Pink Slime in School Lunches

As a follow-up to the story about pink slime in school lunches, the USDA has essentially given it the green light.  While officially it will be up to the individual schools to decide if they want to serve this to their kids or not, the reality is that with school budgets already incredibly reduced nationwide, they have no choice but to save a buck or two wherever they can.  It’s what the taxpayers are asking for – increased efficiency in schools, reduced expenses, without really considering the consequences of that request.  Sigh.

So, what can you do if this is something you care about as a parent?  Well it’s simple – pack a lunch for your kid(s).  Also face the reality, that while disgusting and potentially bacteria-laden (micro-biologists consider this a high risk food product), this pink slime is theoretically OK to eat and the real impact on a body is probably minimal, especially if ingested in moderation.

Keep pink slime out of school lunches!

Ok, so some of you are reading this headline and are a bit confused, I realized.  Pink slime?  Yeah, it’s what passes for hamburger in our schools and fast food restaurants.  Treehugger has a recent article about a whistleblower from this industry, check it out for all sorts of background info.

Anyway, there’s a petition at change.org to ask the USDA to stop the use of pink slime in the National School Lunch Program.  They’re closing in on their goal of 300,000 signatures and need your help!  You can find the petition here.

What is in a ‘burger’?

When you order a hamburger from a fast food restaurant, what do you think you’re eating?  Just meat?  Yeah, you wish.  The actual percentage that’s real muscle tissue ranges from 2-15%.  What’s the rest?  Ammonia-treated trimmings, or ‘pink slime’ as it’s been described.  McDonald’s recently announced they’ll stop using pink slime, now what about the rest of them?  Check out the video below, and for more on this, read this article at Care2.

 

Walmart to sell genetically modified corn

The ingredients in processed foods are already a bit of a mystery, but what about that fresh produce you’re buying?  Most people assume it’s natural and safe for consumption.  Well, apart from the pesticide concern (like bud nip), there’s a growing concern that the produce you buy may be genetically modified (a GMO, Genetically Modified Organism).  Why should you care?  Because this is being driven by corporate greed, not science.  The health concerns have not been adequately addressed by science, but this ‘food’ is put up for sale anyway without its true nature being labeled.

This summer, Walmart plans to sell genetically engineered corn on the cob in the fresh produce section.  This engineered corn from Monsanto produces Bt toxin, a pesticide.  Feed this stuff to rats and they get organ failure.  Which somehow means it’s safe for people I guess?

So, if you care about this stuff, what can you do?  First, shop at a store that cares, like Trader Joes or Whole Foods.  Second, ask the produce manager in your local grocery store which items they have for sale are genetically modified (don’t expect them to know, but the point here is to raise consciousness and let them know their customers care about this issue).  Third, sign this petition to send a signal to Walmart.  Oh, and fourth…plant a garden and grow as much of your own food as possible, to at least minimize the scientific anomalies you introduce to your digestive tract.