meat industry

  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. Water for the price of steak

    Why you never get what you pay for in the supermarket

    How crazy is it that we actually need a new regulation to stop people from selling salt water and calling it steak?

    Pull this stunt in any other industry -- try selling a tire made in part of cardboard -- and they'll lock you up.

    But the normal rules don't apply in the meat industry -- heck, the meat industry gets to write its own rules -- so most consumers don't know that 90 percent of all pork, 30 percent of chicken and 15 percent of beef are plumped up with brine.

    That's just salt water, and the industry claims it's there to replace moisture lost during cooking.

    But the real reason supermarket meat is pumped full of saltwater is to pump money out of your wallet. Since up to 40 percent of your "meat" can be brine, $10 in chicken is really $6 in chicken and $4 in salt water.

    It should be illegal, but it's not. As long as "solution added" or a similar term is on the label, it's all OK under the current rules -- even if the phrase is hidden somewhere in the fine print.

    That's why you've probably never heard of this until now.

    Under the proposed new rule, the added water content would have be right up front: "chicken breast -- 40% added solution" or something along those lines, right on the main label.

    Of course, even if that rule makes it onto the books -- and with meat industry money at work here, who knows if it ever will -- you'll be buying salt water steaks for years to come. The USDA says the earliest any change could take place would be 2014.

    But honestly, if you're still buying your meat from the supermarket, you'll never get what you pay for anyway.

    Supermarket meat comes from factory farms -- festering stinkholes of filth and disease.

    The brine might be the best thing in that meat, because other studies have found everything from antibiotics and other drugs to toxic heavy metals in store-bought beef. (Read more about them here.)

    Buy your meat right from the farm, or at least a butcher who specializes in quality organic meats. You'll pay a lot more for it... but at least you'll get real meat for your money -- not salty water.

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