Consumers have right to know facts about pink slime
During the past month, consumers and media outlets have expressed outrage over a beef additive found in many products that resembles a pink slime in its manufacturing process.
The product, called lean finely textured beef (LFTB), is composed of carcass trimmings that have been warmed, centrifuged for fat removal and treated with ammonium hydroxide gas to destroy pathogens such as E. coli, according to The Atlantic. Then, the product is compressed into blocks and put in freezers prior to being used.
Though the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) deems LFTB safe for human consumption, the public as a whole has rightfully been disgusted by the facts behind their daily meals. Consumers should be allowed to dictate what products they put in their bodies, and attempts to keep the product in the food industry without public knowledge should be stopped.
The uproar surrounding LFTB can be attributed to both its ammonium hydroxide ingredient and cultural values.
Though E. coli cases have decreased substantially because of the ammonium treatments since LFTBs introduction in school lunches, according to MSNBC, ammonium hydroxide is still a chemical found in fertilizers and household cleaners, and can release flammable vapors. When mixed with certain acids it can become ammonium nitrate, a common ingredient in homemade bombs. Even more disturbing is that the presence of LFTB in food products is not listed on nutritional labels, making it almost impossible for consumers to detect.
LFTB does have economical benefits, as it uses otherwise unusable parts of the cow. According to the Associated Press, one estimate suggests that it is used in about 50 percent of the countrys ground beef and burgers.
Some politicians, such as Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, have toured Beef Products LFTB plant to promote the safety of the product and agree that the industry has been a victim of a smear campaign, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. However, these political arguments are futile. According to the AP, Branstad has been given $150,000 over the past two years from individuals tied to Beef Products Inc.
Because consumers are now questioning LFTBs nutritional content, manufacturer AFA Foods has experienced a drop in demand. McDonalds, Wal-mart and other companies have decided to drop LFTB or give their customers a choice, and AFA Foods is now filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Ultimately, consumers are going to decide the fate of LFTB. As a nation that values free market principles, this is a solid example of the effects of supply and demand a process that wont be deterred by politicians touring manufacturing plants.
There are too many processed foods cherished in American food culture that pose potential health hazards. Education is a key element in exposing how our food is made and relying solely on government regulation is not enough to ensure full consumer consciousness.
Amanda Butler is a junior majoring in sociology and womens studies.
Get Top Stories Delivered Weekly
More usforacle News Articles
Recent usforacle News Articles
Discuss This Article
MOST POPULAR USFORACLE
GET TOP STORIES DELIVERED WEEKLY
FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER
LATEST USFORACLE NEWS
- A bond between brothers
- As exams near, student stress levels soar
- Message to draftees: Don’t mess this up
- Bulls held scoreless in midweek loss to Stetson
- As need for cybersecurity grows, USF class offers solutions
- Florida should pass laws to help women
- Tampa continues to tackle public transportation issue
FROM AROUND THE WEB
- Four Tech Tools That Can Help Your Small Business Grow
- Streaming Content Box Cuts Your Cable and Costs
- Non-Profit Venture Fund Seeks to Support The American Dream
- Sustained Happiness Starts from Within
- Reverse Mortgages Benefit Younger Seniors
- Sunshine State Shining New Light on the Banking Industry
- Honoring Moms : How 3 Inspiring Women are Changing the World
- Look Before You Buy: Virtual Reality Comes to Home...
- Olympic Power Couple Teams Up to Fight Blood Cancers with...
- Two Meals in One: Arborio Rice, Perfect for Risotto &...
COLLEGE PRESS RELEASES
- American U. professor predicts Trump will be impeached in new book
- Comic Book and Sports Card Show
- A Harvard Dean's 5 Essential Questions for Success
- COLLEGE STUDENTS: DO THESE THREE THINGS THIS SUMMER TO BOOST YOUR FINANCES
- Annual PepsiCo/SWE Student Engineering Challenge Gives Undergraduates Real-World Engineering Practicum