You’ve been slimed!
"Slime." As someone who was born in the '80s, I think of the gross green dude from Ghostbusters or that nasty gelatinous substance that was regularly dropped on people on Nickelodeon. Wasn't "slime" sold in single plastic containers in toy vending machines as well? But I digress: I'm sure many of my contemporaries have fond memories of the green slime from our childhoods, but that is not the slime that has been plastered all over the news lately. That would be "pink slime." And guess what? We have all eaten it. Back in 1994, Rick Perry's "Lean Finely Textured Beef" was developed in the wake of public health concerns over E. coli in beef. A process was developed by the founder of Beef Products Inc. that disinfects the meat using ammonia (YES, you heard that right...AMMONIA). The additive was approved for human consumption by the USDA in 2001. Since its approval, consumer advocates, scientists, and even internal United States Department of Agriculture staff staff have objected to its addition to ground beef in the U.S. In 2007, the USDA determined the disinfection process was so effective that it would be exempt from "routine testing of meat used in hamburger sold to the general public. More disturbingly, beef in the U.S. can be labeled "100 percent ground beef" even if it contains up to 15 percent pink slime in the U.S. You can only be confident that your ground beef has no pink slime in it if it comes with a USDA Organic label. OK... what?? I knew those "mystery meat" hamburgers and hot dogs weren't healthy for me, but not in my wildest imagination could I have known that I was eating something that was treated with the same thing that I use to clean windows. Maybe the father from "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" was on to something when he sprayed Windex on everything, but I doubt it.