Pink slime refers to the filler ingredients that is put in meat by many manufacturers. It is made up of undesirable animal parts and tissues, sometimes refered to as 'lean beef trimmings, and historically only used in dog food. This meat is approved by the US Department of Agriculture and sold by many stores.
Several scientists claim this is very unhealthy and a high risk product. It is treated with ammonium hydroxide to kill bacteria such as e.coli and salmonella. It is believed to be used in about 70% of meat in the US. McDonald's, Burger King, and Taco Bell have stopped using it, yet the government has purchased seven million pounds to be fed to kids in public schools. Many parents have started petitions to try to stop the use of this meat in the national school lunch program. So far a petition has received over 200,000 signatures at change.org, a website that offers electronic petitions. As of yet the USDA has yet to respond to the online petition. Others are demanding that the FDA start labeling meat ingredients so consumers know what they are buying. The price of meat goes up, yet the cost to make it just gets cheaper and cheaper with government lax in food regulations.
A few people have come forward, making statements that there is nothing wrong with the ingredient, and the uproar is only due to a 'perception' that its bad. They argue that pink slime is federally regulated and considered safe for human consumption. One company even started a new website, called pink slime is a myth, trying to dispute the criticism. A USDA spokesperson stated that USDA products have to meet the highest standards for health and safety.
In my opinion, just because the FDA says something is safe doesn't necessarily mean it is. And product testing means nothing since most of the time the effects aren't seen until many years later. It may not make you sick immediately after consumption, but I'd bet it has some effect on the body after years of exposure. Many activists have began protests to ban pink slime from supermarkets and schools.
Nutrition labels for meat were voluntary since 1993. But beginning March 1, 2012, companies are required to start labeling meat. Labels will list ingredients such as calories, protein, fat content, saturated fat, and sodium. The pink slime ingredient isn't required to be listed on the label because it is considered meat.
The only way to know what you are buying is to purchase 100% organic meat. If it is stamped USDA Organic then it is real meat with no filler ingredients. Or at your local grocery store you can ask the meat cutter to cut or grind roast or other products in front of you so that you can see what is being put in it. It amazes me that corporations turn their heads to what they are feeding us for the almighty dollar. I bet they don't feed it to their children.