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Thursday, March 15, 2012

I'd Like A Cheeseburger With A Side Of Unbridled Undeserved Fear Please.

I must have missed it on T.V.  Sometime, during the last week, almost everyone in America it seems had simultaneously lost their collective minds.  Something to be terribly afraid of, without warning crept out from underneath what ever hideous rock, and became the latest paralyzing event for America.  Move over, "War of the Worlds," Vampires, Hydraulic Fracturing, and what ever other phony baloney scares our news media have cooked up in order to distract us from real issues or problems that we are facing today. Pink slime it seems is what we should all truly be very afraid of, even though we have been eating it and surviving its menace for literally, over half a decade.  Never mind that the alternative is something far worse, and is actually deadly.  The movement to ban it has already reached the mob mentality fevered proportions born of an easily distracted sound byte society.  The only good news for the instantly misinformed ipod generation, we will probably be onto the next outrage sometime next week.  Hopefully, this will occur before people start dying of their own destruction due to salmonella, e coli,  or campy.  All of this of course would have been our own dumb fault anyhow.

When I first heard of Pink Slime, while nominally paying attention to a television turned on in another room, it never dawned on me, that they were actually referring to hamburger itself.  I thought at first that it was some nefariousness unwanted contagion hidden within the meat.  So, in order to set the record straight, please click the link in order to learn some real facts about the supposed menace of Pink Slime, formerly known as hamburger.

Myth 5:

Dangerous chemicals are added to boneless lean beef trimmings.

Fact:

This is a reference to ammonium hydroxide, essentially ammonia and water, both naturally occurring compounds that have been used to make foods safe since 1974, when the Food and Drug Administration declared it GRAS or Generally Recognized as Safe, the highest safety attribution the agency assigns to compounds. Boneless lean beef trimmings receive a puff of ammonia to eliminate bacteria safely and effectively. When combined with moisture naturally in beef, ammonium hydroxide is formed, which is a naturally occurring compound found in many foods, in our own bodies and the environment. Food safety experts and scientists agree it is an effective way to ensure safer ground beef.

This one part of the conjured up terror is especially amazing to me, particularly when the alternative is considered. The alternative of course is purposefully inflicting our children and ourselves with food born pathogens. I don't know about you, but I don't want to inflict myself with food poisoning. That we as Americans would fall prey to some chicanery such as this is nothing new. We watched it happen about a month ago with hydraulic fracturing, a process of oil production which has been in use since the 1960's, and only declared a terrible menace late last year, it surprised the hell out of me to learn that there are about 1 Million such wells in operation which have been around for about 50 years. What is becoming new is the speed with which we can be so easily turned into an angry mob and mobilized into some idiotic action, such as purposefully poisoning ourselves. the last straw for me occurred this morning. A Facebook friend sent me an invitation to join a, "cause," (another topic entirely,) which sought as its goal, the elimination of bacteria free hamburger meat being served in our society. It wasn't phrased that way, it wanted the end of, "Pink Slime." I won't be joining this cause of course, as it is beyond stupid. It is dangerous.

I realize that it is sexy to have the appearance of someone who actually cares, and who is fighting to save the planet from what ever terror lies in wait for the unsuspecting unwashed masses. Just please, to all of you junior James and Jennifer Bonds out there, please take the time to use two or three brain cells in those big brains of yours to make sure that you are actually saving the world for the rest of us. I have been hospitalized once in my life due to food poisoning, and it was as a result of my own stupidity. I learned from my mistake, and I have ceased the practice which led to this. I do not want to have a repeat performance because somebody else was saving me from a terror that was not real, or fixing something that wasn't broken to begin with. There is nothing sexy about being one of Milgram's 37, mindlessly participating in any bit of idiocy your overlords tell you is the crusade dujour.

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