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Slow Cookers for Pets, and The Blob Strikes Again

This entry is part of a series, Follies 2012»

Spooks Eats

There are times I simply have to shake my head and say, “Only in a free America.” Today’s Follies examines two items that indicate crossing trends. At the moment, these trends strongly indicate we’re taking better care of our pets’ nutrition than we are our children’s. Here’s the evidence:

Pets are becoming more and more pampered. Crock-Pot® has just released a slow cooker for preparing home-cooked meals for your pet. The pot is decorated with your pet’s favorite poses. (I suppose that’s so you won’t get THAT cooker confused with the one for humans.) All you do is upload your photos to the Create-A-Crock webpage and pay for the order. It’s a bit pricey, though; $49.99 for a (manual controls) slow-cooker you can normally get for about half that at an outlet store; minus the cute snapshots, of course. Me, I think I’ll simply take my spare cooker and glue on a few photos and pocket the difference. After all, my dog can’t complain! (I hope.)

In less droll news, a product that used to be constrained for use in pet food is now in your kids’ lunches at school. And it’s really nasty. It’s even called Pink Slime in the meat-packing industry. And it looks like the Blob (remember that blockbuster movie?), and I’m sure it nabby stuff.

What is Pink Slime, exactly? It’s a combination of otherwise unusable meat scraps from packing houses. Things that are too tough to go through the equipment; bloody bits that wind up on the floor; parts that even the butchers can’t put a name to. These are all collected (including lumps scraped up from the concrete walkways), treated with chemicals to kill any pathogens, then ground into, well, pink slime.

Once upon a time, Pink Slime could only be used in dog food.

School hamburgers and related meals (a.k.a. Mystery Meatloaf) can use up to 15% of the meat’s weight as Pink Slime. Your Federal government plans to ship 7 million pounds of the sludgy protein to schools across the nation, to be added to lunches far and wide. Your USDA tax dollars at work! This stuff is no longer fit for dog food, so it goes off to make sure schoolkids have yummy, nutritious lunches. (I’m assuming this is Yet Another Brilliant Idea of the Current Administration; but that’s for another blog, somewhere.)

How much is 7 million pounds? About 100 refrigerated tractor-trailer trucks, jammed full. Or enough to cause complete gridlock in downtown Austin. Oh, wait; we already have that, but I’ll have to come up with a different lede to post that rant…

Enjoy the (Doggone Slime) Heat!


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