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Pink Slime is On Its Way Out of School Lunches

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The pink slime debate has taken on new fervor as parents have pressured school districts to drop the ammonia-based filler added to ground beef. Even the USDA has decided to offer school districts alternatives to pink slime products. Now roped off freezers of pink slime ground beef sit in schools, while school officials decide what to do with the frozen masses of offensive meat.

Stoked by news coverage and social networking, pink slime, or the low-cost blend of ammonia-treated beef, is quickly on its way out of school lunches. The Miami-Dade and Boston school districts have already decided to opt out of pink slime ground beef. School administrators in other districts say they have fielded calls from concerned parents and promise to rid school menus of the pink slime by fall. Miami-Dade and NYC school districts have already purged ground beef from their menus. Michael Peck, the director of food and nutrition services in Boston, says that the district has decided to hold the 700,000 pounds of ground beef until they can find out what exactly is in it. The problem, however, is that it is difficult to know which meat contains the filler, as it does not have to be listed as an ingredient on the packaging.

Although experts claim that the rage against pink slime is fueled by disgust rather than a real threat to health, Mr. Peck and parents aren't convinced. Mr. Peck recently stated:

"It’s another example of the alteration of our food supply. It does speak to the U.S.D.A.’s ability to trace."

Even the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a food safety consumer advocacy group, says that pink slime is a "tempest in a teapot" in comparison to other horrendous food safety practices. What do you think?