A Handy, Disgusting Guide to Pink Slime and Other Mechanically Processed Meats


Is it getting hard to keep track of bad news from the American meat industry? A brief guide from Pro Publica explains the subtle differences between pink slime, white slime, and good old-fashioned mechanical meat recovery. It also explains where to find (avoid?) the meats and how they’ll be labeled.

Pink slime is ideal for burgers and meatloaf while white slime works best for hot dogs and bologna. As for mechanical recovery:

Without grinding, crushing or pulverizing the bone itself, a machine removes edible tissue from beef and pork bones. If the resulting bits have more than 150 mg of calcium per 100 grams (indicating the presence of bones) they must be labeled “mechanically separated” meat.

And if not, it’s often used for taco filling and meatballs and simply labeled “beef.”

Via Pro Publica