My Plantcentric Journey

Posts tagged ‘Pink Slime’

“White Slime” Emerges as Newest Consumer Worry

This is beyond gross.  Laura

 

By Kimberly Budziak | November 26, 2012

A recent Huffington Post article examines the mounting food safety issues surrounding chicken products.

Pink slime, aka the ammonia-treated “lean, finely textured beef” developed by America’s ground-beef suppliers, can no longer hog the slime spotlight. Enter “white slime”—aka chicken. In a November 19 article for The Huffington Post, contributor Bruce Friedrich explains why consumers should be far more concerned about the threat chicken poses than its textured beef counterpart.

more fecal bacteria was found on kitchen sponges, dish towels, and in the sink drain than in the toilet, adding that public health expert Dr. Michael Greger has equated chicken “juice” to essentially being “raw fecal soup.”

Read the rest here:  http://vegnews.com/articles/page.do?pageId=5196&catId=8

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Thirty Days, Thirty Reasons, Thirty Ways: Go Vegetarian In October!

Kathy Stevens

Founder and director, Catskill Animal Sanctuary

So on Monday, October 1, is World Vegetarian Day–the kickoff for Vegetarian Awareness Month than runs throughout October. If you’ve been toying with the idea of going vegetarian, then let me be your cheerleader, and let the following lists inform and inspire! Good luck…and please share your journey!

A Reason a Day to Go Vegetarian
1. Because there are thousands of reasons to go vegetarian (only room for 30 here), and only two not to: 1. because you’re afraid to try something new 2. because you don’t know what to eat. Thousands of reasons outweigh two, don’t they?

2. Because if you want to get healthy, you should start with food! Replace cancer-causing, fat, pesticide and hormone-laced meats with cancer-preventing, anti-inflammatory, cholesterol lowering foods like apples, broccoli, blueberries, carrots, flax, garlic, leafy greens, nuts and sweet potatoes.

3. Because vegetarians are about 40% less likely to develop cancer than meat eaters.

4. Because our meat and dairy-centric diet is woefully lacking in health-giving fiber, contained only in plant-based foods. A minimum of 35 grams per day is recommended; the typical American consumes only 12.

5. Because four out of five Americans with cardiovascular disease who switch to a healthy (low-fat, whole foods) vegetarian diet reverse their symptoms completely.

6. The news gets better. Heart and blood-vessel diseases, diabetes, and of course obesity are preventable for 95% of us if we follow a healthy vegan diet, exercise, and manage stress.

7. Because I’ll bet you agree with Dean Ornish, one of the researchers who proved statement #4: “I don’t understand why asking people to eat a well-balanced vegetarian diet is considered drastic while it is medically conservative to cut people open or put them on powerful cholesterol-lowering drugs.”

8. Because humans are the only species that drinks the milk of another species, and that fact alone should give you pause. Think about it for a moment. Isn’t it logical that cow’s milk is designed to feed baby cows? When ingested by humans, cow’s milk is linked to constipation, allergies, obesity, acne, childhood diabetes, and much more. It’s chock full of cholesterol (plant foods have none), and likely filled with antibiotics, growth hormones, and pesticides.

9. Because of pink slime. PERIOD.

10. Because 70% of our antibiotics are fed to livestock. Doesn’t that scare you…just a little?

11. Because we are going to run out of food if we keep growing most of it to feed animals, who in turn feed far fewer peoplepeople than if we grew the food to feed directly to people. (One can feed 16 to 20 vegetarians with the same amount of natural resources as a single meat eater.)

12. In 2006, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) concluded that worldwide livestock farming generates 18% of the planet’s greenhouse gas emissions — compared with 13% generated by all transportation combined. In 2009, however, WorldWatch Institute reported that the more accurate figure may be as high as 51%. Our diet is cooking our planet.

13. Because along with hundreds of scientists and many major media, the head of the U.N.’s Nobel Prize-winning panel on climate change urged people to cut back on meat to combat climate change.

14. Because it takes over 2,500 gallons of water to produce a pound of beef, vs. 49 gallons to produce a pound of apples. We’re using so much water for beef production that many leading environmentalists are predicting that Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Colorado, and New Mexico will soon be virtually uninhabitable. Why? We’re taking 13 trillion gallons of water per year from theOgallala aquifer, the largest body of fresh water on earth. Its water is left from the melted glaciers of the last Ice Age. Once the water is gone, it’s gone.

15. Because vast bodies of water like the Chesapeake Bay are becoming toxic waste sites. Due to massive algae blooms from chicken and dairy factories that line the Eastern Shore, only ten percent of the Bay has enough oxygen in the summer. It’s so depleted that animals leap from the water to breathe. We humans have given their desperate act the ironic name of “jubilee.”

16. Because 75% of our topsoil has been depleted primarily due to growing animals to feed people. It takes 500 years to replace one inch of topsoil–the stuff that food grows in. “A nation that destroys its soil destroys itself,” said Franklin D. Roosevelt.

17. Because there are no septic systems on factory farms. Americans eat around 9 billion animal each year: that makes for a lot of poop. Some manure goes directly into waterways, and some is stored in giant pits called “lagoons.” When they leech, crack, or overflow, feces goes directly into our rivers, streams, lakes…and our drinking water.

18. Because chickens, cows, and pigs aren’t fed what they’re designed to eat. They’re fed what’s cheap and what makes them grow incredibly fast. Some of what they eat is rendered animals – the boiled and ground up remains of dead and diseased animals, including roadkill and euthanized pets.

19. Because in ways that truly matter, we are all the same. Think about it. Whether human or non-human animal, we all seek happiness and pleasure, we all try to avoid pain and suffering. We all have rich and complex emotional lives.

20. Because when folks sneak into chicken and turkey factories, here’s what they see: gas masks hanging inside buildings in which the animals lived, the lack of anything resembling farm life–not a single window to let in fresh air, not a tiny patch of earth. Dead and dying animals…lots of them: the bruised and bloodied ones, the ones struggling for air, the deformed ones, the ones covered in sores. As Jonathan Saffran Foer writes, “the power brokers of factory farming know that their business model depends on people not being able to see (or hear about) what they do.”

21. Because of “flip-over syndrome.” It’s the term used by the poultry industry to describe sudden death. Forced to grow more quickly than their bodies can handle, about five percent of chickens die this way prior to their predetermined death sentence at 42 days.

22. Because terms like humanely-raised, free-range, and all-natural are…um…bullshit. Sorry. Utterly meaningless. The definitions are ludicrous and the industries regulate themselves.

23. Because brain scientists have recently acknowledged that most animals are conscious and aware in the same way that humans are, and confirmed that virtually all animals have at least some degree of sentience — even bees, according to Christof Koch in his Huffington Post blog, “Consciousness is Everywhere.”

24. Because of the hundreds of moments we’ve witnessed at Catskill Animal Sanctuary: pigs laughing, sheep protecting other species, turkeys cuddling up in our laps to fall asleep, tender friendships among goats and chickens.

25. Because it’s plain and simply wrong for a newborn animal to be ripped from its mother, terrified and hungry, and driven into a crowded pen with other terrified babies, purchased and slaughtered immediately or caged in darkness for four months, then slaughtered. (Veal).

26. Because here’s one of many examples of why switching to fish doesn’t help. During the process of fishing for tuna, 150 other species are routinely killed and thrown back into the ocean. Among them are great white sharks, swordfish, sea horses, bluefish, albatross, gulls, bottlenose dolphins, harbor porpoises, killer whales, pilot whales, humpback whales, loggerhead turtles.

27. Because unless we reverse course, there will soon be no more edible fish in our mighty, majestic oceans.

28. Because I’ve barely scratched the surface here in depicting how animals suffer under our modern agribusiness system. I haven’t even mentioned pigs, who, like the rest, suffer mightily.

29. Because my guess is that you try hard to be a good human being, yet as a carnivore, you unwittingly subject hundreds of living beings each year to a level of suffering that you wouldn’t wish upon the vilest human being you could conjure up.

30. Because in the time that it took me to write this article, the USDA reports that almost 1 million chickens, 28,526 turkeys, 23,027 pigs and many thousands more animals — animals brain scientists have just said are conscious and aware, just like humans — were killed to feed us.

Reeling? GOOD! Here are 30 ways to get started on your vegan journey!

1. Wanna learn about this lifestyle? Order the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine’svegetarian starter kit,
2. or download a veg starter kit from Mercy For Animals.
3. PCRM even helps pregnant women take care of themselves—and the baby!
4. And they help parents get the diet thing right from the beginning!
Oprah to the rescue! From her ‘Vegan Starter Kit’ website, here are:
5. Three weeks of what to eat 3x/day,
6. answers to lots of questions you probably have,
7. a pretty awesome shopping list,
8. and vegan alternatives to everyday foods.
9. No matter where you live or travel, Happy Cow will help you locate somewhere good to eat!
10. So will VegGuide!
11. Pam Rice’s fabulous publication, 101 Reasons Why I’m a Vegetarian, will inform and inspire (thanks to Pam for supplying some of the information in my lists!)
12. Think your favorite chain restaurant won’t have food for you? Think again! Moe’s, Subway, Cheesecake Factory, Olive Garden, California Pizza Kitchen, PF Changs, and Taco Bell have several options; some, like Moe’s, have lots! Even Burger King has a veggie buger. Go here to see for yourself.
13. If you live in New York City, Westchester, or most of the Hudson Valley, Healthy Gourmet to Go will deliver your meals for the week. And they’re good!
14. Let Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s books help you get cookin’!
15. On a budget? No problem! Veg diets don’t have to be expensive.
16. If you navigate life via your iphone/ipad, download helpful apps!
17. Ellen (as in DeGeneres) offers a short list of films to rock your world and inspire you onward.
18. To her list, I’d add Peaceable KingdomThe WitnessSuperSize Me,
19. Let’s not forget Catskill Animal Sanctuary. Our GO VEG page answers your questions and gives you and helpful resources. My first book, Where the Blind Horse Sings, will help you see farm animals from a whole new perspective, as will a weekend visit. Finally, meet great folks and hone your skills at a CAS vegan cooking class! Sign up early: they sell out fast!
20. As soon as you check out kriscarr.com, you’ll be hooked. Betcha.
21. Shop for products from food to clothes at Vegan Essentials and Pangea online.
22. Need some hand-holding or some know-how? You can still access PCRM’s 21-day VeganKickstart Program. (It’s even offered in Spanish!)
23. Here are some more replacements for your current — I MEAN FORMER — dairy and meat choices. (Many items are available in your local grocery or health food store).
24. Explore what various religions have to say about animal cruelty.
25. Follow CAS on Twitter for vegan recipes and breaking animal agriculture news.
26. For inspiration, education, shopping and so much more, read GirlieGirl Army and Our Hen House. And check out Our Hen House’s award-winning podcast!
27. For fun and good vegan gossip: Ecorazzi.
28. Relax at night with your copy of VegNews–celebrate your new life!
29. Attend an animal welfare conference or an animal rights conference to meet like-minded people. Or google “vegan meet-up” where you live.
30. Take your journey one day at a time, and remember that every step you take towards a vegan lifestyle is a powerful step in the right direction!

You Are What You Eat?

You are what you eat?

New York Times food columnist Mark Bittman joins the conversation on “pink slime,” a chemically infused product of processed meat, and the deeper issues with the “slime” that go beyond just being unappetizing.

Pink Slime

Live From The Cutting Room Floor Mark Bittman

April 9, 2012, 3:55 PM

Live From the Cutting Room Floor

By MARK BITTMAN
The author discussing pink slime with Chris Hayes and company on April 7.MSNBCThe author discussing pink slime with Chris Hayes and company on April 7.

I was a guest on “Up w/Chris Hayes” Saturday, talking, it seemed, about everything: a bit of an ambitious agenda. When I go back, the conversation will continue.

Meanwhile, since the initial topic was “pink slime,” about which I wrote last week, I used my pre-air time in the studio to outline the issues I thought were worth mentioning. We didn’t get to a tenth of this, so I thought it worth posting.

(I was taught never to apologize for a story submission, but these are close to stream-of-consciousness. But hey: that’s why god invented blogging.)

Perhaps you’ll find some things of interest:

1. Democracy. Are we entitled to know what goes in our food? The answer’s easy, but Big Food thinks it’s “no.” It’s not just ammonia in beef, it’s arsenic and antibiotics – banned antibiotics at that, and Prozac and all kinds of drugs – in chicken and pork. It’s growth hormones in milk, it’s genetically engineered ingredients in just about everything. And we’re told about none of this unless some concerned and often courageous citizen or journalist starts making noise about it.

Just Label It!

That’s what’s been encouraging about this pink slime business (and that’s what’s encouraging about ag-gag laws) – how hard it’s being fought. Not that we’re going to get rid of it, not because it’s a major issue in the great scheme of things — it matters, of course, but there are many other, greater problems — but that public pressure is causing changes, like improved labeling. (Almost everyone polled wants to know whether there are genetically engineered products in their foods, and whether ultimately that’s important or not doesn’t really matter, if it’s something everyone wants.) Public pressure can also reduce our reliance on factory farms and industrial agriculture in general, public pressure can make our food supply safer and better, and in turn make us a healthier country.

That’s why the pink slime campaign is important: it’s a victory for public pressure over corporate power and therefore one for democracy. Note, too, that this happened nationally, which shows once again that noisemaking and protests are good for more than local issues.

2. Why is this happening in the first place? Pink slime and E.coli/salmonella; the chicken arsenic and inspection issues about which Nick Kristof wrote last week, cuts in funding at the U.S.D.A., F.D.A., E.P.A., and so on … what we’re seeing are budget cuts as a form of deregulation, and that deregulation is geared toward allowing producers to raise the animals in our food supply any damn way they please, in the most profitable way possible.

As anyone who’s been following these issues knows, cattle are meant to eat grass, not grain. Yet most cattle are fed grain, almost exclusively, and grain messes with their digestive systems. Those cows’ messed-up stomachs become breeding grounds for E.coli — which can cause kidney failure and death — and salmonella, which is rarely deadly but can be extremely unpleasant. (You know how when you have the flu you want to die? Like that.) To combat this, producers must use boatloads of antibiotics — 80 percent of all antibiotics used in this country are given to animals, and the vast majority of those are given prophylactically — and resort to techniques like treating meat with ammonia or (perhaps a shade less distastefully) irradiation.

Pink slime, or "lean finely textured beef," as it's referred to in polite company.Jamieoliver.comPink slime, or “lean finely textured beef,” as it’s referred to in polite company.

You might argue that these are public health measures, and in a perverse way they are — they’re making an unsafe product less so — but why do we need them in the first place? Because our production methods create problems. And Big Food, which finds these methods enormously profitable, wants us to deal with the symptoms of the problems (wash tainted meat in ammonia) rather than the problems themselves (raise healthy cattle). To defund programs that attempt to bring those production methods — the real problem — under control, to make them safer, better and healthier, is the equivalent of defunding sewage systems because we’re able to wash down our streets with ammonia. If you get my drift. It ain’t pretty.

3. The jobs issue: I am really annoyed about the “this costs jobs” nonsense, which is simply a line Republicans dredge up when they don’t like something. They’re not complaining about Apple doing all its manufacturing in China, and they don’t make noise when auto workers are laid off, and they certainlydon’t care when budget cuts reduce the number of ag inspectors or administrators in the SNAP program. They only kvetch about job losses when it suits them politically.

We need to push Democrats to have more spine to support intelligent measures even if they “cost jobs.” The extreme example is tobacco: I’m sorry if tobacco farmers can’t sell their crop, but their crop breeds death; I’ll be sorry, too, when Americans stop eating so much meat and people in that industry start losing jobs. I’d be sorry for people on the automatic weapons assembly line if gun control ever develops any teeth. (I’ll be sorry for the unemployed grief counselors, too.)

But if a product means death for you or your neighbor or the environment, we simply shouldn’t be producing it. If people lose their jobs as a result, I’m sympathetic, but we can’t be supporting a process that poisons our citizenry. The extreme example would be to complain about health care workers losing their jobs if we were to eat less industrially processed food and get healthier as a result. If the only way to keep unemployment “down” is to employ people creating deadly products or dealing with their consequences, maybe that’s worth looking at.

If you want to create jobs in the food supply, let’s have real farmers raise real animals, and let’s double the number of inspectors, so we can create jobs that protect people, not jobs that kill them. Sheesh.

Michael Taylor, Deputy Commissioner for Foods at the F.D.A.U.S. Food and Drug AdministrationMichael Taylor, Deputy Commissioner for Foods at the F.D.A.

4. Finally, a word about Michael Taylor, the so-called food safety czar who is a former Monsanto lobbyist. At the moment we have little room for hope that the food system will be fundamentally changed, but it’s not precisely Taylor’s fault. The changes we need to see are not forthcoming because a) they’re not priorities for the Obama administration and b) even if they were, the administration would be fought to death on them.

I do want to remind everyone, however, that candidate Obama thought G.M.O. labeling was a great idea; President Obama, evidently, doesn’t care so much. Yet a million people signed a petition asking the F.D.A. to mandate labeling of G.M.O. foods and in polls, something like 80 or 90 percent of Americans want that to happen. The fact that it hasn’t happened is not Taylor’s fault, but because Monsanto still has a disproportionate amount of influence, which it would no matter who was in charge of this stuff. Margaret Hamburg, ostensibly Taylor’s boss, is one of the good guys.

Not that I’m in favor of Taylor, and not that I think he’s going to be helpful in getting G.M.O.s labeled. But once again, he’s a symptom — not the disease.

reprinted from:  http://bittman.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/09/live-from-the-cutting-room-floor/

Pink Slime and Beyond: 5 Implications

As those who know me best will attest, I am far from crude. If anything, I tend to err the other way — with an excess of Monkish fastidiousness. It is in deference to that inclination, and on the chance you may share it, that I warn you in advance of a departure this conversation requires. I am about to use the word “snot” in a less-than-pleasant context.

I was having dinner in an airport restaurant last week, around the time nutrition news was slathered in pink slime. Two young businessmen were sharing a meal and spirited conversation at a nearby table. I was not listening in, and don’t know what their conversation was about. But I couldn’t help but notice, out of the corner of an eye, that one of them was repeatedly dipping a fork into a small plastic container of salad dressing, before spearing some portion of his salad.

That’s a good practice, by the way, because dressing on the tines of a fork imparts flavor to the salad with a lot less dressing, and many fewer calories, than if the dressing douses the salad. But the relevant consideration was something else. As he raised his fork from the container of dressing, it hung down from the tines in strands each time, looking for all the world like long strings of purple snot. Sorry — I warned you.

What WAS it? The purple was, presumably, imparted by balsamic vinegar — no problem there. But I’m sure you know as well as I that the consistency of vinegar is not remotely snot-like. What gives salad dressing the consistency of the mucopolysaccharides we do all we can to banish from our nares, sinuses, and bronchi? I don’t know.

I received a plastic cup of “balsamic vinaigrette.” It was pink, and slimy, and I ignored it. I asked for olive oil and balsamic vinegar — and made use of those. No slime, or snot, was involved.

I have been reflecting on pink slime, and purple snot, ever since, and think there are five important implications here, only one of which — and the least important — has to do with pink slime, per se.

1. Pink slime is rather yucky. As you likely know by now, this less-than-flattering but well-deserved moniker applies to lean finely textured beef, a widely-used food additive. Some of you now know that you have been eating the stuff all along, in blissful ignorance.

Whether or not pink slime is bad for health — a topic generating impassioned debate — may be moot. If people don’t like the idea of eating it, it will go away. I have an opinion about the likely health effects of pink slime, but there’s no need to go there. What I know best is that the foods best for health are generally not prone to any such adulterations.

2. Pink slime is the visible tip of an invisible iceberg. I know this from working in nutrition for 20 years. I know it, in particular, from work related to NuVal, which has required that over 100,000 foods — literally — come over the transom, with full ingredient lists on display. I had much better-than-average knowledge of the food supply before this, but looking at ingredients in 100,000 foods, I certainly have learned things I never knew I never knew!

Pink slime tells us much about the character of a modern food supply comprising hundreds of thousands of packaged foods, and a whole industry devoted to additives. Pink slime has been “outed,” so you can get it out of your diet. But how many other variations on the theme of pink slime might there be? What IS that purple snot salad dressing, anyway? How many food components have yet to be outed, and thus are still finding their way into you — and your family — as a matter of routine? Food for thought.

3. Beware the post-apocalyptic Twinkie. Jokes abound that little other than cockroaches and Twinkies will survive the apocalypse. But this is only funny up to a point. Many studies show that higher intakes of pure foods — mostly plants — enhance the length and quality of life; while diets of mostly processed foods generally mean less years of life, less life in years. In other words, if it lengthens the shelf-life of foods, there is a good chance it shortens the shelf-life of people eating those foods! When the “people” in question are, for instance, your kids, suddenly it’s not at all funny. What we eat matters!

4. If you want to know what ISN’T in your food, you only need to know what is! OK, so you didn’t know about pink slime before last week, and you don’t know what makes purple snot either. And neither of us knows how many other things there might be in our food that we don’t really want to eat. But we don’t have to. The immune system doesn’t know every pathogen in the universe — it just knows “self,” and what belongs in the body. But knowing what belongs on the reservation, it can do a pretty good job of keeping everything else off. We can do the same — by eating foods with ingredients we know, recognize, can situate in some part of the plant or animal kingdom, and can pronounce. Don’t assume that what you don’t know about food can’t hurt you. There is some evidence to suggest that in some instances, it has been engineered to do exactly that. Or at least to make sure… that you can’t eat just one.

5. Demand — or lack thereof — trumps supply! The major supplier of pink slime to the food industry is filing for bankruptcy. This did not require any legislation — just widespread consumer outrage. If you won’t buy it, they can’t sell it. Of course, I feel badly for any factory workers losing jobs over this — they are the innocent, collateral damage in the war for food integrity. But the real message here is that the food supply is not some inviolate, immutable thing. When the food demand changes, the food supply changes! We have real power, folks, so let’s use it. If every loving parent and grandparent in the nation took a real interest in, acquired a working knowledge of, and made purchases in accord with what’s in our food — the food supply would get better in a big hurry.

Pink slime happens to have been outed. But what other things that you never knew you never knew were in your food are still finding their way into you, and your kids? “You are what you eat,” combined with either pink slime or purple snot, make a rather unappetizing recipe.

So let’s know what we eat, and eat what we know. The most important thing this tale reveals is that when we do so, we’re in charge!

-fin

Dr. David L. Katz; www.davidkatzmd.com
www.turnthetidefoundation.org

For more by David Katz, M.D., click here.

For more on diet and nutrition, click here.

Follow David Katz, M.D. on Twitter: www.twitter.com/DrDavidKatz

reprinted from: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-katz-md/pink-slime_b_1397720.html?ref=health-and-fitness&ir=Health+and+Fitness&ncid=edlinkusaolp00000009

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