Sunday, April 8, 2012

Slime, Slime, Everywhere Slime (and BEETLES! STRAWBERRY SAUCE IS BEETLES)!!!

Pink Slime. It's what's for dinner.

I've been reading with a fair amount of amusement as people freak out about "Pink Slime" in their ground beef. It's gross, yes, but no grosser, honestly, than anything else most people eat.

This is not to say I'm not outraged at the idea of Pink Slime - I am. But I avoid it by not eating ground beef of unknown origin. What strikes me as ironic is that he same people who are freaking out about the Pink Slime are probably feeding Happy Meals, hot dogs, and white bread to their kids.

And speaking of pink....

Similarly, the whole outrage over the recent revelation that Starbucks uses carmine (extracted from crushed cochineal beetles) in the strawberry sauce used for frappuccinos and smoothies is equally as silly. I dare say if you're horking down that sugar and fat-laden crap, a common ingredient used in TONS of red-colored foods is the least of your worries. I get that vegans are a little bummed that it contains an "animal product," and I respect their dismay over having to skip the treat as a result, but the whole "cruelty" and "ew gross" freakout is what annoys me. Please. What did you have for breakfast? Examine that first, look at how many artificially created chemical ingredients went into it, and then talk to me about how "gross" it is that there are extracts made from beetles in your food coloring. It's an EXTRACT. It's not like Starbucks is tossing handfuls of beetles into the blender when they make a drink. I mean, really, people. Get a fucking grip.

I'm not trying to be unsympathetic. In previous posts I have made it very clear how I feel about the food situation in this country, and how I have made the commitment to eat closer to the earth and eat meat of only reputable origin, to support local farmers, et cetera. So I get it.

But here's the issue: strawberries are not pepto-pink, and yet people who want strawberry-flavored things want them to look that color. And so they must be enhanced. Artificial colors are created in labs by scientists and are not a natural food source. The harvest of cochineal is a sustainable source of income for the Central- and South American communities who make their livings plucking the bugs off cacti. So in essence, Starbucks is helping people and staying consistent with their mission to promote sustainability, and are using a source that is harvested from their natural habitat and not raised in a factory farm. But they've managed to piss off another segment of the population in the process.

So. I guess it boils down to two fundamental points.

1. Pick your battles.
2. You can't please everyone.

And life goes on.

No comments:

Post a Comment