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McDonald’s Takes Pink Slime off Hamburger Menu

by Scott Ledbetter


Ammonium hydroxide with beef trimmings, image from KSDK TV

McDonald’s confirmed that as of last August, the company no longer used the pink slime known as ammonium hydroxide, a chemical used in fertilizers, window cleaners, as well as other cleaners and is known mainly as ammonia. McDonald’s used this chemical, according to MSNBC, to prepare its beef trimmings.

McDonald’s Senior Director of Quality Systems, Todd Bacon, explained in a statement on McDonald’s own site, why they made the change.

“At the beginning of 2011, we made a decision to discontinue the use of ammonia-treated beef in our hamburgers. This product has been out of our supply chain since August of last year. This decision was a result of our efforts to align our global standards for how we source beef around the world.”

The US Department of Agriculture labels ammonium hydroxide as “generally recognized as safe”, and it is used by McDonald’s and other food restaurants as an anti-microbial agent in order to make inedible meats edible.  
Sarah Prochaska, a dietitian based out of St. Louis, Missouri, told KSDK, a NBC affiliate, that consumers may not know what chemicals are in their food because the USDA considers chemicals like ammonium hydroxide as a part of the “component in a production procedure”.  Watch her interview below.

We have covered what goes in to the McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets, containing an anti-foaming agent, and how ammonia is in orange juicewhat is in food coloring, and Chinese hair as a dough conditioner,  The International Business Times gives even more items that you may not know is in your food.  Thy list:
Ammonium sulfate: Similar in chemical composition to the wash for meat trimmings, this substance is used as a dough enhancer in some commercial bakers. The chemical feeds dough-rising yeast and makes a more consistent bread. 
Propylene glycol: This chemical is very similar to ethylene glycol – dangerous anti-freeze. This less-toxic iteration prevents products from becoming too solid. Low-free ice cream has the ingredient; otherwise you’d be eating ice. 
Carmine: Commonly found in red food coloring, this chemical comes from crushed cochineal, small red beetles that burrow into cacti. Husks of the beetle are ground up and forms the basis for red coloring found in foods ranging from cranberry juice to M&Ms. 
Titanium dioxide: This whitening agent is used in sun screen, but is also added to skim milk that is normally bluish in color. This chemical doesn’t have to be listed as an ingredient, so you may not know if you’re drinking it or not. 
Shellac: Yes, this chemical used to finish wood products also gives some candies their shiny sheen. Plus, it comes from the female Lac beetle. 
L-cycsteine: This common dough enhancer comes from hair, feathers, hooves and bristles. 
Lanolin (gum base): Next time you chew on gum, remember this. The goopiness of gum comes from lanolin, oils from sheep’s wool that is also used for vitamin D3 supplements. 
Silicon dioxide: Nothing weird about eating sand, right? This anti-caking agent is found in many foods including shredded cheese and fast food chili.

This all came to a head, though, when a celebrity chef named Jamie Oliver, made a video exposing ammonium hydroxide.  You can see the video below.