School cheeseburger

Pink slime is back in the news again. After fast food giant McDonald's removed it from its hamburgers, the substance is finding its way into school cafeterias.

Are your kids eating pink slime at school?

Last month, the controversy involving McDonalds' use of pink slime in its burgers opened people’s eyes to what this meat-like substance really is. Also called "lean beef trimmings," pink slime is essentially the rendered beef scraps, including connective tissue, that would otherwise be thrown away. This mixture is treated with ammonium hydroxide, said to kill bacteria like E. coli and salmonella, and then mixed with ground beef to form burger patties.

Jamie Oliver publicized McDonalds' use of pink slime on his show, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, and the fast food chain subsequently discontinued the use of the substance in their burgers. (However, McDonald’s denies that the show prompted this decision.)

Read more about the McDonald’s pink slime controversy >>

Pink slime rears its ugly head again

Just when we thought it might be safe to eat a burger, The Daily reported earlier this week that still might not be the case. Research has shown that up to 70 percent of the ground beef found in supermarkets contains pink slime. And don’t think that you can avoid it by checking the label. Because the USDA considers it meat, there is no other notation included.

School lunches just got scarier

What’s worse is that the USDA is planning on buying 7 million pounds of it for use in school lunch programs. This “meat,” which is used in dog food and has been banned in the United Kingdom, has been deemed safe enough by the USDA to continue to use and serve to our children.

Why hasn’t it been banned already?

As the outrage over pink slime being served to our children continues to grow, a petition has been started in an attempt to get this substance taken off cafeteria menus. The question has to be asked: Why is this even up for debate? If pink slime has been banned in other countries, it seems logical that we wouldn’t want to serve it at schools to our children. Bag lunches are looking better all the time.

Learn how to grind your own meat >> 

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