The industry calls it “lean finely textured beef”. The social media world has dubbed it “Pink Slime”…or did they? That phrase was actually coined by a federal microbiologist in 2002. It was first reported in a 2009 in a New York Times article. A successful social media firestorm co-opted the term in its effort to get pink slime out of school lunches. For those new to this topic, pink slime is the low-grade trimmings that come from the parts of the cow most susceptible to contamination. But because of the treatment of the trimmings – simmering them in low heat, separating fat and tissue using a centrifuge and spraying them with ammonia gas to kill germs – the United States Department of Agriculture says it’s safe to eat.
The USDA, which oversees school nutrition, is now allowing school districts to opt out of serving pink slime.
The social media uproar and the use of the name pink slime is not surprising. What’s really interesting here is that the pink slime news cycle is more than three years old. At CommCore we understand the importance of strategic messaging and counsel our clients that in today’s world of social media, what you say now will be around for a long time. That’s why we need to continually monitor all media; social and conventional. Reporters and bloggers have a way of dredging up long-lost topics.