View Mobile Site

Ask the Expert

Signal Photos


Jim Walker: Days of pink slime and soylent green

Don't Take Me Seriously

Posted: March 30, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: March 30, 2012 1:55 a.m.

By now, most of you out there have become aware of the “pink slime” crisis regarding our nation’s beef supply, particularly as it relates to school lunches.

But for those others, here’s a little background: Pink slime, as it has been affectionately nicknamed, is “lean, finely textured beef” derived from “trimmings” that have been mechanically stripped of their fat and treated with ammonium hydroxide (you know, like they use in window cleaner) to destroy any pathogens that may be found in the material.


And it kinda looks like strawberry soft ice cream.

I read that, of the 117 million pounds of beef ordered nationally for the school lunch program last year, 6 percent was this stuff, which gets blended into other ground beef. But any given final beef product sent to schools was composed of no more than 15 percent pink slime.

Well, that’s a relief.

We are told that pink slime is a harmless, nutritious, low-fat, cost-cutting additive, and I will leave the analysis to you … you know, after I gag … and after I note that we are one huge step closer to soylent green, my friends.

Now, most of you of a certain age will be familiar with soylent green. But for those others, I will summarize. As Charlton Heston shouts while he’s being carted away in the 1973 movie of the same name: “Soylent green is people!”
(More specifically, it’s Edward G. Robinson, who, by the way, never made a movie after that, so you do the math.)

At the end of the film, we find out those little green wafers, supposed to be made from plankton, are actually being made from the surplus human population — effectively turning all who eat soylent green into cannibals.

Powerful stuff.

Oh, and by the way, the time period for these fictional events was 2022. In ’73, that seemed like a long way off. But it doesn’t anymore, does it? Especially when we are already eating pink slime … and taking “their” word for what it is.

Yeah, cue the scary music.

But here, I submit that there is a better way to make use of people. It requires a little more patience than collecting them alive in giant scooper trucks and hauling them off to the processing plant, but it’s a little less intrusive and a lot more “green.”

I use myself as an example.

I have volunteered my non-donate-able body parts to be used, upon my death, as fertilizer at a nearby organic vegetable farm. In this way, I will not use up any valuable real estate as burial space, nor waste any fossil fuels in my cremation. Further, my remains will help feed those of you who survive me.

You are welcome, and, yes, I have always been a giver.

And it just doesn’t carry the same scare factor for someone to shout “Tomatoes are people!” Right?

This is the high road, folks. There is a big difference between my method of providing nutrients to y’all and some sketchy food substance that is chemically altered and made from … well … who you gonna believe?

You see, microbes and earthworms and such will break me down, and plants will absorb me as pure and simple nutrients … except, that is, for all the heavy metals I have acquired over the years.

I mean, in my time I have melted lead for scuba weights and inhaled the fumes. I have chewed some paint and played with liquid mercury in my bare palms. And I have eaten those little silver balls on cake frosting and swallowed the occasional shot of Goldschlager.

And while all the above probably accounts for my eccentric “creativity,” these metals may not have the same beneficial effect on you.

But really, should you eat an ear of corn grown on the field of my last repose, how much toxic substance will you actually ingest?

Piffle, I say.

In the meantime, I’m staying away from pink slime. You will thank me for it someday when you are at the organic vegetable counter.

Comment at or at


Most Popular Articles

There are no articles at this time.
Commenting not available.
Commenting is not available.


Powered By
Morris Technology
Please wait ...