When it comes to embarrassing behavior, the Democratic Party usually has the market cornered. But there are some days when the Republicans top them.
Thursday was one of those days, as a group of Republican governors and lieutenant governors toured a Nebraska meat plant to show their support for “finely textured lean beef,” aka “pink slime.”
The meat product, if you can call it that, has been in the news of late because your federal government has contracted to buy millions of pounds of the stuff to feed to schoolchildren.
The “pink slime,” dubbed that by the media, is made up of the leavings from cattle carcasses — the ligaments, connective tissues and miscellaneous glop that’s left after all the good beef is gone — all ground up and soaked in ammonium hydroxide for your “safety” and amusement.
The governors — Sam Brownback, Rick Perry and Terry Branstad — visited Beef Products of South Sioux City to try to rehabilitate the image of the gunk, which is used as filler in hamburgers and other alleged meat products.
Since the federal school lunch contract was revealed, the company has taken a hit from the public backlash. It’s been forced to temporarily shut plants in Texas, Kansas and Iowa, affecting about 600 jobs.
The governors issued a joint statement saying that “pink slime” is safe for human consumption, choking down burgers made with the stuff to prove the point.
The governors and the meat company representatives suggested that the only problem with “pink slime” is its image. “If you called it finely textured lean beef, would we be here?” asked Brownback.
Perry echoed the thought: “Why are we here today defending a company that has a rather sterling record dealing with making a food product that is very much needed in this country in a very safe manner? Why are we here today?”
Obviously, governor, you’re there because the meat industry is a big campaign donor, so you have to defend its right to foist faux food on the consuming public.
I have an alternate theory about why “pink slime” has generated such a backlash.
It’s because the stuff is disgusting and isn’t fit for swine, much less children.
With all the government regulation of food, you’d think this would be just the kind of thing that would be prevented from entering our food supply. But that’s probably too much to expect from a government that allows hormones, pesticides, genetically modified fruits and vegetables, and corn syrup into just about everything we eat.
The degradation of our food supply has gotten to the point that you can taste the yuck more often than not. Anybody remember what real beef tastes like? Try to get that for less than $11 a pound nowadays.
I sympathize for the job losses in these times, but that’s what you get when you try to foist garbage on the public and the public finds out.
It’s called the free market.
If the governors like their slime burgers so much, they’re welcome to serve the millions of pounds of pink slime the USDA has ordered at the governors mansions. Give the kids something edible instead.