Are you sure you were enjoying a delicious filet mignon the last time you went out to a fancy steakhouse? Or were you eating pieces of stew-quality meat that were "glued" together to form what resembled a filet mignon, but was actually anything but?
Inciting grassroots involvement in food system issues is critical -- yet, until the pink slime debacle, consumer uprisings have mostly eluded the movement. Why did this issue create such a powerful consumer reaction?
This recent case of mad cow disease could be an isolated case. It could amount to nothing more than a fleeting news item. That, certainly, is what the U.S. meat industry would like officials to think, and what it would like consumers to believe.
With our typical proteins' prices on the rise, the question is whether, as the culture of our population shifts to a more diverse ethnic mix, will popular protein sources from around the world end up on supermarket shelves?
The association of animal protein (especially that loaded with highly saturated fat) and increased health risks is not new. Does the threat of death, as opposed to unpleasant diseases like cancer and heart disease, make a difference in how consumers behave?
So the filler which is the subject of so much controversy has not been in our food supply for "20 years." But what about that claim by BPI and its supporters that the use of this filler has been without incident?
During the weekend, the meat industry hosted a massive picnic in Iowa (with what else, free burgers) to show its support for Beef Products Inc, maker of the filler. The event was held, fittingly, at the Tyson Events Center.