Something really pretty (a jewelry giveaway!) and something really NOT (ammonia-treated beef)

  • A fellow homeschooling mom, much craftier than I, has a contest going until 10/22/10, a giveaway of two separate gift certificates — one for $25 and one for $10.  You can enter in a wide variety of ways.  She doesn’t require a purchase, but I went onto her Etsy shop (she has a second one, here), and I liked *EVERY SINGLE THING*.  I recently sold some curriculum, and used some of the PayPal balance to purchase three things.  I could easily have bought about fifty things, but I restrained myself.
  • On a totally different note, as I was researching the use of ammonia (for in my home), I read the Wikipedia entry on it.  Color me SHOCKED when I read a blurb about large fast-food chains using ammonia to disinfect beef for its burgers.  The meat (or should I say, “meat”)  is obtained using a process that liquefies the fat in fatty trimmings and then centrifuges it out.  The fine sludge that remains is then treated with ammonia to kill e-coli and other pathogens.  Now, it appears that only a portion of each patty from McDonald’s and

    Beef Products Inc.'s ammonia-treated beef

    Burger King uses the low-quality ammonia-treated beef, but that doesn’t make me feel any better.  I can honestly say that it has been…  I think… two years since I’ve had any beef from either of those two places, but suffice it to say that — IF YOU HAVE TO pH TEST THE LEVEL OF YOUR MEAT TO MAKE SURE IT’S NOT DANGEROUSLY ALKALINE FROM HAVING IT TREATED WITH AMMONIA, then it’s not really anything I want to eat.  Ever again.  EVER.  Sounds too crazy to be true, right?  Too gross??  Sadly, no.  Do read the whole October 2009 New York Times exposé — it’s really interesting.  The focus of the article was primarily on the SAFETY of the meat, and all I could think about was, “THEY’RE TREATING FOOD WITH AMMONIA AND DISCUSSING THE SAFETY AND THE ODOR!!!  THIS IS NOT RIGHT!!!!!!”  Lordy.  Maybe this is one reason why Americans are having such trouble with food pH that is too high, too alkaline…  That’s a whole ‘nother can of worms, I guess.  😦

    • By the way, on the rare occasions when I have a burger, I really like In-N-Out.  I visited their website, and sent in an e-mail, asking about ammonia in their beef.  They replied, asking me to call their toll-free number, which I did.  Turns out, they do all of their butchering in-house (they have one butcherhouse which is the lone supplier of their meat), and they do not use ammonia in their beef.
    • Beef Products, Inc., the primary producer of this ammonia-treated beef also is a MAJOR supplier for public school cafeteria lunches.  (Add that to the ever-growing list of reasons why I’m happy we homeschool.)

About Karen Joy

I'm a partially-homeschooling mother of six -- 3 boys ages 19, 17 and 15 years old, and three girls: 11, 8, and 3. I like birding, reading, writing, organic gardening, singing, playing guitar, hiking, the outdoors, and books. I very casually lead a very large group of homeschooling families in the Phoenix area. I have a dear hubby who designs homes for a local home builder and who is the worship pastor of our church. I live in the desert, which I used to hate, but now appreciate.

Posted on October 19, 2010, in Contests, Cooking/Baking/Food/Recipes, Health, Scary stuff, Science, Shopping. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I saw on food inc that they do that to chicken too. Or maybe it was bleach?

    • I still haven’t seen Food, Inc! I keep meaning to put it on hold at the library, and haven’t. I did see (twice!) Michael Pollan’s The Botany of Desire, which covers at least some of the same ideas, but more from a plant-production/farming standpoint. I found it completely fascinating.

      The whole ammonia-beef thing made me wonder if something similar was done with chicken. Cleaning with bleach or ammonia? I’m OK with that (mostly). But, putting it IN THE FOOD?? Not OK.

  2. If you ever come this way, you can buy Braum’s milk and beef and be sure it is safe too. We have toured the plant several times. They are very dedicated to having safe food.

    • Christy, I’m really torn about the idea of safe food. Rather like I commented above, of course I want clean facilities where my food is processed… but I draw the line at putting disinfectants IN the food, even if that makes it safer! Ugh.

      I looked up Braum’s, though. Cool concept! I love the idea of having a store/restaurant/soda fountain all in one. Fresh food… Mmmm… It seems like, similar to In-N-Out (which I don’t think extends to Oklahoma), Braum’s keeps tabs on quality by not outsourcing any of its operations. Largish company, run with small-company quality and precision. I’m all for that!

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