The discussion around 'Pink Slime' just keeps growing and growing. Now, some big meat producers might have to claim bankruptcy over the material they call 'finely textured beef'. AFA foods, one of the largest meat producers in the United States, filed for protection as it sales continue to decline. Beef producers using finely textured beef, or pink slime as many call it, have been locked out of many big markets. McDonald's has eliminated it from their burgers, some grocery stores have stopped buying from meat producers that use it, and some schools are eliminating it from their lunches. So, if you can't sell your product to fast food places, grocery stores, or schools, where can you sell it?
With all the attention the slime is getting, many meat producers are finding that they need to have a better product if they are going to survive. However, AFA foods is preparing for the worst by filing for a chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in an attempt to "unlock value and provide a smooth transition for employees, customers and other business partners." The Pennsylvania-based company has over 850 employees and produces about 500 million pounds of ground beef each year. Some smaller companies may be ready to fill in with their products if AFA does go under. Bob Chilliwack, an organic, grass-fed beef producer from Montana, has come up with his own natural filler that he calls green slime. His slime uses white vinegar instead of ammonia, but it still retains the taste, tang, and texture of pink slime.
One thing is for sure, Americans are demanding more transparency in their politics and their food. The controversy over pink (or green) slime is still in the early stages and how it will affect beef producers is yet to be seen.