Pink slime invades fast food beef - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Pink slime invades fast food beef

Posted: Updated:

There is a surprising product you probably are eating and you do not know it. It is called pink slime.

The material is made up of scraps of specially treated meat to add as filler for ground beef. These types of scraps were once used only in dog food and cooking oil. Now these pieces are sprayed with ammonia to make them safe enough to eat before they are added to most ground beef.  

A number of fast-food restaurants made headlines by announcing they would stop using the filler. Although, the substance is all across the food supply, and it now has Gerald Zirnstein grinding his own hamburgers. The former USDA scientist, now whistle blower, knows that 70 percent of the ground beef we buy in supermarkets contains pink slime. He calls it economic fraud.

"It's not fresh ground beef, it is a substitute, it's a cheap substitute being added in," Zirnstein said.

Zirnstein first coined the term pink slime in a memo. He and his fellow USDA scientist Carl Custer both warned against using what the industry calls lean finely textured beef. However, their government bosses overruled them.

The process starts with gathered waste trimmings. They are simmered at low heat, to ensure the muscle and fat can be separated. Next, they are put in a centrifuge and spun to finish separation. The mixture is sent through pipes where it is sprayed by bacteria-killing ammonia. Later, it is compressed into bricks, flash frozen for shipment and the grocery store adds it to most of its ground beef.

However, there is still a kicker, pink slime does not have to appear on the label because USDA officials with links to the beef industry labeled pink slime as Meat.

"The under secretary said, it's pink, therefore it's Meat," Custer said.

Former undersecretary of agriculture Joanne Smith made that decision. It is a call that led to hundreds of millions of dollars for Beef Products Inc—the makers of pink slime.

Smith was appointed to BPI's board of directors after she stepped down from USDA. She made at least $1.2 million over 17 years. Smith did not return any of ABC's calls for comment. BPI said it had nothing to do with her appointment and the USDA says while legal then, she could have immediately joined that board under current ethics rules.

  • Pancake Days underway at Sioux Falls Convention Center

    Pancake Days underway at Sioux Falls Convention Center

    Pancake Days underway at Sioux Falls Convention Center

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 5:04 AM EDT2014-04-23 09:04:28 GMT
    It is that time of year again for one of the most popular and beloved pancake events in Sioux Falls. More >>
    It is that time of year again for one of the most popular and beloved pancake events in Sioux Falls. More >>
  • FBI: Vahey molested at least 90 students

    FBI: Vahey molested at least 90 students

    FBI: Vahey molested at least 90 students

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 11:14 PM EDT2014-04-23 03:14:59 GMT
    They say William James Vahey is a suspected serial child molester, who began the acts in the early 70's.More >>
    They say William James Vahey is a suspected serial child molester, who began the acts in the early 70's.More >>
  • South Dakota tribes take their KXL fight to Washington

    South Dakota tribes take their KXL fight to Washington

    South Dakota tribes take their KXL fight to Washington

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 10:31 PM EDT2014-04-23 02:31:07 GMT
    The president's decision to approve or reject the Keystone XL Pipeline may be months away, but South Dakota's tribes are joining with other Native American groups, landowners, and environmental advocates this week in demanding they not only be heard - but seen as well. And the spot they chose could hardly be more visible.It's a sight that wouldn't phase most South Dakotans, but in Washington D.C., tipi's, horses, and headdresses stand out.Members of the Cowboy and Indian Alliance - tribal mem...More >>
    The president's decision to approve or reject the Keystone XL Pipeline may be months away, but South Dakota's tribes are joining with other Native American groups, landowners, and environmental advocates this week in demanding they not only be heard - but seen as well. And the spot they chose could hardly be more visible.It's a sight that wouldn't phase most South Dakotans, but in Washington D.C., tipi's, horses, and headdresses stand out.Members of the Cowboy and Indian Alliance - tribal mem...More >>
  • Ranch uses horses to help mental health

    Ranch uses horses to help mental health

    Ranch uses horses to help mental health

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 9:39 PM EDT2014-04-23 01:39:17 GMT
    Joy Nelson owns the ranch, and her horses have been used by guests of the ranch for over 12 years. Now, with the help of equine specialist Carmen Werning, people will be able to improve their mental health on a whole new level."This is just another part of service that we can provide for people that may want to do equine assisted learning, or it could be psychotherapy with people that may really be struggling whether it's mental, or addictions," equine specialist, Carmen Werning said.The prog...More >>
    Joy Nelson owns the ranch, and her horses have been used by guests of the ranch for over 12 years. Now, with the help of equine specialist Carmen Werning, people will be able to improve their mental health on a whole new level."This is just another part of service that we can provide for people that may want to do equine assisted learning, or it could be psychotherapy with people that may really be struggling whether it's mental, or addictions," equine specialist, Carmen Werning said.The prog...More >>
  • Summit League basketball championships bring more than $8 million to Sioux Falls

    Summit League basketball championships bring more than $8 million to Sioux Falls

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 7:37 PM EDT2014-04-22 23:37:29 GMT
    The 2014 Summit League Basketball Championships contributed an estimated $8.52 million in total business sales to the Sioux Falls economy, according to a new economic impact report from the Sioux Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau.More >>
    The 2014 Summit League Basketball Championships contributed an estimated $8.52 million in total business sales to the Sioux Falls economy, according to a new economic impact report from the Sioux Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau.
    More >>
  • Volga pastor thanks Hamlin Co. sheriff's deputy for saving his life

    Volga pastor thanks Hamlin Co. sheriff's deputy for saving his life

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 7:32 PM EDT2014-04-22 23:32:35 GMT
    A Volga pastor thanks a Hamlin County sheriff's deputy for saving his life. The pastor and his son were playing with a football at Lake Poinsett Monday morning when the ball went into the lake, along with the father and his son.More >>
    A Volga pastor thanks a Hamlin County sheriff's deputy for saving his life. The pastor and his son were playing with a football at Lake Poinsett Monday morning when the ball went into the lake, along with the father and his son.More >>
  • Suspects in Sioux Falls robbery three young teens

    Suspects in Sioux Falls robbery three young teens

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 7:25 PM EDT2014-04-22 23:25:23 GMT
    Sioux Falls Police are looking for three white teenage boys between 13 and 14-years-old.Just after 1 Tuesday morning, the Cubby's convenience store at 49th and Western was robbed at gunpoint.According to the clerk, two of the suspects had guns and were each wearing a dark colored cloth or bandana covering their faces.He told police he believes the suspects are 13 or 14 because of their voices and height.Both Sioux Falls Police and the director of the Minnehaha County Regional Detention Center...More >>
    Sioux Falls Police are looking for three white teenage boys between 13 and 14-years-old.Just after 1 Tuesday morning, the Cubby's convenience store at 49th and Western was robbed at gunpoint.According to the clerk, two of the suspects had guns and were each wearing a dark colored cloth or bandana covering their faces.He told police he believes the suspects are 13 or 14 because of their voices and height.Both Sioux Falls Police and the director of the Minnehaha County Regional Detention Center...More >>
  • FBI seeks victims of 'prolific' international child predator

    FBI seeks victims of 'prolific' international child predator

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 6:37 PM EDT2014-04-22 22:37:45 GMT
    An alleged child predator who taught at schools across the world for more than four decades may have more victims, and the FBI is trying to track them down, the agency's Houston bureau said Tuesday.More >>
    An alleged child predator who taught at schools across the world for more than four decades may have more victims, and the FBI is trying to track them down, the agency's Houston bureau said Tuesday.More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KSFY. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service or our EEO Report.