about it, nothing is thrown away!)   These profit increasing tricks are the norm in all processed meats: lunch meats, pressed meats, sausages, chicken nuggets and fingers, hot dogs, turkey and chicken patties, sausages, fish sticks and so on.  Things we eat every day and we feed to our kids because they’re cheap.

Furthermore, the majority of the meat on the market today is ‘enhanced’ (as they call it) with water and chemical flavoring additives, increasing weight significantly and altering flavors to suit our fast food tastebuds.

Tony’s Sausages, handmade in house.

Am I Buying Bulk Meats?
If you shop the lowest price for meats or eat in restaurants, you eat these processed foods regularly.  Sub quality processed bulk meats are most common in grocery chains, price clubs, big box stores, schools, hospitals and restaurants.  The only way to avoid these meats is to ask questions, get to know your suppliers, actively avoid processed foods, and cook more at home.

They Don’t Know and Don’t Have to Tell
Unfortunately labeling laws disguise what is really in your foods.  The use of AMR meats (pink slime) does not have to appear on the label, and most stores don’t even know it’s there – and even if they do, they don’t have to tell you.  There is a wealth of information on a product label, if you know how to decode it.

The fact that this is allowed to go on is a case of big business and huge corporations pressuring the USDA into tweaking the rules all in the name of bigger profits.  Thank goodness we all don’t do business that way!

Now For Some Good News
While we disapprove of and refuse to sell bulk and processed products like these, they are probably what keeps us in business – because the Tony’s shopper is looking for something better.  While all our guests may not know exactly what is going on in the world of bulk meats, their tastebuds tell them there is a difference.

I am proud to say that after 34 years of business, we have never added any by-products, substitutes, or fillers to any of our meats, ground meats or sausages. At Tony’s, we truly believe in the practice of old world butchery, natural, and high quality meats.

To ensure the safety of our customers and their families, our ground meats have never and will never contain bulk meats, outside carcass trimmings, by-products or additives like “Pink Slime”. We grind our beef in small batches several times each day and only use whole muscle cuts; lean steak and roast trimmings from the loin, rib, sirloin and round, as well as whole muscle chucks tested free of e-coli.

For our ground chicken and turkey we use only all natural breast and thigh meat, and our ground pork and sausages are ground from all natural pork loin and shoulder. We never use by-products, skin, fillers, chemicals, preservatives or additives of any kind.

We also regularly tour and inspect all our suppliers to assure all our meats are of the highest quality and safety, and that they are never treated with chemicals or additives of any kind before they reach our doors.  Our buying standards are among the highest in the industry!

We’re old world butchers and don’t believe in gimmicks or short-cuts. We go to great lengths to assure safety and the highest quality meats possible so you can serve all our foods with complete confidence.  Learn more about why our meats are better.

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