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article imageOp-Ed: Rebranding pink slime as 'Dude, it's beef' to make it appetising

By Katerina Nikolas     Apr 7, 2012 in Food
The meat processing industry is fighting back in defense of the reputation of lean, finely textured beef, better known by the less endearing term of "pink slime." State governors have come up with the alternative name of "Dude, it's beef."
Governor Rick Perry rose to the defense of the meat industry, saying "Let's call this product what it is and let 'pink slime' become a term of the past," as he stood forcefully behind the product being relabelled "Dude, it's beef" Fox News reported.
As Digital Journal reported, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad has called for a congressional congress hearing into who is behind the smear campaign which has attacked the healthy and tasty lean, finely textured beef. It seems that some of the blame is already being directed at celebrity chef Jamie Oliver for his dramatic expose of how pink slime is produced. An article in the Washington Post describes Jamie Oliver's attack on pink slime as a "shameless and scientifically ignorant attack."
It stands to reason that the meat industry and the politicians who receive donations from it will want to defend the product, but let's remind ourselves that lean, finely textured beef, or "Dude, it's beef" includes mechanically separated connective tissues and trimmings from near the hide, which are more likely to be exposed to fecal matter, which is why it is treated with ammonia before being added to ground beef.
The governors who defend the product so vehemently, proclaiming it an essential ingredient in the nations war against obesity, seem to believe pink slime was simply branded badly and by reinventing its name it will wow the consumer. Rebranding pink slime as "Dude, it's beef" is a publicity stunt that will hardly make the end product more appetising. They miss a very simple point which Kroger grasped when it discontinued using it. The point, as Kroger's made clear, is "customers have expressed their concerns that...lean finely textured something they do not want in their ground beef."
As the governors take their fight to the media, the consumer can at least enjoy the sight of them tucking into burgers laced with pink slime, for photo opportunities. It may well guarantee them a moment of fame; after all who can forget the memory of British M.P John Gummer feeding his four-year-old daughter a hamburger in the midst of the mad cow scare, a tasteless stunt that is remembered far longer than any political achievement he was involved in.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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