Over the past couple of days, the list of grocery stores that have said they will stop selling beef with added lean, finely textured beef (LFTB) — also known as “pink slime” — has grown.


Kroger, Stop & Shop, Food Lion, Supervalue and Safeway all announced their intentions to stop selling beef with the filler because of customer concerns. Other stores, including Whole Foods, A&P, and Costco, are coming out to announce that their beef has never had LFTB. My grocery store of choice, Wegmans, made the statement on its website that the company's organic and “Food You Feel Good About” ground beef does contain “lean beef trimmings.”


The beef industry is getting worried that the decisions by these stores to sell “pink slime-less” beef could lead to an increase in ground beef prices. The American Meat Institute said in the short term, these stores may see an increased cost for ground beef. The amount of the increase was not specified.


As I was reading about this, I was pleased to see more evidence that the voices of consumers are finally being heard and taken into consideration. Then, I read that the American Meat Institute estimates that an additional 1.5 million head of cattle will be necessary to create the meat that will take the place of “pink slime.”


Ugh. One problem solved; another one created. About 1.5 million more cows, many of them raised in CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations). Cattle raised this way are usually kept in inhumane conditions, fed food that they wouldn’t naturally eat, and pumped full of antibiotics. CAFOs create many environmental problems, too.


I don’t have any solutions to this problem, but I do have some advice. Eat less beef. And, when you do choose to eat beef, try to get it from a local farm where you know the cows have been raised and fed in a humane manner. 


Has all the “pink slime” talk lately changed the way you think about and buy beef?


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Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Less 'pink slime' may mean more poorly treated cattle
Many grocery stores are getting rid of beef with added lean, finely textured beef due to consumer concern. Score one for consumers — but not for the cows.