- Much a goo about 'pink slime'
At present, the USDA does not require labeling that would let consumers
know if the beef they're buying contains the mixture.
"The only solution I can give you is: The only way you can use ground beef is by watching the butcher
grind it in front of you - which they can do, but that's a real pain in the backside," said Oliver.
However, a new report in the tablet-only newspaper The Daily suggests the USDA plans
to buy 7 million pounds of lean beef trimmings from BPI this spring for the national school lunch program. Change.org has since started a petition against the USDA and its use of BPI's products
in school lunches.
Red Slime: Scourge of Supermarket Sushi
You've heard of pink slime, aka "lean finely textured beef," a bubblegum-colored paste
made from the scrapings off cattle carcasses. But what about red slime, the viscous scrapings from the skeletons of tuna and
other fish, a supermarket sushi staple, and sometimes a vector for food poisoning? As nasty as it looks, pink slime is treated
with ammonia to kill bacteria and served cooked. Red slime is untreated and served raw.
The brilliant nutrition scientist Marion Nestle answers a reader's questions about red slime in her montly Q&A column:
Q: I had no idea that the tuna in my sushi roll was scraped off the bones in
India, ground up, frozen, and shipped to California. Is this another "slime" product? Can I eat it raw?
A: No sooner did the furor over lean, finely textured beef (a.k.a.
"pink slime") die down than we have another one over sushi tuna. On April 13, the Food and Drug Administration said Moon Marine
USA, an importing company based in Cupertino, was voluntarily recalling 30 tons of frozen raw ground yellowfin tuna, packaged
as Nakaochi scrape.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention investigations linked consumption of Nakaochi
scrape sushi to about 250 diagnosed cases and an estimated 6,000 or so undiagnosed cases of illness caused by two rare strains
of salmonella. Among the victims who were interviewed, more than 80 percent said they ate spicy tuna sushi rolls purchased
in grocery stores or restaurants. [Emphasis added.]
Nestle doesn't call it red slime, but I've eaten enough sketchy sushi to recognize
the stuff. My advice? Steer clear of chopped and "spicy" rolls, unless you watch the chef chop the fish.
Speaking of sketchy, when I read the name Moon Marine, my first question was whether
the Unification Church is trafficking in tainted tuna. Melissa McCart of the Broward Palm Beach New Times is wondering the same thing. In addition
to the Washington Times, the Moonies are deep into the sushi grade seafood business. If you know the answer, please drop me a line.