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Area school districts vary on use of 'pink slime' in cafeterias

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Next time its hamburger day at schools in Pender County, students could bite into pink slime.

The USDA uses ammonia treated lean finely textured beef (LFTB), or "pink slime," to make beef stretch farther. The filler first used in pet food is now legal to put in our food.

The USDA buys nearly 12 million pounds of this beef for school lunch programs.

Pender County Schools spokeswoman Joyce Keith says there is a low level of it in the USDA beef the district uses in its cafeterias. She says for the 2013 school year all beef items made available to the schools in North Carolina will not contain any LFTB.

A Brunswick County Schools spokeswoman says schools in that county do not get any beef products from the USDA. Instead they turn to processors who do not use the filler. The school district says the decision is an effort to reduce the chance of food contamination.

In New Hanover County, a district spokeswoman tells us the schools do not use beef with pink slime. The same goes for Bladen County.

Columbus County Schools says the district suspended the use of USDA beef after reports of pink slime surfaced.

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If it bleeds, it leads ...

... or in this case, if it's pink it stinks. If the media called this product "lean finely textured beef" instead of "pink slime" or didn't use photo-shopped pictures like the one with this article showing goopy pink stuff going into a meat grinder I suspect there would be little reaction, if any, to LFTB. The media's objective is to sell news articles, and in this case, they've done a good job of doing that.
- LFTB is essentially leftover trimmings with the fat melted away and then finely chopped. The scary part is that it's treated with ammonium hydroxide (ammonia and water) to kill off potential bacteria. Used properly, it's as safe as the ingredients in a vitamin pill. Huge lists of store-bought products include ammonium hydroxide. It also occurs naturally in many food products.
- The real problem is that is has diminished actual food value and is really just a filler used for economic reasons. That's a good reason for schools not to feed it to growing children. LFTB-free products do cost more though, and that could be a problem these days. I personally grind my own beef but that can be both a budget and equipment problem for a lot of people. If I had to choose between eating ground beef with LFTB or eating no ground beef at all, I would probably eat it. That of course is just my own personal opinion.
- Having taken far too long to make it, my point is that the current LFTB hoopla has essentially been a media created event with a small amount of genuine concern used as a blasting cap to blow it up into something bigger. No one is trying to poison school kids, they're just selling food that's not as good as it should be. If we really want something food-related to panic about, perhaps we should start focusing on genetically modified foods, especially corn.

They shouldn't be pushing this crap on ANYONE!

It's no wonder people get sick with cancer and other odd illnesses. There doesn't seem to be much "public disclosure" on the junk that food processors put in the things we eat.. I've already dumped canned and other processed foods fot this very reason. A simple can of corn or green beans has a list 500 words long of ingredients the majority of people know little about.
Now you can't even get a simple hamburger without wondering what sort of worm-juice is in it or what it's made from. Anything for a damned dollar these days, I suppose!

So you have a choice....

....ground beef that includes LFTB or LFTB-free bulk ground beef that has an even higher fat content.

Of course there's always a third choice, packing your kid's lunch, which gives you control over what he or she is eating.

Just imagine what a great job schools could do if they could get back to spending all their time and money on EDUCATING your kids instead of having to feed them.

Many people pay for their

Many people pay for their children's lunches at school. The schools are not paying for lunches, so in all honesty saving the school money isn't the largest concern. As a parent who pays for their child's lunch I find your comment poorly informed and quite ignorant to the real problem of "I DO NOT WANT MY CHILDREN EATING THIS!". I pay for my daughters to eat people food not canine food.

What's wrong with a third

What's wrong with a third choice, which is lean ground beef without filler? That was not even mentioned as an option. I have to agree with "Ol Common on this...I carried my lunch for 12 years and ate breakfast before I left home. Novel ideas?? However, I am not sure parents are allowed to pack lunches for their kids anymore. Probably breaks some kind of law or something.

It's too expensive

Lean ground beef is too simply too expensive. Well over half of NC students are receiving free or reduced lunches. In some counties it approaches 95%.

Beggars can't be choosers. I'd tell them eat what's offered or go hungry. We have no more obligation to feed then lean ground beef than we do to feed them caviar or standing rack of lamb.

Plus, they eat hot dogs - how fussy can they be?

Common

I know back when you attended school the one room school house didn't have a cafeteria, but they didn't just start feeding kids.I know they was doing it when I went to school in the 60's.

Thankfully, I went to private school

If you didn't bring your lunch, you went hungry.

Plus, the regular attacks by the Mohawks and Senecas made us a lot tougher.

Today: pink slime

Tomorrow: Soylent Green ("It's PEOPLE!")

All school officials deny

All school officials deny using hamburger with pink slime. My guess is, they really don't know and had never heard of the stuff until it hit the news. Probably just trying to stop a problem before it starts.

Of course they don't know....

they're school "officials". No real requirement to know squat... much like city council.....