Social Media Prompts “Pink Slime” Change
It’s news that’s probably foreshadowing the future; Social media played an integral part in the campaign against so-called “pink slime” – the ground-up additive to some commercially-prepared ground beef.
Traditionally, most news stories have their beginning and end on heritage media – I.E. – radio, television, and print. But this story really took off on newer social media choices.
This time, the backlash was enough to initiate a grass-roots check on the pink slime. The story did have legs; it moved to the Web and a petition drive begun by a mom in Texas also kept the story alive. And it worked. Almost all of the major food chains have announced that they are no longer selling beef with the additive or that they are letting us know which beef in their stores includes it. And the U.S. Department of Agriculture has stepped up big time and announced that school systems who buy beef from the government will now have the option to buy “pink slime-free” beef for our children.
Since being called out for adding “pink slime” to it’s ground beef, many of the offending companies have opted to make changes to their production.
A Tyson Food executive was quoted in the Wall Street Journal this week as saying that he expected this “fight” to affect short-term beef demand. In the same article, Cargill, Inc. indicated that “processors will have to secure other cuts of meat to replace the filler,” which hopefully would have to come from more of the meat in beef. Sounds to me as if those two predictions will create a zero-sum outcome. The best news is that Beef Products, one of the largest producers of the additive, is closing two of its three plants. And yes, the ground beef you buy at the grocery store may cost more, but at least you will be buying 100 percent meat this time around. You can always make up the increase in cost by eating ground meat one less meal a week.