Can You Detect Pink Slime?

AP runs a food test, and the slime doesn't do well

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 16, 2012 11:18 AM CDT | Updated Mar 18, 2012 9:10 AM CDT

(Newser) – Pink slime, now available in schools, certainly sounds disgusting—but does it actually affect a burger's taste? Writing for the AP, a food critic conducted a taste test to find out. In the process, JM Hirsch learned that unless your meat is organic—which guarantees no slime—it's very difficult to tell from a burger's label whether it contains the stuff. Because pink slime is, in industry terms, just "lean, finely textured beef," there's no need for producers to mention it as an ingredient.

Hirsch's grocers didn't even know whether most of their ground beef contained the slime. Still, he was able to pin down an organic variety that definitely didn't have it and another brand that definitely did. After cooking them under precise conditions, he sampled each one and found a clear difference. The non-slime version was juicy, "savory, and meaty" with "just the right texture." The pink slime burger, while tolerable, lacked much flavor and contained "unpleasantly chewy bits." Click through for the full taste test.

A hamburger made from ground beef containing what is derisively referred to as "pink slime," right, and one made from pure 85% lean ground beef.   (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
A hamburger made from ground beef containing "pink slime," or what the meat industry calls "lean, finely textured beef," right, and one made from pure 85% lean ground beef.   (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
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