Hold the Pickles! Hold the Lettuce! Hold the . . .

I’m referring to a meat by-product commonly used as an inexpensive filler in ground beef and processed meats. It is composed of beef trimmings that have been scraped from the bone during processing, ground up, centrifuged, and sterilized with ammonium hydroxide.

Photo: IMR film, It’s Back! (Really?) McDonald’s Pink Slime

This disgusting innovation was created by Beef Products Inc., a large-scale meat producer who rebranded their name to Empirical Foods after use of this nauseating slurry was brought to the public’s attention in 2012 when it was featured in a scathing exposé by ABC’s Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution.
To the horror of viewers, Oliver’s coverage revealed that 70% of American beef is considered pink slime. In today’s rabid climate of censorship, a mainstream journalist would more than likely be fired and canceled for even attempting to pitch a story like this.

The good news: ABC’s reporting led to a widespread outrage that ultimately resulted in the discontinued use of pink slime. (Hallelujah!)

The bad news: As of 2019, the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) (God bless them) has now ruled that pink slime can be officially referred to and sold as ground beef. (You can’t make this up.)

USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service has determined that pink slime meets the regulatory definition of ground beef under the law in 9 CFR 319.15(a) and may be labeled accordingly. With the stroke of a pen and a disposal barf bag, they classified pink slime as “lean, finely textured beef.” The reclassification is a result of Empirical Foods’ improved method of creating the meat paste, a process that is not readily available for public consumption.


While American consumers were busy stuffing themselves with Happy Meals, barbequed ribs, and corn dogs, meat industry producers, packers, and lobbyists—in collusion with USDA and the US Congress—pushed forth legislation to eliminate labels on packages of meat that identify where the animals were born, raised, and slaughtered. That is to say, when meat products arrive on our shores from unregulated countries like Brazil, Namibia, and God knows where, it’s mixed in with similar US meat products and then processed, packaged, and shipped to retailers throughout the country. Hence, when consumers see USDA stamped on packages, the assumption is that the meat they are purchasing is homegrown when nothing could be further from the truth.

Fun fact: Beef and pork are the only two products imported into the United States of America that do not require a country-of-origin label, an industry-wide acronym pathetically referred to as “COOL.”

The result: Unless you are buying meat products directly from a local farm-to-slaughterhouse operation, you have no idea a) where your meat came from, b) when or how it was processed, c) when it arrived, or d) how long it’s been in storage. Even then, it’s a freaking crapshoot, because local slaughterhouses are subject to state and federal inspections and regulations which—similar to the ahh . . . highly respectable, and always reliable external inspection entities that have saved us from the questionable manufacturing practices of airline, automotive, and pharmaceutical industries—local in$pector$ are not immune from bribery and corruption.

In 2020, the plandemic shut down an estimated 9.4 million small businesses, a strategy that drove the masses to big-chain box stores like Walmart and Target where ( m i r a c u l o u s l y ) folks could shop stress free and not have to worry about catching the “deadly virus.”

That same year, the USDA, with the help of the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC), used the crisis as a pretext to massacre US livestock and close down processing plants across the country. These God-fearing humanitarians even found it in their hearts to set up a National Incident Coordination Center to help livestock producers facilitate this utterly despicable process that euthanized tens of thousands of helpless animals, put hundreds of cattle ranchers out of business, and fattened the wallets of importers, producers, packers, and their government shills.


If you’re one of those rare and foolish oddballs who feel inclined to do your own research regarding the health benefits of meat consumption or lack thereof, it’s always prudent to first check for conflicts of interest. More often than not, featured studies with outcomes espousing the health benefits of animal products are bought and paid for either directly or indirectly by the meat industry.

This was best exemplified in a 2015 interview with Professor David Klurfeld who, at the time, was National Leader for Human Nutrition at the USDA.

When confronted and presented with hard evidence after writing Hot Dog Consumption and Childhood Cancer, a pro-industry research study paid for by The American Meat Institute, Klurfeld unashamedly said the following:

“. . . you have to understand that the industry is a money-making business so they’re very risk adverse. They would not fund a study that someone would propose to them that eating hot dogs increases the risk of childhood cancer. Why would they fund that? They would only fund something that says . . . proposes that childhood cancer is prevented by eating more hot dogs, or there is no relationship. They’re not going to fund a study that is bad for their business.”

Why anyone would even question a study like this is beyond my comprehension. I mean, think about it. Hot dogs filled with sodium nitrate and pink slime. What could possibly go wrong?


Every week, an estimated 1.7 billion farm animals are slaughtered globally, 92.2 billion annually. That’s billion with a “b.”

Brazil’s JBS, the world’s largest butchers, slaughters a staggering 13 million animals every single day and has annual revenue of 50 billion. This, in my mind, begs the question: How does contributing to this vile practice align with one’s ethical values and journey toward living a loving, compassionate, and truly authentic and humane existence?

In the US, people attempting to expose the horrendous conditions present in large-scale slaughterhouses, for both animals and factory workers, can, under law, be arrested, fined, and charged with domestic terrorism.

The meat industry and their government and media cohorts will stop at nothing to keep this information from the public. As a matter of fact, you’re more likely to go to prison for exposing animal cruelty than for committing it.

Photo: Direct Action Everywhere’s (DxE)

Sadly, their efforts have been largely successful as most people consuming beef, chicken, pork, lamb, and other animals have no idea how these dead—onetime sentient beings—got from their natural habitat . . . to the feed lot . . . to the slaughterhouse . . . and onto store shelves. The process is virtually invisible to them.

A few years back, Melanie Joy, professor of psychology and sociology at the University of Massachusetts, in Boston, gave a brilliant TED Talk presentation (40.1M views) exposing industry practices by making the invisible visible.

A word of caution, especially for domestic pet and animal lovers: If you plan on watching Prof. Joy’s presentation in the comfort of your living room, you may want to rip the seatbelt out of your car and attach it to your couch.

John Califano