ALBANY, N.Y. -- "Pink slime" just went from a simmer to a boil.In less than a week this month, the stomach-turning epithet for ammonia-treated ground beef filler suddenly became a potent rallying cry by activists fighting to ban the product from supermarket shelves and school lunch trays. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is set to announce Thursday it will offer schools choice in ground beef purchases in response to requests from districts.
Though the term has been used pejoratively for at least several years, it wasn't until last week that social media suddenly exploded with worry and an online petition seeking its ouster from schools lit up, quickly garnering hundreds of thousands of supporters.
"It sounds disgusting,"
In this March 12, 2012 photo, Bettina Siegel, center, poses with her son Asher, 9, and daughter Lily, 12, at their home in Houston. Siegel, whose blog, The Lunch Tray, focuses on kids' food, was so upset over a report of ammonia-treated meat trimmings in school lunches she started an online petition asking Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to "put an immediate end to the use of 'pink slime' in our children's school food." (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)
said food policy expert Marion Nestle, who notes that the unappetizing nickname made it easier for the food