Holy Moly…Where has the month of May gone?! We have been BUSY and I have not had much time to blog but I NEED to get in some posts about National Beef Month. I thought to start out I would pass on some information about Lean Finely Textured Beef (LFTB), recently dubbed by some celebrities and media outlets as “pink slime”.
LFTB is a nutritious, safe product that is included in beef products for multiple reasons:
1) Because it is SAFE. One of the biggest misconceptions about LFTB is that it is produced by dumping liquid ammonia into meat. That is simply false. LFTB is hit with a puff of ammonium hydroxide to reduce/prevent bacteria growth. The ammonium hydroxide causes no change to the meat. The thing most people don’t know is that ammonium hydroxide is a compound found naturally in ALL proteins we eat, animal and plant based, and is used in the production of baking powder, cheese, chocolate and many other foods.
2) Because it is nutritious. In fact, it is a very low fat (~95% lean) source of beneficial proteins. LFTB is produced by taking small meat pieces that accumulate from large beef cuts being cut into smaller cuts that are more desired by consumers and centrifuging them to separate the lean meat from the fat. The centrifuging doesn’t affect the composition or safety of the meat but does provide a very low fat product that can then be mixed with other meat.
3) It is affordable. Because it is a way of using a product that would otherwise be difficult to sell because of the size of the pieces, LFTB is an affordable addition to meat products.
Most of the photos that have circulated the internet and many media outlets of a product that looks like pink soft-serve ice cream is in fact, not even LFTB! Here is a picture of what LFTB actually looks like before it is included in items like ground beef, bratwurst, etc:
(Photo source: http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=Lean+finely+textured+beef&view=detail&id=CA736AFD0286365A096CB3122EDA8B3D66BC9A9F&first=0&FORM=IDFRIR)
Keep an eye out for more Beef Month posts and maybe even a beef related giveaway!