A few months ago, there was a brouhaha over whether pizza sauce is a vegetable. It certainly is to me. But for years, I thought bacon was a vegetable. I always wondered why no one made salad bits to sprinkle on my bacon, which is a million-dollar idea if I ever heard one.
The latest food fight is over whether “pink slime” should be used in hamburgers. My gut instinct is that no, it shouldn’t be used in hamburgers. It should be left in bologna and hot dogs where it belongs.
Still, I was surprised at how many nationally known purveyors of fine burgers said they would stop using pink slime now that their secret ingredient was no longer secret. Until they said they’d stop using it, almost no one knew they were using it.
It turns out that beef “trimmings” used to be sold mainly as pet food because they contained too much E. coli and other bacteria that were harmful to humans. But then the beef industry started spraying these leftovers with an ammonia gas, killing the pathogens, and renamed them “lean finely textured beef,” which sounds so much more appetizing than “pink slime.”