Have you heard about “pink slime”? If not, and if you dare, google “pink slime”. It just makes me sick and angry and so frustrated that this is allowed. Assuming it’s safe to eat meat with this “product” it it, who wants to eat it? And why are we getting it and not even knowing we’re getting it? Makes you wonder what else we’re buying/being served and we have no idea.
Aside from the pink slime, and before I ever knew about it, I was at the grocery store a couple of weeks ago and needed one pound of ground beef for a recipe. I picked up a package of plain ground beef, 90/10 and it was about $4.99/pound (I can’t remember the prices, even though I went back to Kroger against just to look before writing this blog post). Then I noticed on the package that there were three or four countries from which this meat could have originated. The United States and Canada were two of them so I was fine with those two but the others, I wasn’t so fine with. Then I saw the same 90/10 ground beef but it was the “Nolan Ryan” ground beef and it was $6.99/pound. Then I noticed that the Nolan Ryan chuck roasts were $2.99/pound. I remembered my meat grinder at home. There were only two chuck roasts that appealed to me and the butcher told me they would have more the next day. I got those two and asked Vince if he would go by there the next day and get 2 more. You know Vince! He came home with several more than the requested two.
There were 7 chuck roasts which I placed in the freezer for about an hour before grinding them. They grind a little better if they’ve been in the freezer for a little while . . definitely not frozen but a bit firmer than if they had been in the fridge.
After trimming away anything I didn’t want included, which was hardly anything because I really like the Nolan Ryan beef, they were ground.
There’s no pink slime in this meat! There’s no ammonia treated rejected parts in this ground meat. I know that until we’re able to butcher our own cow, we have no control over exactly what’s in our meat but I feel a whole lot better about what I’m grinding here at home.
From the time I got the meat out of the freezer until I put the packaged ground meat back in the freezer, and the grinder was washed and put away, took less than one hour!
I packaged 20 one pound packages and 12 one-half pound packages. Sometimes I need one pound, sometimes I need 1-1/2 pounds.
That’s 26 pounds of ground beef and when comparing the $2.99/pound chuck roast price vs. the $6.99 already ground price, I saved $104. The meat grinder was $130 so I’m thinking it was a good investment!
Just like with having a garden or animals, it’s a little more trouble to grind your own, and I wouldn’t do it for one or two pounds at a time but when I can buy good meat on sale, and grind a lot of it at once, it’s so worth it to have a better idea of what’s in our food.
I hadn’t thought of that. I think there is a meat grinder attachment for the Kitchen mixer I have I might have to check it out and see how much it cost and then be on the look out for the sales.
When I heard the media talking about the beef, I thought for sure Judy L would let us know what she planned to do – now we have it and we are all thinking about grinders now – one question I have, do you always wrap your food in foil before putting in plastic ziplock bags for the freezer? Curious eyes want to know. Judy C
No! I usually use freezer bags or the Food Saver but in found about 20 rolls of aluminum foil when we moved and am trying to use some of that up so that’s why I used foil and the ziplock bags.
I spent part of yesterday looking at meat grinders, hoping to do the same thing. A little extra work to keep the food wholesome is so worth it.
Can you tell us about your meat grinder and if you recommend it? Was there an earlier blog post I missed for it?
Have you thought about investing in a Food Saver? Vacumn packing will keep that ground meat even better.
I have two Food Savers but when we moved recently, I found 20 rolls of aluminum foil and am trying to use up some of that. I’ll go through 20 pounds of ground beef way before it gets freezer burned so I just used the foil and was happy to get rid of some of it.
Carla in Ma says
How long will the ground beef keep in the freezer?
Have you tried grounding turkey?
My husband will only eat beef and turkey. He cant taste pork or chicken.
I usually have the butcher grind a roast for me but I all ways wonder what was in the grinder before my roast.
Charts recommend 3 – 4 months. I’ve kept it for a year or more and when properly wrapped, it’s fine. I also think meat lasts longer when stored in a manual defrost freezer vs. a frost free model.
I have not ground turkey but have ground chicken and it works just fine.
Debbie W says
I just read about the pink slime yesterday! UGH! I always buy my ground beef at the same place, if I don’t have any from my parents farm, because I know this is from local suppliers. Now I know why I am turned off of some ground beef from places of unknown origin! That is so gross and we pay premium for that stuff.
Kim W says
I have the kitchen-aid grinder attachment and even though we barely ever eat beef, I would grind my own if I needed it. It’s very discouraging to know what’s really in our food. We have our own free range chickens and a very large garden in the summer months. Hopefully, I can do some canning this summer for the winter months.
And what really gets me is . . what do we NOT know? How long did we eat pink slime? What else are we eating today that next week they’ll tell us about?
Toni in TN says
I saw that same report and nearly gagged. The report did say that HEB in TX and Publix in the south east do not use pink slime in their ground beef. I just might have to buy a grinder since Publix is 30 miles away. With the price of gas you really have to rethink everything.
I purchased 2 pounds of ground beef today. It is cooked already as I was making a huge lasagna. If I had seen this post this morning I would not have purchased 2 pounds of ground beef or ground anything for that matter!!!. Can I just say – YUCK!!!
I might have to be giving hese kitchen tools some thought. I am barely able to make it through the meat counters and the produce section in stores these days. I’m just so turned off by the things that are for sale in some stores around here.
Hooray for you, Judy! You are doing things your way. I love it! 🙂
Ewwww, I had not heard about that! I read several reports and it’s not just ground beef they add it too… they also use it in breads and cakes (http://vitals.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/03/08/10611274-pink-slime-panic-grows-online-are-we-overreacting) but they don’t say who!!! You can’t trust the USDA to have our best interests in mind. I don’t do the whole “conspiracy theory” thing but it’s reports like this that make me wonder who’s side our government is really on. It’s no wonder we are coming out with new diseases every day, when we feed this stuff to our kids. How do we speak out?!?! I don’t think I will ever buy ground beef from a store again OR fast food…. just to be safe!
Linda in NE says
Can’t really trust the USDA or the FDA any more. Everything is about the large corporations making money. I read an article somewhere too, that said it’s possible that growth hormone in the meat we eat is contributing to the obesity epidemic. After all if it fattens up the animals quicker why wouldn’t it have the same effect on the people eating the meat? Makes sense to me.
vickie van dyken says
I love your idea!! I just found the meat grinder this last weekend 🙂 I think that was the most horrible stuff (pink slime) that I have ever seen. YUCK is right. I do wonder about how much more horrible stuff we are consuming….Besides I like Nolan Ryan!!! Now there was a great pitcher…Been by his place there a few times, and I trust him….I think I will definitly try grinding my own hamburger!!
Pink slime is not news to me. Been around for awhile. Maybe it just made it to mainstream news.
Chris Miller at the Resort says
We just spent the afternoon making burger! Dan hunts elk and we freeze big packs and then grind the burger every now and then. Lean, often grain fed (here there are either tree covered mountains or wheat fields) and we have control over every aspect the butchering. I haven’t purchased beef in twenty-five years. 🙂
I’ve been grinding meat for several years, like you, Judy. I use my KitchenAid mixer for it, and it works great. When my husband comes home with an elk or a deer, we add a bit of suet to the meat or it’s simply too lean, but the flavor (whether venison or beef) is so much better than what’s available at a the stores! 🙂
Have been doing this some for a while now. I also cut up roasts for cubed beef for stew, some soups, and carne guisada. Way cheaper than the meat market cut stuff.
Sharon Spingler says
I’m surprised you don’t have a Seal a Meal.
I have two FoodSavers. Just because I didn’t use it doesn’t mean I don’t have it! 🙂
Diana W. says
I couldn’t agree with you more and we have been talking about this very thing. We will be buying meat differently very soon. More work but really worth your health, not to mention your peace of mind!
Thank you for eating good beef from USA ranchers. And thanks for reminding people to read those labels. Beef is what pays the bills at my house and we want you to know where your food is coming from. I have recently heard that people/companies are wanting to remove the COOL (country of origin labeling) from beef. They want to bring in meat from other countries. I try to buy American products as much as possible…..that’s what will keep us all employed.
I never buy the ground beef in packages from the counter. I always get it from the butcher. It’s been ground fresh that day and from one cow. I heard something on the radio about the so-called “pink slime” today. On the one hand, it uses parts of the cow that previously were used in cooking oils and pet food, and so it makes better use of the cow. It is meat that comes from closer to the hide, and so it is more likely to be contaminated with e-coli. It has been treated with ammonia gas in order to make it inhospitable to the bacteria. Nevertheless, e-coli has been detected in the treated pink slime. So much for making it “safe” for human consumption, especially in school lunches. Gack.
dh has been whining about getting a cabellas grinder for several years to process his deer. we have been using one belonging to a friend and turning it into a party, but maybe it’s time to grind beef too. our grocery store will grind roasts for us (even take the first stuff out so that we get only the roast we purchased) so we’ve been doing that lately. no pink slime that way, but I have still bought hamburger too. we did decide last week that a trip to cabellas for a grinder is a priority this year, in light of recent news, sooner is better than later.
Our news report here says that Costco (where I buy my pre-frozen ground beef in chubs or patties) doesn’t use pink slime…but who’s to say that’s really true? Sure has made me think about getting out my old manual clamp-onto-the-counter type grinder; yeah it’s one of those from my grandmother’s era that I bought to ‘decorate’ with but has spent eternity in a drawer – all the parts are there! May as well get some arm exercise and tighten up the flabby wings if I’m to do this, lol.
Mel Meister says
Ground beef costs THAT much in Texas? Holy cow! We buy ground beef on sale at Bravo for around 1.88 per pound for 80/20. I don’t like very lean ground beef. BUT.. I also don’t like PINK SLIME! (I read about it a couple of days ago and am appalled!)
Problem is, here in Florida, roasts prices have gone through the roof. It will cost us a haunch and a leg to buy a roast and grind it. I can rarely find chuck under 4 bucks a pound now. We scour the sales, too.
I LOVE lamb and can just never buy it anymore. I did manage to get an “ok” price on a leg of lamb (bone in) for Easter.
Denise in PA says
I heard about this on the news – turned my stomach. Ewwww! We do eat a lot of ground beef too (spaghetti & meatball, my favorite meal!) I am so glad you posted this, it really is spurring me on to grind my own. I’m going to look into getting the grinder attachment for my KitchenAid. I think it would be worth the extra work!
Cindy B says
We have several butcher shops in my area. I can select the meat I want and have it ground while I watch. I found most small grocery stores will grind up meat bought at their store if the butcher isn’t too busy. We buy 1/2 cow and get the butcher to cut it our way. My ground beef is not bright pink!
. If your kids are eating in the school cafeteria, they are getting pure nauseating filler to eat. One principal told me 85% of students now get free lunches provided by the government and most are thrown away uneaten so why increase the food budget. I could rant all day!
Lee Ann L. says
I bought chuck roast earlier to grind up! I have a question. Do you wrap your meat with something else before wrapping in aluminum foil? If so, with what? My biggest worry is freezer burn. But, since we eat hamburger at least once a week, it’ll be gone before we know it. 🙂
Woohoo Judy! I just ordered a Cabela’s Pro Grinder. They have it on sale right now for $119.99. I checked on Amazon and they wanted $149 for the Waring. I figured we might as well go with the Cabela’s. I have always had good luck with Cabela’s stuff anyway. Thanks for doing this post. I really don’t think I could buy ground beef from the store again. I am still grossed out every time I think of pink slime. Yuck!
After I read about the pink slime, I had a talk with the butcher in our local organic grocery store. He, also, talked about how long this has been going on under the radar and wondered what else we don’t know. May I suggest reading about GMOs and fluoride. We are at the mercy of corporate America. I am not a radical person, at all. I just want to eat as well as we can. Judy, you and Vince have the right idea!
Linda in NE says
That pink slime story just turns the stomach. For the price of meat we should be getting GOOD meat not slime. I have a meat grinder and need to start grinding my own too. I tell you, I feel a lot better about eating deer meat than I do about the stuff I buy at the store. At least I know it’s not full of growth hormone and antibiotics…..and now we have pink slime!! Yuck!
Penny Hankey says
I think pink slime is what we cal MRM (mechanically recovered meat) over here in the UK. Its all the bits left clinging to the carcass and the scrap that you wouldn’t want to eat anyway but the worst of it is its used to bulk up cheaper manufactured meals such as pies, lasagnes, burgers etc so you really don’t know what you are getting if you purchase those sort of products. I know you have Jamie Oliver on your TV at the moment and that he is not necessarily liked in some quarters, but what he did to highlight the poor quality of these food stuffs, many of which were fed to children in our schools, really should be applauded. If you really want to know more about what goes into the food on your plate I suggest reading “Not on the Label” by Felicity Lawrence. ( ISBN 0-141-01566-7. ) It was published in the UK but may be available via Amazon.
I’m so happy to read that Kroger, Publix and Costco (my 3 main sources for meat) do not use pink slime. That said, I’m still considering starting to grind my meat so that I continue to know where it comes from. I’m also going to go check out our local meat market. I may just switch to supporting that small local business. I like the idea of that better anyway.
So I’ve been premaking and freezing meals. Does the food saver work for that, or not so much?
Ranch Wife says
Ugh! Makes me even more thankful that we ranch and have ranch raised beef in our freezer. You know, you now have bovines and can raise your own beef…slime free.