A lot of ground beef in fast food and at your local grocery store is treated with the ammonia by-product which Jamie Oliver coined “pink slime.” This by-product continues to haunt our nation’s dinner tables and fast food wrappers, in spite of its use being highly controversial and a public relations disaster for the meat industry. In addition to Oliver’s widely-watch piece on “pink slime,” showing how the by-product is made, CBS also ran a piece on “pink slime” in beef.
Although the maker of this “pink slime” by-product, Beef Products Inc., has now suspended three of the four plant operations, a lot of people are still thinking twice before indulging in our favorite fast food burgers.
Following McDonald’s announcement that they are no longer using pink slime in their hamburger patties it must be noted that McDonald’s STILL uses a number of questionable chemical additives are still being used on a daily basis. Some of these additives include:
1. Propylene glycol: a substance similar to that found in antifreeze. The International Business Times calls this additive the “less toxic” version of ethylene glycol, which is a dangerous anti-freeze.
2. Ammonium sulfate: used to encourage dough to rise in fast food buns. The chemical composition of this additive is akin to the wash for meat trimmings.
3. Azodicarbonamide: An odorless synthetic chemical mostly used in the production of foamed plastics.
4. Sodium Acid pyrophosphate: A buffering agent, used for both food and industrial purposes. Its food function: Maintain color, improve water holding capacity, maintain stability during heating and other functions. Found in chicken nuggets.
5. Calcium silicate: The white powder is often used to prevent bricks, roof tiles and cement from caking. It is found in Angus beef patty and seasonings.
See the full McDonald’s ingredient list here.
(Article by Moshia Aretz, Kelsey Harkness, Maurice Picow and Elizabeth Flock)