New Report Confirms `Pink-Slime' Ingredient Ammonia Used Frequently in Other Foods

BeWellBuzz.com Investigation Reports USDA Approved 'Pink Slime' Ingredient over 40 Years Ago

Las Vegas, Nev. - Shock rippled across the United States last month as a new wave of food-buying consumers discovered that ground beef often contained ammonia-treated beef, or what critics call ‘pink slime’. However, newly discovered information investigated by health and wellness portal BeWellBuzz.com has found the USDA had approved the use of ammonia nearly four-decades ago, and that the use of ammonia to treat many popular food products is more common than the general public ever considered.

A report posted at BeWellBuzz.com investigated the ‘pink slime’ story which broke as a result of an ABC News story last month and confirmed that ammonia - often associated with cleaning products - was cleared by U.S. health officials nearly 40 years ago and is used in making many foods, including cheese, baked goods and even chocolate products. Kraft Foods Inc., whose brands include Chips Ahoy cookies and Velveeta cheese, is one company that uses very small amounts of ammonium compounds in some of its products. It declined to specify which products.

"Ammonia's not an unusual product to find added to food," Gary Acuff, director of Texas A&M University's Center for Food Safety, told a recent press conference hosted by Beef Products Inc. "We use ammonia in all kinds of foods in the food industry."

The "pink slime" controversy has touched a nerve in the school food community as well and underscored how little parents know about what their children eat at school. The USDA, which sanctioned use of LFTB (lean finely textured beef) in schools in 1993, said it would allow school districts to select ground beef that doesn't include the beef product next school year. The USDA, which runs the national school lunch program, and the beef industry continue to say LFTB is a safe product. It is made with an assortment of beef trimmings whose fat is separated through heat and the use of a centrifuge. The lean meat is then treated with ammonium hydroxide or citric acid to kill bacteria.

"Since the 1970s, LFTB has created affordable nutrition for kids," said Eric Johnson, spokesman for the Illinois Beef Association. "With rising food costs and school budgets going up, having beef (in a student's) diet is maybe the best well-balanced meal they're liable to get that day. It is 100 percent beef." The USDA estimated that LFTB constituted about 6 percent of the 117 million pounds of beef ordered for the nation's school lunch program last year. Eliminating that beef blend from school lunches would significantly raise costs and waste beef that could otherwise be eaten, Johnson said.

To read the in depth report posted at BeWellBuzz.com, please click the link provided below.

http://www.bewellbuzz.com/headline/pink-slime-part-2/

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