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The Dripby Brew Editors9:04 amMar 19, 20120

Baltimore schools: no “pink slime” on menu

Above: Mmmm. Ammonia-treated beef trimmings, a.k.a. “lean finely-textured beef,” a.k.a. “pink slime.”

Baltimore public school students are not getting slimed, we’ve discovered.

Celeb-chef Jamie Oliver has been continuing his campaign to horrify America by pointing out the disgusting stuff its citizens consume. The latest – an ammonia-treated beef byproduct dubbed “pink slime” that is used as a filler in hamburgers.

Under pressure by a petition campaign and a meat industry public relations nightmare, the U.S. Department of Agriculture decided last week to let schools choose products without it. McDonald’s has vowed to stop using the product, and so have various school systems.

The 110,000-student district where former Baltimore school lunch czar Tony Geraci now works, Memphis, hasn’t used the product at least since he arrived in October, he told the Associated Press.

AP quoted Geraci, executive director of child nutrition for Memphis schools stating what seems like, the obvious: that the stuff is “horrible.” (Though of course, there’s a National Meat Association that says it’s safe and many of us have, no doubt, unknowingly eaten buckets of the stuff in our lifetimes.)

“Any time you buy something that is chunked, chopped or formed, you run the risk of problems with product integrity,” Geraci said. “We buy whole-muscle stuff. We buy whole pork shoulders. We buy whole turkeys.”

What About Baltimore?

Here’s what city schools spokeswoman Edie House-Foster told us:

“I have checked with the head of food services. Mr. [Antonio] Womack  [Director, Food and Nutrition Services] informs me that the vendors who supply us report that they do not use finely textured beef or ammonium hydroxide [a.k.a., pink slime] in our ground beef products.”

So that’s where the matter stands.

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