When you go to the grocery store, do you feel like there is pink slime on every food item?
It might be a difficult task to find ground beef without pink slime, but this post will help you identify which ground beef have pink slime in them and those that don’t so that when it comes to purchasing ground beef, you know where to go and what to buy and all your family can enjoy food without worrying about whether or not their meal has a slimy, gross texture.
What is ground beef without pink slime?
First, we need to know what exactly pink lime is.
Pink slime is a low-cost, high-profit meat filler that is made by grinding up the trimmings of various animals and mixing them with ammonia to kill bacteria.
Although pink slime has been used in ground beef for years in the United States, its use became more controversial when ABC News did an investigation on the topic in 2012.
The production process includes pumping millions of gallons of ammonium hydroxide solution into animal fat at a time and then using it as an additive to ground beef without labeling it as such.
This “slime” was originally invented because people wanted cheaper hamburgers but didn’t want to sacrifice quality or taste; so they found a way to get both (cheaper hamburger + better tasting).
So ground beef without pink slime, as the name implies, is ground beef that doesn’t include this meat filler.
Although pink slime is generally safe if being used in a moderate amount, many people still prefer ground beef without using any chemicals.
How many calories are in ground beef without pink slime?
The calories in ground beef are varied based on the ratio of lean meat and fat, not depending on the amount of pink slime.
Therefore, ground beef with or without pink slime is likely to provide us with the same number of calories.
On average, a serving size of four ounces (about 112 grams) of 80/20 ground beef (80% lean, 20% fat) contains 290 calories.
If you have ground beef with pink slime, the amount of real beef will be reduced a little bit because of the meat filler, so it will have a lower calorie level, which is not significant.
Ground beef is also a rich source of calcium, iron, and B-vitamins like other red meat cuts.
How to choose the best ground beef without pink slime?
So back a decade ago, it is said that 70% to 80% of ground beef on the market contained pink slime.
However, today, you are able to buy ground beef without pink slime, and here are some tips for you to choose what you need:
1. Buy organic ground beef
One solution to buy the best ground beef without using pink slime is sticking with USDA Organic beef.
This kind of beef is typically produced from pasture-raised cows without hormones and antibiotics, and their meat productions need to meet many standards from USDA to be labeled as USDA certified meat.
As a result, organic beef also costs you more than regular beef.
So if your family’s health is your priority, you should pay more for ground organic beef that is sure to not contain meat filler.
2. Choose the right supermarket to buy
There are many places that sell ground beef, but choosing the right one to buy ground beef without pink slime is not an easy task.
The sellers don’t label their meat as “including pink slime”, so you cannot just look at the label to decide.
According to an ABC News’ survey years ago, not all supermarkets they interviewed gave the answer, but you can generally believe in some large chain supermarkets like Whole Foods, Costco, Kroger, or Publix.
Where to buy ground beef without pink slime?
So now let’s figure out where you can buy ground beef without pink slime on the U.S.
1. Local butcher
It is best if you can make friends with the butcher because you can know exactly the origin as well as how the meat sold in this place is prepared.
Normally, you will get the freshest cuts of beef at a local butcher and the USDA-certified ground beef.
2. Farmers’ markets
In a farmers’ market, you can get fresh ground beef without using pink slime because the farmers usually just simply slaughter and prepare the beef into different cuts and grind some per your demand.
So you can even witness this process without adding any additive to the meat, just actual beef included.
Buying ground beef from farmers’ markets is also a way to support the local business.
3. Organic stores
It is obvious that a reputable organic meat store will have organic beef.
You can buy ground beef without pink slime in these places, but keep in mind that the price will be a bit higher.
As already mentioned, some large chain supermarkets confirm to not use pink slime on their meat products with 100% pure ground beef.
Look for it at Costco, Publix, H-E-B, Whole Foods, or Kroger.
In conclusion, pink slime is not always bad if properly used.
However, if you still want something pure and all-natural, you can buy ground beef without pink slime in many places that sell organic beef.
Avoid the package with “finely textured beef” because it is another name to call ground beef with pink slime.
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