Did you hear that NASA recently launched a bunch of Holsteins into low Earth orbit? They called it the Herd Shot 'Round The World! And now, a really serious bovine shot has been heard around the world. Pink slime.
You can add Finely Textured Lean Beef to that old list of things you don't want to watch being made. You know, hot dogs, sausage, Spam, and laws. With the possible exception of the last item, all are safe, taste good, and no one is making you digest them.
"A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on." (Winston Churchill)
I Googled 'Jon Stewart slime' because I heard he did a damning sketch on the LFTB (Lean Finely Textured Beef) debacle. I got a video of the comedian's put down of the maligned, but safe meat. That was no surprise, but what comes next was!
You just can't make up things like this! When I Googled "David Letterman slime," the first topic that came up was "President Bill Clinton appears on David Letterman show...!"
Lo and behold, the fifth posting was "Michelle Obama visits David Letterman." Letterman apparently hadn't jumped (dumped) on the beef industry -- yet, or the slime reference would have been to meat.
You can always depend on the Leno, Letterman and Stewart types to kick a guy when they are down, for that is much of how they make their living. Unfortunately, some of what they say is repeated and accepted as fact by some of their followers.
What is in a name? Legionnaire's disease (Legionella); Mad Cow (BSE); Swine Flu (H1N1); and now Pink Slime (LFTB). To some degree all are unfair misrepresentations. The last three have negatively affected agri-business. We Legionnaires have a disease named after us just because some members of the American Legion were in the Bellvue-Stratford Hotel Philadelphia Hotel in 1976. An outbreak of pneumonia, from a previously unknown strain of bacteria, subsequently named Legionella, occurred. I guess Bellvue-Stratford was too long.
This latest defaming of red meat isn't a case of a 'whistle blower.' No, Gerald Zirnstein (circle that name), a disgruntled former USDA employee just doesn't like LFTB. "If that ammonia wasn't there, if it wasn't added to kill the bacteria, it would also come in as a gray product and you'd have gray slime," he said. "Gray slime!" He said that's his main complaint, and the reason he recommended against the product's use. He is the one who gave it the unsavory moniker which agribusiness cannot shed.
"Ammonia does two things most people don't realize," Zirnstein said. "In high levels, it does more than just kill the...pathogens. It also fixes the color of the meat. So the red meat stays pink." DUH!.
Bettina Siegel, a Texas woman, got up a petition and the result impacts thousands of jobs and every meat eating American's wallet. Now she wants to "just label it." Industry officials responded: "What should we label it? It's 100-percent beef. What do you want us to label it?"
Beef people missed the boat when the slime term first emerged. They should have come up with an acceptable acronym or nickname and pounded us with it.
In more bovine news, the world's widest set of horns is in Lapeer, Michigan, measuring seven foot four inches from tip to tip. Shadow Jubilee is a pretty, black and white spotted, 1200 pound, twelve year old, Longhorn cow. She couldn't get through very many of the barn doors of my day.
For your further education, the spots on black and white cows could be called Holstains, and Milk of Amnesia comes from forgetful cows. Every kid knows why the cow jumped over the moon - the dairy guy had cold hands. But why don't cows have any money? Because farmers milk them dry. What do you call a cow that has given birth? Decalfenated.
There have been some unique names given to possible illnesses of writers, too, such as 'Pensanity,' a debilitating disease based upon the belief that one can make a living writing. 'Rowling Envy,' describes coveting the success of JK Rowling. 'Blabiosis' describes (that's me!) one so impressed with what comes out of his own mouth that he feels he also has to put it on paper
'Sophistosaurus Disease,' an illness in which victim compulsively uses more-sophisticated words, like 'eschewing,' rather than avoid. 'Amengitis' would be an affliction in which victim is obsessed with writing the last, most authoritative and most thought-provoking word on any topic. I try to eschew that one, perhaps only because my Monday column is usually submitted on Friday.
Don Paulin, email@example.com, 7557 30th Av, Norwalk, IA 50211 - 515-201-7236