Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Pink Slime, Voting.

We wJamieatched Jamie Oliver’s new Food Revolution programme from LA where so far he basically says it’s a programme showing how people in LA don’t give a shit. What worried me in particular was his demonstration on what is known as Pink Slime there is an article here
describing the use of pink slime. Basically meat remnants which are only fit for dogs (who have much better digestive systems) which has been processed in a centrifuge and then treated with ammonia to get rid of the possible salmonella or ecoli contamination, after that, it is ground and sold. Around 70% of the ground beef Americans buy in their stores or eat in burgers from fast food joints is, apparently, Pink Slime. Jamie did a very good demonstration on his programme and it is enough to turn your stomach. The answer is don’t buy any ground meat you haven’t seen made. You can also get some chuck and cut it in chunks then grind it in small quantities yourself. We have some ground beef in our freezer, I am seriously thinking we should chuck it out – we don’t eat much ground beef, but I think it will be a lot less now unless I find a butcher to grind it for me. There is an article about the first episode of the programme here – we will certainly be glued to the TV on Tuesdays to see what success Jamie achieves.

I have just emailed Health Canada to ask them what the policy is in this country with regard to Pink Slime. I phone a local butcher department who was excessively vague about the whole business. Not sure if he didn’t know or didn’t want to give me answers. He didn’t even know the name of Health Canada.
We got our voting cards in the mail yesterday – we are not allowed to vote at the polling booth where we are working so we will be voting ahead of time at an Advance Voting centre which is open for three days. I am not very ‘up’ on politics of any kind, but it appears there is some kind of election taking place in the States too as we are being inundated with negative ads from both Canada and the US. Luckily ours will stop on May 2, but from experience the US ones will carry on for months yet.

As you know I am always looking for something different to do with vegetables. Here is one I got from WebMD yesterday.

Chinese Style Brussels Sprouts with Hoisin Glaze

By The Food Gal
WebMD Recipe from
2 tablespoons peanut oil or vegetable oilchinese_style_brussels_sprouts_with_hoisin_glaze
3 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 pounds small Brussels sprouts, washed, ends trimmed, then bulbs cut into halves
3 tablespoons mirin (Japanese rice wine)
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
7 to 8 tablespoons hoisin sauce
Toasted sesame oil
In a large wok or frying pan on medium-high heat, add peanut oil. When oil is hot, add ginger and onion. Stir, and cook for about 2 minutes. Add garlic, stirring to prevent burning, about 1 minute more. Add Brussels sprouts and mirin. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring regularly, until Brussels sprouts start to become tender. Stir in hoisin sauce. Continue to cook for about 2-3 minutes more. Drizzle with a little sesame oil, and serve.
Total Servings: 6

Have a great day


  1. HI Jo:
    I too was appalled to learn of such a practise. I have several packages of ground beef in my freezer and not sure I can bring myself to eat it now. I found your blog after googling Pink Slime today and wanted to say you might want to email the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada as well as Health Canada, as they have a direct relation to this topic I think. I have emailed them today, we'll see if I get an answer.

  2. Thanks Sandra, I would be interested to know if you do get one. I asked at Costco today and they assured me they only used chuck steak in their ground beef. I really think the problem is only in the south, but I don't know for certain yet. I too will email Agriculture and Agri-Food

  3. Just wanted to draw your attention, Sandra, to the blog I have just posted which includes the response I got about Pink Slime

  4. Hi Jo, I was so appauled and grossed out by this, just so you know, the USFDA allows them to use up to 15% of the pink slime in thier burger mix which allows it to be called 100% pure beef.
    So far in canda, as I have searched and asked too, The use of Pink slime is not the practice. I am in the restaruant business, and have several friends that are butchers as well. I did talk to our local inspector with Health Canada and as far as she knows, we do not allow nor use Pink Slime in Canada.
    Also the school bus of Sugar was shocking too.

  5. Thanks for your comments Keith. If you check, I posted the response from Agri Food which I received today. I am pleased to find that the Canadian government DO NOT allow the use of ammonia in food processing and insist all ground beef contains real beef with only a certain percentage of fat depending on its quality, anywhere from regular to lean.

  6. Thank you for looking into this. I am very relieved to know this isn't happening in Canada. I am glad to live in a country that doesn't allow such practices.

  7. Yes it is a relief to know, particularly as I did not want to have to throw away the 4 lbs of gorund beef in my freezer.

  8. FYI

    I have just found out that Boston Pizza and Sobey's are 'out' of ground beef in southern Ontario temporarily because of 'supplier issues'. How many other establishments are 'out'?

    That's all they would say but it looks like these companies are scrambling here. Take it for what it is worth - but for me it's suspicious.