Do you know where your hamburger comes from?

My father was a vegetarian of the red meat kind, i.e., he believed in healthy eating but as hard as he tried, he could not say no to the weekly Sunday suppers consisting of my mother’s deep-fried chicken, homemade biscuits, collard greens with smoked spare ribs, sweet and sour salad and corn pone with lots of sweet butter. To top it all off, there was nothing more gratifying, no comfort food to match my Aunt Lillie’s pound cake. (I’ve tried my best to make pound cake the way she did but it never comes out the same).

Meat today is quite different from what it was when I was young. Things began to change and the phrase “mystery meat” cropped up as a description of what you get if you don’t buy organic or kosher meats. And now I make sure if I do buy meat, the label clearly states no GMO, no hormones, no pesticides!

Its 2012 and we’ve evolved. Mystery meat is fast becoming a phrase forgotten. Its been replaced with “pink slime” a shortened version of “scraps of slaughtered cow [not muscle but connective tissue, i.e., not meat] that have been pulverized, defatted, subjected to ammonia steam to kill pathogens, and congealed into a filler for ground beef.” Since the USDA has stamped its seal of approval on pink slime and plans to continue buying millions of pounds of this stuff for the National School Lunch Program, one may mistakenly think pink slime is good for you.

As always, there’s an underlying story of politics involved. USDA undersecretary JoAnn Smith (appointed by Pres. Bush 41), formerly president of both the Florida Cattlemen’s Association and the of the National Cattlemen’s Association, pushed this decision through. [….]

One may readily say in a free market society, I have the ability to make an educated choice to either buy organic real meat or not. Or, to allow my children to eat pink slime at school or prepare lunch for them to take from home. That choice is not available to all of us because it comes at a price; organic foods cost more than non-organic. I’ll wager that pink slime is the cheapest brand of “hamburger meat” and is most likely sold in urban centers and I know I won’t find it in the meat cases of Whole Foods, Fresh Market or Trader Joe’s.

In addition, during the economic crisis, millions of school children began receiving “low-cost meals for the first time as their parents, many once solidly middle class, have lost jobs or homes.” [….] Last year, subsidized lunch recipients among school children rose to 21 million students. That’s 21 million lives being subjected to scraps of slaughtered cow’s connective tissue that has been treated with ammonia. How many people buy meat and then steam with it some ammonia, or bleach or something, before cooking it and serving it up for dinner?

Watch this movie and then consider becoming a real vegetarian; its cheaper and you’ll live longer and better.

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