Ammoniated beef. What’s that you ask?
It’s the fatty, almost unusable parts of the cow that are treated with an ammonia and water mixture in order to kill bacteria. It’s been used in up to 70% of all ground beef sold in the U.S.
Why didn’t you know about this before?
The FDA doesn’t require the ground beef that contains this “pink slime,” as it has come to be called, to include ammonia in the list of ingredients since it’s considered a process for treating the beef. This “process” is so widespread because it allows beef producers to use otherwise inedible meat as a cheap filler for most ground beef products. And being absent from the label means that any ground beef products you purchase could potentially contain this sneaky disgusting stuff, unless you have a really good butcher whose word you trust.
I first learned about this from popular British chef, Jamie Oliver, about a year ago when he was crusading for healthier school meals in the LAUSD. He showed the process that goes into ammonia-treated beef; using an ingredient common in household cleaning products, that’s toxic nonetheless, and once the beef goes through a meat grinder it’s indistinguishable from regular ground beef. A quick and dirty way to get people to eat subpar food but charge the same price. Needless to say, if I did eat meat, ground beef would be the first thing to go.
McDonald’s has announced that it has not used ammoniated beef in it’s restaurants for the past 5 months. Which is great, but it makes you think about all that fast food you ate as a kid…