As it was mentioned in "5 Facts the Food Industry Doesn't Want You to Know," not all the ingredients in our food are listed on the label. The latest outcry in the war against mystery food revolves around "Pink Slime" - a disturbingly popular ground beef filler made of low-grade meat throwaways that have been treated heavily with ammonium. It's been widely used for the last decade and up until recently, most nationwide fast food chains (including McDonalds, Taco Bell, and Burger King) have used it as filler for their burgers. Many believe that up to 70% of the ground beef in the market today contains it.

What's very distressing to many people, particularly parents, is that one of the most notable purchasers and users of "Pink Slime" is the National School Lunch Program, the federally assisted system that helps provide inexpensive food to children across America every school day. This slime filler, which was formerly one of the primary ingredients in dog food, is being used to maximize the output of food, but at what cost? While it makes ground beef cheaper, findings from the NY Times suggests that the process is not truly safe, despite what the USDA says.

Considering many items on the label are already listed with near-inscrutable chemical names and vague blanket terms like "natural flavors," that there is potential for so many other non-specified ingredients is a valid cause for concern. The case of "carmine" food coloring comes to mind, a red dye which was discovered to be made from Cochineal bugs after certain individuals reported severe allergic reactions to it.

If you want to speak out against this pink slime in some small way, you can start with signing this online petition to "Tell the USDA to stop using Pink Slime in Food!" Don't wait until more harm comes out of the unscrupulous actions of big organizations and do something today!

Photo Credits: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images, Robert Shapiro/USA Today, Business Insider

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