Don't Get Slimed by Social Media - Page 2
McDonalds, Taco Bell and Burger King stopped using the product earlier this year due to the onslaught of negative media attention. Grocery stores, schools and other institutions followed suit. AFA Foods, a large producer of the product, has filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy and Beef Products has closed plants in Iowa, Kansas and Texas.
Where is the truth? It is hard to say. The biggest beef over the product is the use of ammonium hydroxide. It is used in numerous foods such as baked goods, cheese, milk and chocolate. It is approved by the USDA as a food additive. It is also used in many cosmetics.
The Republican governors of Iowa, Kansas and Texas are calling for a Congressional probe over the pink slime “smear campaign.” It is interesting to note that the meat producers have donated $820,000 to federal candidates in the past decade, with almost $800,000 going to Republicans.
What is fascinating is the speed of the “pink slime” industry demise. People ate the product for ten years and no one really complained. The 2009 Times article barely moved the public into action.
What changed? It is social media’s ability to grab people’s attention without a lot of facts. Pink slime is made by boiling fat and spraying it with ammonium hydroxide gas. It does not sound appealing. But I don’t think many Americans want to know how sausage is made, chickens are raised or what chemicals are added to Ho-Hos and Twinkies.
Social media takes no prisoners. A negative name, an unscientific public and a few blogs can end an industry. I can’t say it is right or wrong regarding “pink slime.” All I know is that pink slime is history and social media has another notch on its belt.