Are You Buying Ammonia Treated Meat Here In Evansville?
By Mike Adams
If you have been paying any attention at all, I am sure you are somewhat aware of the term “Lean Beef Trimmings”, aka Ammonia Treated Meat, aka Pink Slime. It has been a hot topic of discussion in the national news over the course of the last few weeks, ever since fast food restaurants like McDonald's and Taco Bell announced that they would NO longer be using ammonia treated meat in their food products. This announcement seemed to get everyone’s attention because like me, most people didn’t have any idea that these restaurants were using it in the first place.
Weeks later, the subject of ammonia treated beef began to rattle the population once more with reports that around 70% of all the beef that was purchased from local grocers likely contained ammonia treated beef. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, the media also reported that our Government purchased 7-million pounds of the pink slime to be served in the American school system.
Now let’s be honest about this. Most people who eat fast food do so without any illusion. The majority of the population realizes that Clowns and Chihuahuas do not make hamburgers and tacos using the highest quality of beef available. On a personal level, it seems like I have known that fast food isn’t good for me ever since I graduated from the kid’s meal and started ordering from the big boy menu. There is absolutely no illusion that what most fast food chains are serving is healthy, but we have ability to make the choice to either eat it or eat something else. No one is forcing us to eat ammonia treated meat. Or are they?
In my opinion, if children are being served ammonia treated meat in their school lunches, that constitutes being forced to eat it. Really, what choice do they have? Sure, kids can take their lunch to school, but they shouldn’t have to in order to get something healthy to eat. What about us as adults? Personally, I think if our local grocer’s are not being required to label their meat as containing “lean beef trimmings”, in a sense we are being forced to either buy it or go vegan. For some of us, me included, going vegan is not an option at all! The average person has no way of knowing if their meat purchase has been sprayed with ammonia. Most people are like me. I base my meat purchases on how good the meat looks in the package. What else do we really have to go on?
So I decided to look into this issue on a local level, and try to find out what the subject of Lean Beef Trimmings meant for us here in Evansville, Indiana. I sent a letter to the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation’s Director of Food Service, as well as Schnucks and Buelers IGA. My questions were simple…
1. Is the EVSC serving ammonia treated beef to its students?
2. Does your store sell ammonia treated beef?
This is what I found out.
Linda Eidson, Director of Food Service for the EVSC says, “We have been told in writing by both our suppliers of beef products (JTM and Advance) that they do not use the finely textured beef that you are referring to in the products that are processed for us. Our EVSC meals already exceed the current USDA nutritional guidelines, and we are constantly looking for the best products to meet student likes and needs”.
The Consumer Affairs Department of Schnucks Grocery replied by saying, “Schnucks does not add Lean Finely Textured Beef (LFTB) to our ground meat, and we have verification from our suppliers that the following products do not contain LFTB: Meat Master Ground Sirloin (Ground Sirloin or Ground Sirloin Patties), Schnucks Never Ever Ground Round (Natural Ground Round or Natural Ground Round Patties), and Rain Crow Ranch 100% Certified Grass Fed (90% lean, 10% fat)- 16-oz. package. Other ground meats from a number of reputable suppliers may include LFTB as part of the USDA-approved beef production process - one that has been in place for more than 20 years. LFTB is not a filler, nor is it something that is added to the beef. It comes from the same wholesome beef cuts used in the grind.”
A representative from Bueler’s IGA took the time to contact me by phone yesterday to say that, “The Angus that Bueler’s IGA uses does not contain lean finely textured beef. Some of the other products our store carries may, but the meat packaged in our store does not.”
Good to know, right?
Personally, I feel a lot better knowing that the EVSC is not serving “pink slime” to our children. I also feel really good about Schnucks and Buelers IGA making my concerns about the quality of their beef a priority. I feel like now I can make more educated choices in my beef purchases, rather than go at it blindly and hope for the best.
I suppose the lesson here is simple. If you’re not sure, just ask. It is your right as a consumer to know what goes into the food products that you buy. If you are uncertain about the quality of the meat you are getting from your local grocer, make an inquiry and find out exactly what level of quality you are getting for your money.
Another way to ensure that you are getting quality, chemical free beef is by purchasing your beef and other meat products from local farmers and farmers markets. The following is a short list of resources to help you research buying your food products locally:
Stonewall Farm - http://stonewall-farms.com/
Stonewall Farm is a 100 acre grass farm located west of Evansville IN. This is truly a family farm with all of our children engaged as principal operators in some aspect of the business. We sell pasture raised chicken, turkeys, and fresh brown eggs. We have seasonal grass-fed beef, lamb, goat and pasture-raised pork available year around. We also grow fresh produce in our greenhouse and expect to expand this to year-round availability.
Mumford Farms - http://mumfordhillslivestock.com/index.html
Mike and Sandy Mumford have returned to the family farm in Southern Indiana as the 5th Generation of Mumfords on this land. We want to combine our love of animals with Sandy’s passion for health and fitness to produce the healthiest, best tasting natural beef you can buy.
River City Food Co-op - http://www.rivercityfoodcoop.org/index.php
The River City Food Co-op was organized in the fall of 2005 by a group of concerned citizens of Evansville, Indiana interested in a place to buy high-quality organic, natural and bulk foods.
Evansville Local-Only Market – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Evansville-Local-Only-Market/104916679594004
The Local-Only Farmer's Market was founded by the president of Urban Seeds (Heidi Krause) for the promotion of access to local food in the Evansville area.
Our Market provides Local Growers and Artisans a great Venue, overlooking the great Ohio River in Southern Indiana. We stress Locally Grown Produce from the actual growers, not shipped in, must be grown within 50 miles of Newburgh, Indiana.