Same Stuff, Different Day – McDonald’s


What? Time to check in with the McDonald’s empire again? Yes, because those rascals just won’t stay out of the news. They seem to operate on the Water Balloon Principle of Ethics. You can squeeze a water balloon in one area and some of the water will move to a different place. But the balloon still has the same amount of water in it. Same with McDonald’s. Every time a public outcry puts a spoke in the wheel of one of their shenanigans, up they pop somewhere else with new mischief. Or old mischief that we just got around to finding out about.

Seems like lately, everybody has been dumping on Jamie Oliver and calling him a failure. Some even criticize him for coming over here instead of staying home and minding his own Great British business. That’s nonsense, because traveling has always been a great career move. Somebody once said, “An expert is a guy from out of town with a slide show.” Nothing wrong with that. Anyway, according to rumor, Chef Oliver can be credited with wrestling the mighty McDonald’s to the ground and forcing an increment of reform.

Here’s the lowdown, from M. Alex Johnson of MSNBC News.

McDonald’s confirmed that it has eliminated the use of ammonium hydroxide… in its hamburger meat… It acknowledged this week that it had stopped using the unappetizing pink goo — made from treating otherwise inedible scrap meat with the chemical — several months ago.

Why do we not want ammonium hydroxide in our fast food feasts? Johnson obligingly explains:

Besides being used as a household cleaner and in fertilizers, the compound releases flammable vapors, and with the addition of certain acids, it can be turned into ammonium nitrate, a common component in homemade bombs… It’s regulated by the U.S. Agriculture Department, which classifies it as ‘generally recognized as safe.’

Yikes! That last statement belongs with the other comedic material Childhood Obesity News has been discussing. But wait – it seems that this chemical is “widely used in the food industry as an anti-microbial agent.” So, it was supposedly mixed in with the hamburger meat to kill germs. What has been substituted? This article doesn’t say.

Last April Jamie Oliver’s TV series introduced viewers to scrap meat (also known as “select lean beef trimmings” in the industry’s terminology) which he characterizes as fit for dogs. The scrap meat is ground up, washed with ammonium hydroxide, then pulverized further and voilà! Pink slime! To make burger patties, it’s combined with more standard ground beef.

The goo looks to be the texture of soft ice cream. In fact, if you thought it was pink ice cream, it would look quite appetizing. The photo of it gushing forth from a machine “went viral,” so the real thing is easy enough to see all over the Web. The bad news is, Mickey D is still making chicken nuggets with the chicken version of pink slime. And pink slime is found in the lunch burgers served to kids in schools all across America.

So McDonald’s quit loading the burgers with ammonia and offal. What about the speculation that this decision resulted from Oliver outing the pink slime? The corporation, of course, denies any causative connection. Hey…whatever. As long as the job got done.

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Source:  McDonald’s drops use of gooey ammonia-based ‘pink slime’ in hamburger meat,, 01/31/12
Image by weelakeo (wee lakeo), used under its Creative Commons license.

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About Dr. Robert A. Pretlow

Dr. Robert A. Pretlow is a pediatrician and childhood obesity specialist. He has been researching and spreading awareness on the childhood obesity epidemic in the US for more than a decade.
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Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the American Society of Animal Science 2020 Conference
What’s Causing Obesity in Companion Animals and What Can We Do About It

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the World Obesity Federation 2019 Conference:
Food/Eating Addiction and the Displacement Mechanism

Dr. Pretlow’s Multi-Center Clinical Trial Kick-off Speech 2018:
Obesity: Tackling the Root Cause

Dr. Pretlow’s 2017 Workshop on
Treatment of Obesity Using the Addiction Model

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation for
TEC and UNC 2016

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the 2015 Obesity Summit in London, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s invited keynote at the 2014 European Childhood Obesity Group Congress in Salzburg, Austria.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2013 European Congress on Obesity in Liverpool, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2011 International Conference on Childhood Obesity in Lisbon, Portugal.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2010 Uniting Against Childhood Obesity Conference in Houston, TX.

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