ammonia

  1. 'Pink slime' back on the menu

    "Pink slime" is one of the meat industry's most disgusting creations ever -- and the more people learn about it, the more companies turn away from it.

    Even McDonald's has said it won't use this stuff in its burgers anymore.

    But thanks to the meat industry's friends in high places there's one place where pink slime is still on the menu every single day: school cafeterias.

    Call it one more reason to make sure your kids and grandkids bring their own food to school every day.

    If you haven't heard of pink slime yet, prepare to lose your appetite.

    As I told you a couple of years ago, this stuff is allegedly beef -- but it's not any cut of meat you'd actually recognize.

    It's factory floor meat scraps that would have been tossed into the garbage not long ago.

    Because it's so nasty, it has to be heated and treated with ammonia to kill the bacteria crawling all over it. By the time it's done being processed, it looks like... well... the name says it all.

    Lately, it's been getting a lot of attention and companies like McDonald's are tripping over themselves to make sure people know they've stopped using it.

    In any other circumstance, it would be the end of pink slime. People don't want it... companies won't use it... so the natural laws of supply and demand should kick in.

    But these aren't natural circumstances, because the meat industry has a special friend to rescue it in times like this: The United States Department of Agriculture.

    While everyone else flees from pink slime, the USDA -- the same group that thinks it has the right to tell you what to eat, by the way -- is ordering 7 MILLION POUNDS of this stuff to use in school lunches.

    But the agency says don't worry -- no single school burger will be more than 15 percent slime.

    How reassuring.

  2. Soda color in cancer link

    There's a liquid out there so dangerous that even the COLOR of this stuff can kill you.

    Yet millions of people drink it every single day -- and odds are, you're one of them.

    It's that sludge called soda, of course, and new research finds that one of its most basic ingredients -- "caramel color" -- can cause cancer and damage the immune system.

    And if that sounds like it might just be chemical paranoia, consider this: "caramel color" is made by cooking sugar in ammonia.

    You read me right: Sugar mixed with ammonia, heat-treated under pressure, creates a color so strong it can even mask whatever cola really looks like.

    And it's every bit as healthy as it sounds, because the process also produces 2-methylimidazole and 4-methylimidazole -- chemicals found in government tests to cause lung, liver and thyroid cancers as well as leukemia in laboratory animals.

    One of those byproducts, 4-methylimidazole, is currently being added to California's list of known carcinogens. Once it takes effect, anything that contains more than 16 micrograms of this junk would need a warning label.

    Surely, the amount of this stuff in soda can't come close to that... right?

    WRONG!

    A 20-ounce bottle of caramel-colored soda typically contains 200 micrograms of 4-methylimidazole.

    Cancer isn't the only risk associated with this deadly color -- a new study on mice finds it can also reduce white blood cell count and diminish immune system function.

    Now, the Center for Science in the Public Interest has fired off a petition to the FDA, urging them to ban this ingredient from soft drinks... and the FDA, in turn, says they'll think about it.

    But really, why bother?

    Anyone who thinks soda is safe -- or that diet soda is healthy -- is either dumb or delusional... and this new warning isn't going to change their minds.

    Maybe the soda makers should even advertise the toxic ingredients, like a dare.

    You know what? I'll bet sales won't suffer one bit.

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