I missed this story about “pink slime.” What is pink slime? According to ABC News, “‘Pink slime’ is beef trimmings.” Oh! That’s OK, right? Well, no. “Once only used in dog food and cooking oil, the trimmings are now sprayed with ammonia so they are safe to eat and added to most ground beef as a cheaper filler.” For added fun, ABC says that pink slime is in 70 percent of the ground beef sold at supermarkets.
Now you might be saying, Brett. That’s just supermarket ground beef. That’s not enough of a reason to become a vegan. What are you, one of those commie pinko Occupy Everything buttheads? Seriously—do you have, like, a butt for a head?
No! I do not have a butt for a head. I do, however, think that you are unlikely to find ammonia in your kale. And kale is healthier for you anyway. So why not just avoid meat altogether?
But Brett! What about fish? Or chicken? Huh? What about tasty, delicious chicken? You like chicken, don’t you?
Yes. I do like chicken. And there’s no way I’m going to become a vegan anytime soon. Mostly because I can’t figure out how to get enough protein into my body without eating animals. Also, I really like steak. And chicken. Also sushi.
There’s also no way I’m going to get my kids to go vegan. I can barely get them to eat a vegetable every day. (And by “barely” I mean “some days I can’t get them to eat even a single carrot.” And by “some days….etc” I mean “there are evenings when I just say, fine, whatever, don’t eat the damn carrot, I’m too tired to argue.” I know. It’s a gift.)
So what’s a dad to do in order to avoid so-called pink slime? Buy organic beef, preferably not from any of the places on the list above, which comes from Babble.com via The Daily. Most of those stores aren’t in my immediate vicinity, and since I don’t drive, this goal is rather easy to achieve.
Still, I would like to get my kids to eat less meat. I’m not a fan of meat substitutes, which often contain more sodium than a jar of salt. Plus they taste weird and have a strange texture not unlike the couch in my old bachelor apartment that my wife wouldn’t let me keep when we moved in together. (She was right. That thing was gross.) The odds of this happening any time soon are somewhere between slim and none.
But! I didn’t eat a vegetable until I went to college. My mother likes to say that she spent $100,000 so I could learn to eat broccoli. (And yes, I’m old enough to remember when that amount of money could pay for more than just one semester’s worth of books at college.) Since then, various gastrointestinal issues have pushed me further away from meat. My stomach is happier, I feel better, and in theory I will live longer. All of which are good things. As parents, we’re all about passing good things on to our kids, right? Not just our various neuroses and mishegas.
Hopefully my kids won’t have to wait until college to start eating their vegetables. Until then, I’ll just keep avoiding the pink slime. It’s a start.