Last week, The Daily broke the news that the USDA planned to buy 7 million pounds of Boneless Lean Beef Trimmings (BLBT) – otherwise known as “pink slime” – for school lunches. Some reports state that 70% of prepackaged grind on retailers' shelves contain it. The resulting backlash has had more effect than anyone expected. Following a public outcry and hundreds of thousands of signatories to petitions to try to get the product out of schools, Beef Products, Inc. (BPI), the world’s leading producer of BLBT, has launched a new counteroffensive website “pink slime is a myth.” So where does the truth lie? Obviously, Boneless Lean Meat Trimmings sounds a lot more appetizing than “pink slime.” But whatever you call it, what is it? And how is it produced? The “pink slime is a myth” website says that BLBT is the meat and fat that is trimmed away when beef is cut. This is true as far as it goes. But BLBT isn’t quite the same as the bits of meat that you or your butcher might cut off the edge of a steak or other piece of meat. BLBT is the fatty trimmings that even BPI agrees couldn’t be separated with the knife. In the past, these trimmings were used for pet food or converted into oil rather than being served as hamburgers to people.
by Susan Saulny
New York Times
Thursday, July 10, 2008
This recent article in the New York Times confirms the skyrocking popularity of Community Supported Agriculture or CSAs. We expect the number of CSAs to grow exponentially over the next few years and encourage everyone to look into partnering with a local farm. A good source of information is the Eat Well Guide and Local Harvest websites. You can search by zip codes for local farms.
“In an environmentally conscious tweak on the typical way of getting food to the table, growing numbers of people are skipping out on grocery stores and even farmers markets and instead going right to the source by buying shares of farms…The concept was imported from Europe and Asia in the 1980s as an alternative marketing and financing arrangement to help combat the often prohibitive costs of small-scale farming. But until recently, it was slow to take root. There were fewer than 100 such farms in the early 1990s, but in the last several years the numbers have grown to close to 1,500, according to academic experts who have followed the trend.”