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a food revolution

The real reason the war against pink slime is working: Gross fake meat is on the run

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Pink slime is on the way out of many grocery store meat departments. Photo by Nick Castonguay/Flickr

Celebrity chef and healthy-food advocate Jamie Oliver has really led a food revolution against pink slime — the ground beef "filler that's washed in  ammonium hydroxide.

First Oliver's campaign convinced McDonald's to stop using pink slime in its burgers (after a public outcry built). Now, the Houston Independent School District (HISD), Kroger, Walmart, and Sam's Club are all vowing to avoid using any pink slime in their beef products or to at least notify customers which products contain the filler.

 Even though pink slime is approved by the USDA, its days appear to be more and more numbered. 

The controversy lies in the fact that pink slime is used as a beef alternative created from scraps that are then treated with ammonia to restore the meat back to its original pink color. Pink slime has been used in up 70 percent of ground beef products in the United States — a stomach-turning statistic.

HISD released a statement this week, vouching that their cafeterias are pink slime free and don't serve any meat containing the filler. Around $800,000 worth of beef was inspected to be sure and the school district's suppliers have also confirmed that they haven't provided HISD with any pink slime products.

Chain grocery giants Walmart and Sam's Club are also set to start offering beef without the lean trimmings. Fresh 100 percent beef is the new catch-phrase — even if it took a long time coming.

Kroger has released a list of beef product lines that contain pink slime and others that don't, like its Private Selection line. H-E-B director of public affairs Cyndy Garza Roberts tells CultureMap that "H-E-B ground beef is 100 percent pure. They have never and will never use additives."

Other stores are vowing to discontinue any pink slime products, remove current ones from their meat sections and not make any future pink slim purchases.

Even though pink slime is approved by the USDA, its days appear to be more and more numbered. And you didn't think one chef could make a difference.

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