In the wake of the recent "pink slime" scandal, EOW has received press releases from various grocery stores and restaurant chains assuring us that no pink slime -- or boneless lean beef trimmings, in non-neologism speak -- is used in their food products or sold in their establishments.
Pink slime has been at the center of a national controversy after it was revealed that the 90 percent lean beef (as it is marketed) is actually composed of beef trimmings that have been passed through a centrifuge to separate the meat from the fat, then exposed to a puff of ammonia gas to raise the pH levels in the meat and kill any harmful bacteria.
EOW hasn't cared too much about the scandal, as it were, mostly for two reasons:
- It's sort of silly to get upset about a food product -- ground beef -- that most people don't have to eat, ever, for any reason.
- It's equally silly to demand an inexpensive version of a product that's expensive by nature -- remember, it takes 20 pounds of feed to produce one pound of beef -- and then get angry when the curtain is pulled back to reveal exactly the kind of cost-cutting measures necessary to provide that product at a discounted price.
But kids eating school lunches don't always have the choice to opt out of the ground beef that's in their burgers or Frito pies. And many school districts across the nation have been condemned for continuing to purchase the controversial product for their school lunch programs.
The Houston Independent School District, however, wants you to know that it is not among those offenders.
In a press release this morning, HISD stated:
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All HISD ground beef suppliers have confirmed this week that they do not use lean finely textured beef.
Houston Independent School District officials contacted the suppliers soon after concerns were raised about lean finely textured beef, also known as pink slime. As of Wednesday afternoon, each vendor had supplied HISD with written documentation confirming they have not sent the district any of the controversial products. In addition, HISD officials have inspected about $800,000 worth of frozen ground beef stored at the district's food services facility and confirmed it does not contain lean finely textured beef.
In the future, HISD will decline to purchase any products that contain lean finely textured beef.
So rest easy, HISD kids and parents. At least until the media finds a new terrifying food product to goose you with.