That nasty stuff they put in your hamburger has been there for years, but this week evil has a name! Now that we’re all calling it Pink Slime instead of Lean Fine Textured Beef we see the truth of things. Pink Slime sounds like a putrid comic book character. Lean Fine Textured Beef sounds like really fancy diet food.
We consumers have short attention spans. A pithy nickname and a quick pitch are required to catch our attention. ‘Food Inc. showed the horrors of LFTB back in 2008, but it wasn’t until it this month’s catchy ‘Pink Slime’ moniker that consumers got angry. The practice of scraping scrap from the edges of cow carcasses, spraying it with ammonia and pretending its food is getting its just desserts. Stores are rushing to get the stuff off their shelves. Schools are doing the same.
Hurrah! Here’s proof that consumers really, really, really can change the way of things simply by keeping their purse strings drawn. Let’s let that sink in. WE can change the way food is made in this country. Quickly. Permanently. That is flippin’ awesome.
Still, how long can this last? How many shoppers will wrinkle their noses at the hamburger and head over to the freezer section to buy some Lean Fine Textured Chicken nuggets never considering they have traded one food supply villain for another? Too many. Pink Slime is the bad guy this week, but there are plenty of other evil food minions out there to fill the void once we’ve defeated him.
It’s downright exhausting to consider all the things that could be wrong with the stuff in your grocery cart. So…we don’t. We wander aimlessly, consuming what seems like it might be OK (‘Reduced Sodium!’ ‘Light!’ ‘Natural!’) and pray to the food gods that we are not getting slimed. We would rather fight Darth Vader than do boring chores for Uncle Owen. (“But I was going into Tosche Station to pick up some power converters!”)
It’s imperative to battle villains, making loud noises about disgusting food production habits like the sliming of our beef. We must, however, follow up those big press moments with quiet, simple, terribly unsexy acts of rebellion. Reject the slime. Absolutely. That’s a start. But if there’s going to be a sequel (let’s call it The Consumer Strikes Back) we need to be daily vigilant against this sort of food abuse. That means we must, as undercover agents for good in the fight against the Food Republic….
read the ingredient list.
That’s it. Right there. It’s not nearly as sexy as slaying slime, but if enough consumers check the labels and reject them based on unpronounceable ingredients and/or their lack of honest, specific promises (like ‘Organic!’ ‘Does Not Contain HGBT!’ ‘No Antibiotics!’) we could destroy the Empire.
Take that Pink Slime (although we understand you were led astray by the Dark Side and sincerely hope you will repent your evil ways before you die)!