Now, even though you all know I am a vegan (right?) …
This is not to discuss the merits or drawbacks of an omnivorous or herbivorous diet.
But what do we (in the royal sense) think of this?
Here is my take.
First of all, the name says something to me. Do we really want kids to eat something the beef industry calls ‘slime’?
Secondly, it is being added back to the school lunch programs due to budget cuts, so clearly, this stuff is inferior to the frozen burgers they get in bulk right now which are apparently too pricey. God only knows what is in those burgers, let alone this discounted product.
Thirdly, the fast food industry is infamous for ‘parts’, whatever that means.
Fourth, factory farms are, let’s say this delicately, not notorious for their hygiene, put it that way.
Fifth, what makes us so sure it is just meat in there, cow meat in particular and not some other, and that it is actually muscle meat. Isn’t there some likelihood that other animal products and parts find their way into this extruded mash? It is reported that they have to lace the mixture with ammonia – not too appetizing.
I had a friend in HS whose dad supervised a cookie factory that made Fig Newtons. He brought every other kind of product to school, but not those. The reason? He saw what “got into” the vats that make the fig filling. ‘Nuff said for me on that. I haven’t eaten one since.
The last time I saw beef that almost looked appealing was in Europe. When I went to Switzerland in HS, I had Bündnerfleisch, the air-dried beef that looks like a translucent version of Italian prosciutto – delicate, fresh, delicious. And, when I tried the roast beef in Holland, I couldn’t imagine ever eating another roast beef sandwich back home. The Dutch have the best cheese and meats I have ever seen. Really exceptional, from cows that live in the sunshine and graze on real grass. In Switzerland the cows literally climb the Alps in fresh air all day, you can reach out and touch them from the cogwheel trains that take you up to the summit. Happy, active cows yield creamy milk and tender flavorful meat. Meat that you can see is actually only muscle, and nothing dyed the way it is here in the supermarkets to make the ground beef look red, when it is actually gray. Yikes.
If we take the attitude that what we don’t know won’t hurt us, then manufacturers can add melamine to our children’s food, the way the Chinese slipped it into our dog food a few years ago.
If I were a meat eater, I would only get filet mignon or sirloin at WF, no matter what it cost — certified organic and humane, and I would make them cut it in front of me.
Anyway, something pink instead of red, pureed and extruded instead of sliced, should give one pause.
Images: Mother Jones and Wikimedia Commons