Pink Slime: Which Markets Sell It and What it Actually Tastes Like

Categories: News
Flickr user aMichiganMom
Not pink slime, but pink and slimy.
There's been a whole lot of hubbub over pink slime, the ammonium hydroxide-treated beef cuts you've likely been eating forever but are just now realizing it thanks to Jamie Oliver and media outlets that really like the term "pink slime." It's debatable whether the stuff is actually bad for you. On one hand, the ammonium hydroxide allows meat-eaters to consume the cow parts most susceptible to contamination (read: parts that are close to poop--yum!). On the other hand, ingredients with more than six syllables can't possibly be natural, right? Also, it's pink and it's gelatin-like. Ew. 

Because of the newfound public interest in the issue, The Daily has compiled a list of supermarkets that sell "lean finely textured beef" (aka pink slime) and supermarkets that don't. Avoiding the slime may not keep you any safer (remember, all red meat is terrible for you, anyway), but the information is good to know. 

No pink slime:

Whole Foods
Price Chopper

No pink slime in store-ground meat, but sells pre-packaged ground beef from other suppliers that may contain the product: 

Food Lion
Fred Meyer

Sells store-ground meat with pink slime:

Stop & Shop
Zaycon Foods 

AP also did some investigative reporting to find out what we really want to know: Sure, pink slime sounds gross, but how does it taste? Food critic J.M. Hirsch grilled up two patties--one with pink-slime and the other without--to a medium rare and seasoned them lightly with salt and pepper. Here's the verdict: 

First, the unadulterated burger. The aroma was luscious. The meat was juicy, tender and nicely seared. Where I'd cut, juices slowly dribbled out onto the plate, collecting in a pool. The taste was savory and meaty, with big beefy flavor. The chew had just the right texture, substantial but giving. Basically, everything you would want in a burger.

The pink slime burger also was perfectly seared and drew me in with an equally alluring aroma. But no juices collected on the plate. Or dribbled out. Or were apparent in the meat in really any way. The taste was - OK. I took another taste of the first burger, then back to the pink slime burger.

It was not bad. But nor was it good. It was flat. I added more salt. No. It was simply one-dimensional.

And then there was the texture. Unpleasantly chewy bits of what I can only describe as gristle, though they were not visible, seemed to stud the meat of the pink slime burger. The result was a mealy chew that, while not overtly unpleasant, didn't leave me wanting another bite.

Of course, I did take another bite. In the interest of good journalism, I ate both burgers entirely. And then I felt sick. I'm confident that has nothing to do with slime of any sort.   

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sniffing the BS
sniffing the BS

Ignorance is bliss. Too bad science is on the product's side and Jamie was full of crap about this product. Sesationalism is vogue, facts get in the way. There is less amonium in this product than in bread!! The poor will go hungry. So thanks a lot Jamie. Stay with what you know, not what you think. You can afford the higher prices. Your food is crappy too. I have eaten it before you started this crap.


Pink slime may not hurt you but it does gross me out. Now that I know that pink slime contains head meat, raw esophagus, lean organ meats and ammonia I don't care to eat it. If i wanted those parts I would buy them separately

Richard Bortness
Richard Bortness

I frequently shop for beef at Fresh and Easy but not often @ Vons/Safeway and Ralphs. Fresh and Easy confirmed pink slime is not used while current Vons/Safeway and Ralphs practices may not use pink slime with 'qualification'. Discovery of pink slime certainly has our attention out of no where, why has FDA not come forth aggressively. Fortunately I enjoy turkey/chicken products except with 'rare exception' beef products from Fresh and Easy.

Mike Squire
Mike Squire

The free market is taking care of this just as it should. Many stores are dumping the Pink Slime. This is capitalism at work.


Are you guys going to do your own SAFII blindfolded taste test? 

Dave Lieberman
Dave Lieberman

Incidentally, in SoCal terms, Kroger = Ralphs and Food4Less; Safeway = Vons and Pavilions.

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