What’s the difference between venison burger, ground by my own hand, with meat from a deer I shot, and the ground beef labeled “pink slime”? I must confess before I answer this, that I fell into the trap myself – I bought the whole “pink slim” thing before I bothered reading up on it. Oops.
Answer: Nothing, other than the fact that the ground beef was treated by an anti-microbial disinfectant so I have a lesser chance of becoming ill by eating the ground beef.
When processing a deer, you use the good meat for steaks – the rest, the stuff that you have to work around the fat for, goes into the grinder for venison burger – along with a good bit of fat so it cooks well (I don’t mix mine with sausage – it’s all deer)… Ground venison “burger” is the “salvage product” that can’t be cut up into steaks, but still has value as ground burger.
Now, here’s the best part for me: I don’t give a crap about the ridiculous ramblings of the “peace through war with complaints based on half-truths” crowd, so my normal ground chuck has plummeted in price while lean ground beef has gone through the roof. Gimme more CHUCK!
BUT there’s a down side: “The hunt for a substitute has also has fueled a boom in U.S. imports, benefiting beef exporters in Australia, New Zealand and Uruguay, where cattle are grass-fed and tend to be less fat than their U.S. counterparts”.
We’re sending jobs over seas over this lunacy… Which is actually pretty much par for the course.
Doh! The market always finds a way.
By the way – in the original photo that ABC used to “illustrate” “Pink Slime” laced Ground Beef, you know the one that’s become so popular… What type of meat was used in the photo?
Hint: It is most definitely not beef. That means “not cow”.
It gets better:
“Finding enough of a key ingredient – beef trimmings with relatively little fat – to make hamburger more appealing to a critical public has become difficult, say processors.
Here’s why: Each beef carcass produces, on average, 100 pounds (45 kg) or more of trimmings, analysts said. These trimmings are used to make ground beef.
But not all trimmings are the same. In U.S.-raised cattle, much of these trimmings have a 50-50 fat-to-meat ratio. Such fattier trimmings are then mixed with other, leaner cuts in order to balance out the fat and create a hamburger that satisfies the American palette.
In the past, much of the beef processing industry relied on importing leaner beef trimmings, known as the 90s in industry parlance, from Australia and elsewhere”. [Just like I wrote earlier]…
Now anybody who knows anything about actually grilling burger knows that the really lean beef is hard to grill because it dries out when cooked past medium – the ground chuck can be cooked a lot more vigorously, retaining a decent flavor, thus reducing the chance of e-coli and other harmful bacteria surviving beyond the grill…
So, what does the complaint boil down t0 – really? The objection is over using the meat that clings to fat in processing burger meat… If you really read into this, it’s not even about the process of treating it with the antimicrobial because the fat that is now coming from overseas would have to go through the same process to be fit for human consumption. The process has been used in the US for more than 40 years! In fact, and this is the awesome part – the two whistle-blowers that started this don’t object to the process one bit – they just don’t like the fact that there are “connective tissues” mixed in with the meat… Guess what’s in my venison burgers? You guessed it. You can’t make this up.
UPDATE: And one other thing, all those yahoos who complain about waste – “we waste this, you waste that, blah, blah, blah”… There’s a company innovative enoughto do something with that which used to be wasted for no good reason, and now they’re demonized for it… SHEESH!