The Daily Show: The Hunger Shame

By
From the April 4, 2012 edition

I love cheeseburgers. They’ve been one of my favorite foods since I was a kid, and they’ve never let me down.

“A whistleblower has come forward to tell consumers about the ground beef a lot of us buy at the supermarket,” reported Diane Sawyer on ABC News.

“Seventy percent of the ground beef we buy at the supermarket contains something called ‘pink slime.’ Beef trimmings that were once used only in dog food and cooking oil are now sprayed with ammonia to make them safe to eat,” according to ABC News.

Every ground-beef patty can contain up to 15 percent of the filler. I always thought cheeseburgers were all beef, not some “pink slime” ammonia goop. That is the last thing I want mixed up in my mulched up cow corpse.

Of course, any food can be disgusting when you take its ingredients out of context. Lips and anuses sound gross in our hotdogs, but we love them in our porn.

Here’s how it works: Waste trimmings are simmered at low heat to make it easier to separate fat from muscle, and then they’re put in a centrifuge to finish the separation — mmm, just like Mom used to separate.

Next, the mixture is sent through pipes where it’s sprayed with ammonia gas to kill bacteria and finally compressed into bricks where it’s flash frozen and shipped to meat packers and grocery stores, where it’s added to most ground beef.

So how has one of our most popular foods been filled with ammonia-spritzed “pink slime” and we just found out about it? I’m betting the beef industry doesn’t call it “pink slime.”

“The official term is ‘lean, finely textured beef,’” Fox News reported.

Well done, beef PR team. “Finely textured beef” sounds like something rich beef eaters could buy from Hammacher Schlemmer. It’s the cashmere of beef — bovine velvet.

Well now that the world is finally aware that finely textured beef is actually an alias for ammonia-soaked, centrifuge-separated byproduct paste, will there be fallout?

“Store after store dropped it, including the nation’s largest chain, Kroger,” ABC News reported.

Even McDonald’s announced it’s no longer using the controversial beef, and these are the people who molded a pork disk into a rib-shaped sandwich that contains no ribs.

Look, every product has some filler. For example, the USDA allows me to market “The Daily Show” as a comedy show, but any episode is going to include up to 15 percent of finely textured comedy-like product — ground-up dick jokes and swear words.

So let’s just cut out the pink slime — a win, win, win, win.

“The maker of the meat filler known as ‘pink slime’ has suspended operations at all but one of its plants, and 200 people will lose their jobs at three plants,” CNN reported.

We’re a pink slime-based economy. By not putting pink slime in my kids’ mouths, I’m taking slime out of the mouths of the kids of hardworking slime packers who’re just trying to put slime on their family’s table. I feel guilty and nauseous.