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Late Night: Jon Stewart says pink slime 'too fake for McDonald's'

 

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On Wednesday night, Jon Stewart took a break from all the talk of Travyon Martin, Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney to discuss something that really troubles him: "pink slime." Otherwise known as "lean, finely textured beef," the chemically processed filler that was, until a recent spate of bad press, found in 70% of the ground beef sold in the nation's supermarkets.  

For Stewart, a lifelong lover of the cheeseburger, the issue hit close to home, so he was determined to "get the whole story" before passing judgment. After all, Stewart reasoned, "any food can be disgusting if you take its ingredients out of context." Perhaps the same thing was true of pink slime burgers?

Stewart cut to an animated news report that explained the process for making pink slime: Waste trimmings are gathered, simmered at low heat to make it easier to separate fat from muscle, then put into a centrifuge, sprayed with ammonia gas to kill bacteria, compressed into bricks, flash-frozen and finally shipped to grocery stores nationwide, where it's added to ground beef. Yummy!

"That animation exactly mirrors my digestive process, right down to the pink bricks," Stewart joked. "Sure wish I could figure out a way to cut the corners off of those."

He also expressed his admiration for the beef industry's preferred nomenclature, "lean, finely textured beef." "It makes it sound like something rich beef-eaters can buy from Hammacher Schlemmer," Stewart said. "It’s the cashmere of beef."

But the host was most shocked by the fallout from the pink slime controversy: Numerous chain grocery stores and fast-food restaurants, including McDonald's, have vowed to stop using the filler.

Stewart marveled at the irony: "McDonald's doesn't think it's an appropriate thing to eat? These are the people who molded a pork disc into a rib-shaped sandwich ... that contains no ribs. Nobody knows how they did it! But this stuff, pink slime? That's too fake for McDonald's?"

Too fake – and too much bad press. 

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