Do You Know What You're Eating pt. 1: Ammonia Burgers

bad burger


Do you know what's really in the food you're eating? This is part one of a planned series of articles that will reveal just how bad we've allowed the American food supply to get. Hamburgers are on the menu today, and what I'm about to reveal may make you think twice before ever eating another burger.

First, watch this video from celebrity chef Jamie Oliver:

When a cow is cut up into steaks, there a bunch of trimming left over. In the words of Oliver himself, "We call those trimmings shit . . . All the bits no one wants. The bits of sinew, the bits of meat, the bits that can't be turned into a cut." All of the leftover "meat" is what becomes hamburger. It's inedible in it's natural state, as it's full of harmful pathogens like E. coli and salmonella, but that doesn't stop manufacturers. It isn't fit for human consumption, yet manufacturers have come up with a way to turn the inedible scraps of meat into something that can be sold as food.

The meat is sent to a rendering plant where it's tossed in a centrifuge to separate the meat from the fat. It's then bathed in ammonia to kill off all of the harmful microorganisms. That's right, the meat is treated with a toxic household chemical just to make it fit for consumption. It becomes "pink slime" that's found in up to 70% of ground beef products. To top things off, the USDA doesn't require manufacturers to label products containing this slime, even though they're allowed to contain up to 15% of it by volume.

Since there are no labeling requirements, the only way to be sure of what you're getting is to either grind your own beef into hamburger or to have the butcher do it in front of you. Don't fall for labels that say "100% beef." These labels are pretty much meaningless in the grand scheme of things.

I don't know about you, but I don't want my hamburger to be made from meat scraps and I damn sure don't want it to contain ammonia. As consumers, we have the right to know exactly what's in our food and should demand nothing less than full disclosure.