Iowans refused to believe self-appointed social media hysterics, who practically foamed at the mouth to spew misinformation about a processed meat product they gleefully called ‘pink slime.’
As someone who’s been out of news for eight years now, I really mourn the lack of investigative ‘chops’ of some national reporters who seem to serve as nothing more than a conveyer belt of information they receive; it comes in one side and goes out the other, without question. I’d like to think any of my well-credentialed former colleagues would’ve stomped on my feet if I had simply regurgitated some half-baked story about ‘pink slime’ without making a few phone calls, first.
If ABC news and their ilk had bothered to call the processors who make Lean Finely-Textured Beef (LFTB), they would’ve learned that folks like Jamie Oliver who clucked about ‘pink slime’ are just out to sell a book or two, and perhaps shouldn’t be granted social license when it comes to all things food. Case in point, a number of Huntington, West Virginia, school kids have already had a ‘belly full’ of Oliver, so they sent him and his ‘good intentions’ packing: Click here.
The other side of the story is out there, and it’s a good thing solid, serious reporters such as Des Moines KCCI TV’s Angie Hunt went out to find it: click here.
Governor Branstad, U.S. Ag Secretary Vilsack and others also know there’s another side of the story. I mean, here in Iowa, there are hundreds of jobs at stake and the oldest, most-respected industry in the state, farming, is at stake. So, they called for calmer heads to prevail. Retailers took notice: click here.
The other side of the story shows Lean Finely-Textured Beef is boneless lean beef trimmings which are 100% USDA inspected beef. It’s more like liquid protein than anything else. As for the ammonium hydroxide, it’s a gas, essentially ammonia and water, both naturally occurring compounds, highly studied and long considered safe by the USDA.
Getting bad information, or just half of a story without question or explanation, can make almost any convenience food product look less-than-appetizing. Case in point: check out how tofu is made in this Discovery Channel Science YouTube video: click here.
I’m glad consumers and moms like me are curious. I’m even more glad Iowans...all of them, have common sense enough to realize when folks are trying to ‘scare’ them into changing their eating habits. At the end of the day, it’s human nature to want to know the other side of the story. There is one, and ‘good on ya’ Iowans, for seeking it out.
Written by Laurie Johns
Laurie Johns is Public Relations Manager for the Iowa Farm Bureau.