Brown Slime

Look familiar?

Vegans have been jumping on the bandwagon against the recent exposé of the so-called “pink slime”. It makes sense too because anything to disparage the evil industrial animal agriculture powers that be, the better for the animals, right? This is basically the bovine version of pink chicken goop for which I wrote about way back in 2010. The splash (or rather plop) this one made, for whatever reason, has been freaking out mainstream consumers.

Purveyors of ground beef are scrambling to respond to newly informed consumers’ disgust of this product and removing this pink slime filler. Ultimately this means more cows need to be killed (1.5 million estimated) to make up for the gap. Or consumers may turn to meat from smaller animals now that “pink goop” has been forgotten, which means even more lives sacrificed. But this is apparently still a “crucial win” for vegans. Will people turn away from meat altogether? I think it’s more likely that as the industry responds it will mean more animal deaths in the short term and then the long term as they win back consumers’ confidence. Something, something, new welfarist something, something (inside vegan joke).

But wait, wait! You know, that’s not really what I wanted to talk about since it’s being said much better and more often elsewhere*. What this issue now bears out is something that should really concern vegans. The same informed-consumer approach now sheds light upon a similar nefarious product making its way through vegan’s very own food supply! Some people taunted BigMeat publicly bragging how there is no vegan pink slime but being informed doesn’t always align with one’s own cherished bias. They may be right that there is no vegan pink slime but I was alerted to something not even as cute as pink. It is BROWN SLIME and yes, it is vegan!

One of the biggest manufacturers of vegan foods is Turtle Island and they were the subject of a Wired investigation. I’m not sure if this was a whistleblower or undercover sting operation but the process by which they frankenfacture their popular Tofurkey roasts has been documented and exposed step by step. Let’s take an informed look and break it down, shall we?

As you can see in the first picture, you would WISH to have vegan pink slime but this brown muck isn’t something even disgusting meat eaters would wolf down. They’re not sure the stuff is even natural so they have to run a “lateral-flow immunoassay” test on it. When was the last time you had to do that in your vegan kitchen?! Who knows what that even means too? Sounds and looks like something you would only concoct in an evil mad scientist’s laboratory, amirite?!

But wait a minute, it even gets worse. This is the part where they start adding the chemicals. Processed curds from coagulated glycine max liquid is re-liquified in an industrial sized blender and to bulk that up with texture they add vital wheat gluten. Yes, you read that right, the same stuff that can cause a laundry list of health problems including cancer! They call this concoction a slurry. Yum, doncha just want a big bowl of that? I’m in no hurry to eat no slurry, how ’bout you?!

Then comes the secret “natural flavors”. The one hint of what that might contain is the use yeasts which are eukaryotic micro-organisms and not even classified as a plant (NOT VEGAN)! They’re even used to make ethanol which acts as a solvent like paint thinner which is deadly if ingested!

To top it off, a corrosive acid is infused to denature any proteins that somehow yet have survived this brutal chemical processing bath so far.

Finally it’s extruded out all tawny, slimy and gooey grody, crammed into plastic tubes ready to be steamed and butchered. Then it’s off to the markets where Turtle Island cashes in, reaping profits picked from the pockets of unsuspecting naive vegans.

Hopefully, now in light of this, vegans can make informed decisions about whether they will be brown slime eating suckers or brown slime avoiding champions. You know what you must do, spread the news about #brownSlime and empower your fellow vegans! Don’t let BigVegan get away with their brown slime campaign!

*FURTHER READING:
Liberal Portions >> I do not care about pink slime.
Timberati >> “Excuse me waiter, there are chemicals in my soup.”
Discovery News >> Pink Slime: Psychology of the Ick Factor
The Meat of the Issues >> Scaring the Slime Out of Consumers
Panic on a Plate >> Lies, damned lies and ‘pink slime’
New York Post >> The real ‘pink slime’ agenda

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