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Students Eating "Pink Slime" for Lunch? Fast Foods Have Ditched the "Meat" But Schools Are Still Stuck With It

Ammonia-treated meat "product." Served at a school near you?

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The Daily's reporting indicates that perhaps it's not the best idea in the world that an inspection agency in charge of passing bare minimum standards and the agency that chooses foods for young children's consumption might wisely be separated: 

The USDA, which plans to buy 7 million pounds of Lean Beef Trimmings from BPI in the coming months for the national school lunch program, said in a statement that all of its ground beef purchases “meet the highest standard for food safety.” USDA officials also noted that the sole role of the food inspection service is to determine the overall safety of the nation’s food supply, not to make judgments on a product’s relative merits. 

But Zirnstein and Custer say that the USDA now finds itself in the odd position of purchasing a product that has recently been dropped by fast-food giants McDonald’s, Burger King and Taco Bell. 

And it may not even be that safe. FoodWhistleBlower.org explains that one of their clients--a former employee of the company--has some beef (pun intended) with his former employers' safety disclosure record:

"Kit Foshee, who worked at BPI for 10 years, said he was terminated for refusing to participate in his company's alleged knowing misrepresentation of microbial data to the USDA and alleged false claims made to customers about the product's safety. For more on his whistleblowing disclosures, visit  Foshee's profile." 

Celebrity Chef Jamie Oliver has been one of the leading critics of this form of meat-making. His segment on it, in the video below, is viscerally shocking. In his foodie world, says Oliver, they call these parts of the cow--the part American schoolchildren eat--"the @#$%" (it's bleeped).

Watch below.

Sarah Seltzer is an associate editor at AlterNet and a freelance writer based in New York City. Her work has been published at the Nation, the Christian Science Monitor, Jezebel and the Washington Post. Follow her on Twitter at @fellowette and find her work at sarahmseltzer.com.

 
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