I’ve eaten a lot of stuff in my life.  The evidence of that is my continued struggle with my weight and my Life Time Membership in Weight Watchers.  It has been just the thing for me.  Healthful, clean food, and it has helped make me a cleaner cook.  I watch what goes in the food, cook in healthy ways, and buy fresh whenever I can.  And, I can choose what to eat or what not to eat.  Well usually, anyway, which is the whole point.

When I was a kid, I remember my charming older brother—you know who you are—tricking me into eating chocolate covered bugs of some kind, telling me they were actually peanuts.  Never trust your brother.

Then there were the tiny pieces of rattlesnake meat under an olive.  Never trust your father.  Or the Prairie oysters.  Never trust your father.  Goodness knows what else I inadvertently consumed under the belief it was edible and acceptable.  Don’t get me wrong, Dad also taught me to eat lobster, fine rare steak, and things like venison, squab, goose, and pheasant.  The pheasant was not under glass.  It was in the freezer,  and we had it quite often during hunting season.  Things were different in North Dakota.

I remember having pet rabbits, then not having rabbits, then rabbits appearing on the supper table.  I don’t know if it was Fluffy.  I do know that neither I nor the aforementioned brother were hungry that evening.

Time, maturity, AND nursing took care of my weak stomach.  I, like most nurses, can talk about anything while eating cafeteria food.  In all the years, I remember only one meal I missed because of something I witnessed at work.  I’ll spare you the details, but suffice it to say beef liver was on the menu in the cafeteria that day.  It was a long time ago.  People put beef liver on the menu then.  (Which leads me to wonder, will they say that about pink slime, too?)

Which brings me to PINK SLIMEa.k.a. boneless lean beef trimmings or BLBT.  I feel as if I’ve been slimed, deceived, cheated, and yukked.  Despite a strong stomach and a reasonable tolerance for dietary variety, the thought of eating ammonia-treated beef and beef byproducts causes my stomach to churn.  And to think, I, as have most Americans who ever had a fast food burger, have eaten it and probably thought it pretty good.

I got to thinking.  I’m a cook.  I mean, I actually have pots and pans, buy groceries that aren’t frozen, and prepare meals.  I also have a KitchenAid™ professional mixer and a basket of attachments, including a grinder.  I can make my own ground beef if I choose.

Not to go overboard, I decided to investigate.  So I asked the butcher at Publix™ about pink slime.  He related the whole chain of custody of the beef displayed in the cooler before my eyes.  I verified his version with the store manager and on the Internet.  I’m safe.  I’m also safe if I shop at Whole Foods.  I hope.

Regulations do not require the listing of BLBT or pink slime by either name on the labels.  A spokesperson on the news said, “It’s labeled BEEF, which is what it is.”  Such a sad betrayer of consumer trust.

I’m thinking we need to raise the bar for the USDA—to be fair, I saw in the Daily today that schools now have a choice to slime or not to slime— meat producers, and the many retailers who knowingly sell the product without telling their customers.  We also need to quit feeding our children products that many a discerning pet owner wouldn’t knowingly put in a ceramic dish on the kitchen floor.

What do you say?