America's Most Critical Journal (since 1999)
Meat Packer Introduces “Pink Slime Classic”
By Dan Geddes
WASHINGTON - The recent public outcry over "pink slime" in ground beef has led to the removal of the controversial food additive from the beef sold in many supermarkets and fast food chains. Some supermarkets have continued to sell beef containing the "pink slime" additive, and it continues to be served in many public schools.
But some consumers have complained that "pink slime free" beef somehow doesn't have the same taste they are used to.
"Beef trimmings exposed to fecal matter and doused in ammonia sounds perfectly fine to me. We've been eating it for years. What is the problem?" asked Manny Pinto, 31, of Fairfax, Virginia.
"The USDA has always asserted that Pink Slime is perfectly safe to eat. Surely, the USDA would never approve a product that could harm the American public. The fact that it's banned in Canada and in the UK and deemed as unfit even as cattle feed—unless doused in ammonia—means nothing to me. Those countries have socialized medicine, so I don't trust them anyway," Pinto concluded.
"This new pink slime free meat is missing a certain pungency, a certain je ne sais quoi that normal beef has always had. I wish they just went back to the old meat," lamented Shelly Balls, 21 of Cleveland, Ohio.
Other consumers have been unhappy that the new, "pink slime" free meat is more expensive. "Hamburger meat is so much more expensive now. Maybe 3% more," complained Joe Scheisskopf, 55, of Jacksonville, Florida. "Maybe the meat packers are just using this media circus about pink slime as an excuse to raise prices."
Omnivore, the US meatpacking giant, announced yesterday the introduction of "Pink Slime Classic™," a new line of ground beef aimed at appealing to consumers who are already nostalgic for the ground beef flavor they have been enjoying for years. Using the slogans "Meat is Meat" and “Slime: The Other Pink Meat” Omnivore plans a nationwide campaign to introduce "Pink Slime Classic" nation-wide.
Omnivore's media campaign will include a tip-of-the-hat to Wendy's classic "Where's the Beef?" campaign (1984), in which the octogenarian actress Sarah Peller looked at a massive hamburger bun with a small beef patty and famously bellowed: "Where's the beef"? In Omnivore's campaign, a Sarah Peller lookalike will perform a similar gesture but will demand "Where's the Pink Slime?" (Wendy's has proudly claimed to have never used pink slime in their burgers.)
A few conspiracy theorists imagine that this strategic re-introduction of pink slime was part of the meatpackers' plans all along.
"It's just like when they came out with New Coke back in the 80's," said Martín Fierro, 38, of Los Angeles. "Nobody liked New Coke. So when they came out with Coke Classic a few months later, everybody was happy again. I bet the Coca Cola company planned it all along. And the meat packers are no different. With Pink Slime Classic, people will eat more meat than ever."