The Cost of Ending Pink Slime

By now you must have heard about the “pink slime” controversy.  The social media outrage has halted the use of finely textured beef trimmings in a majority of all ground beef, a practice that has been taking place since the early 1990.  Mother’s have taken arms against this product being served in their children’s school lunches, and many grocery chains and fast food companies have suspended their contract with Beef Products Inc. (BPI) before they feel the heat.

Now that the American Housewife has gotten the slime out of their beef, is she ready for the consequences?  According to a USA Today article on the subject, finely textured beef trimmings made up 15% of all hamburger served in the US.  We are going to have to make up that difference somewhere.  The article also notes that the price of beef is already up 25% since 2010 and could jump another 3-25 cents per pound with this new supply change.  Are you ready to pay the difference?

Along with the rising prices of beef, BPI has had to suspend production in three out of its four plants.  That equals a lot of people out of work.  I see this turning out similar to the American auto shut down, but this time there will be no government bailout.

This debate is going to get interesting.  We tend to get very angry over rising food prices and job loss is not good for economic recovery.  It is definitely something to watch and see how Suzy Homemaker will react when her summer grilling patties cost twice as much.  Will she rethink her decision to protest the or will she swallow the costs?

My personal view on the subject: Buy your meat from a local farmer.  Make sure it is grass-fed and humanely treated.  Eat less meat in general.  Less meat consumption means lower demand for filler.  I feel bad for the works that are not stuck between a rock and a hard place.

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4 Comments on “The Cost of Ending Pink Slime”

  1. Moma Beans says:

    Here’s an idea. Could be that many of the people who purchased the pink slime beef were eating too much…two burgers for dinner instead of lunch, the rise in price is a good incentive to eat less, especially of low quality beef. I agree totally about only eating humanely treated meat, but alas, there are many people who truly cannot afford it. Love you! Moma Beans

    • V says:

      True, but if people cannot afford good quality meat, they should buy lentils instead and avoid meat tout court: they’d save $$ and still get some healthy nutrients. That little wise choice would spare them from having to pay significant healthcare bills down the road too. Meat should be a treat, and as such, it has to be high quality – no compromise here!
      Big hug!
      V

      • Heather says:

        Lentils and beans are way cheaper than beef! What is it like in Italy? Do Italians treat meat as a treat, or have they been Americanized?

  2. V says:

    Italians have changed a lot over this past decade, and turned into Americans in a way.
    On one side you have Mc people, on the other you have Organic fans. So you’ll find a fast food and a fancy organic food restaurant almost everywhere (heaven knows if we like new fashions!)- and the economy feeds this polarization in consumer trends. Lentils and beans, well, we invented them! Italy has a long tradition of basic, simple ingredients which come from the land and the sea. We sure love our meet, but because we have plenty of produce, as well as fish, I’d say our diet’s overall well balanced. What truly drives the switch from conventional to organic, then, it is the so called “commercio equo-solidale”: more and more consumers want to make sure that people, animals and lands elsewhere on the planet have been treated with respect while producing what we buy here. “Local” is not a big thing, because the country’s so small, that almost by definition everything ends up being local. Personally, I am supporting the cause of organic, whole and mostly non-meat based diets, and I am surprised to discover how happily people welcome my inputs. As to myself, I feel inspired by your blog!


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