Hy-Vee, a chain of grocery stores here in Middle America, has joined the growing number of grocers and other retailers who have decided to no longer sell ground beef products containing lean beef trimmings or lean finely textured beef from Beef Products International (BPI). You know lean beef trimmings or lean finely textured beef by the vernacular pink slime.
I buy almost all of my groceries from Hy-Vee. Although I do not often buy meat from the stores, choosing to purchase instead from Wallace Farms, I applaud the decision to move away from this nasty stealth ingredient.
Interestingly, the statement from Hy-Vee reads that “Although this ground beef meets all USDA standards for quality and safety, recent news stories have led to a loss of consumer confidence in the product.” The problem is less an erosion of consumer confidence in ground beef than finally realizing what is contained within the product.
People are not concerned when their ground beef contains parts from a thousand different cows thus exposing more people to the joys of e. coli or other bad actors. People do get concerned when there is an ingredient inside something called ground beef that resembles some form of mutant strawberry frozen custard. Think back to the outcry over Taco Bell’s taco filling. Granted, I do not know what people were thinking they were getting for a $0.89 taco.
All things considered, Hy-Vee’s move is a step in the right direction and one more nail in the coffin of pink slime. I would say it is going back to being an ingredient in dog food, but have you seen the quality of food people feed their dogs now? It’s positively gourmet.
Hell, as the controversy over pink slime continues even WalMart, usually tone deaf to anything other than low prices and profit at the expense of humanity, has said they will phase in pink slime free alternatives. I will believe it when I see it because WalMart has a history of promising action and delivering nothing more than rhetoric. More stores, however, are making the pink slime free switch.