An informal poll of 20 meat-eating students showed that all 20 students have not heard about the ground beef additive pink slime. Pink Slime is leftover bits of meat from slaughterhouse floors. These bits or trimmings are processed and patented by one company, Beef Products, Inc. or BPI. The process consists of bits of meat being transported by conveyor to a meat accumulator, which feeds all the pieces into a de-sinewing device. Once all the fat and sinew is removed, the bits of meat are treated with ammonium hydroxide, and sent through a roller press freezer. The finished product is then cut into small pink squares, that when heated turns into a slime-like consistency, hence the name pink slime.
Currently BPI produces 7 million pounds of this product per week, making this company the largest boneless beef manufacturer in the world. This means eating a hamburger from a diner or buying ground beef from your local retailer has a high potential of being a BPI product.
“Yeah, I eat hamburger, I think pink slime is disgusting. It makes me not want to eat beef at all. I think the meat industry is corrupt. I think they should be held responsible for what they do. I think they should have to tell people what they put in their meat, instead of it being a mystery to consumers. Especially because we eat meat from cows that are slaughtered in their own feces, and they sweep that all together and spray it with ammonia? That’s gross,” said SLCC student Dominic Oleveda.
At the Student Center on the Taylorsville Redwood Campus of SLCC, students eat freshly made cheeseburgers at the Champion Grill. They can even purchase fresh nachos with spicy ground beef heaped on top at Café Nuevo. Students devour this fare without the slightest regard to where the ground beef is from. SLCC student Narae Kim is among those students. She never questioned the purity of her ground beef before she learned about BPI’s pink slime.
“I think it’s absolutely disgusting and wrong. I’ve never heard about pink slime before hand, but now that I know, I will definitely be more aware of what I’m eating,” said Kim.
Students at SLCC believe their ground beef to be pure. SLCC’s Executive Chef Zachary Davidson orders all ground beef for the food court at the Taylorsville Redwood campus from SYSCO. SYSCO purchases their frozen patties from Holten Meat, Inc.
“There are no fillers or additives in our thick and juicy burgers other than seasoning,” said Holten Meats Quality Manager, Tammy Brewer. As for the ground beef that comes to SLCC food court kitchens unfrozen, Chef Davidson says it’s all 100 percent angus beef. The Angus beef is more expensive, but that’s the kind of quality he wants to serve the students of SLCC.