Every so often the local news will do a feature about local restaurants and their Health Department violations, showing all the nasty things they’ve uncovered about a particular eating establishment. I never watch them, as I know they will make me feel ill. Probably the last holdover that I had from “BP” – Before Prepping days – when I did not want to hear what I didn’t want to hear.
Well, after I saw the news about the Pink Slime used by fast food places to prepare meat, I don’t think it will ever be the same again. For anyone who missed this juicy tidbit, the pink slime was used to make low grade meat edible. Ammonium hydroxide was used to kill bacteria in the meat. It is actually FDA approved for this use. I am just so outraged about the disgusting stuff that could possibly in our food, and us not knowing about it; it turns my stomach every time I think about. I am also so disappointed the three places I used to like: McDonalds, Burger King and Taco Bell actually used it for years, and I’ve been eating at those places since I was in my teens.
A little history about me: I grew up in a household where nearly all the food was home cooked. Both my Mom and Dad are great cooks, and were children during WWII so they grew up being frugal and careful about not wasting food. They made all meals at home, and eating out was for special occasions. Naturally, as a teen, I thought eating burgers out was cool and would always ask them to take us out to McDonalds. Nonsense, my Dad would say, and he’d just whip up his own “Dad’s burgers” in which he mixed ground beef, some chopped onion and a bit of bread crumbs, fry it up and serve between two pieces of white bread.
Fast forward to the present, I am not so enamored with fast food anymore, but every now and then we get takeout food when work hours and school schedules just don’t work out to whipping up a home cooked dinner. At least until I saw the report on “Pink Slime” The big 3 places have now taken it off the menu, and that was only because of the bad publicity. But all those years! How much of that have I unknowingly ingested? What did they replace it with?
Part of being prepared means relying less and less on outside sources. I know of some families who eat every meal out. I cook most meals but I am now even more motivated to do better. If you are trying to break even the occasional fast food habit like me, start now:
- Dig up those cookbooks and make a list of your favorite menu items.
- Save the complicated recipes for the weekend, and the 30 minutes or less prep times for weekdays.
- Plan a seven day menu before going to the supermarket.
- During one weekend day, make a large batch that could last for at least two meals such as lasagna, pot roast, roast chicken etc.
- If your resolve fails, just imagine eating a helping of sub par meat held together by pink slime (or some other new substitute). Think about it, how else can they keep prices low?
This weekend I am cooking all meals at home. I am sitting down and writing out a menu for each meal during the week and planning carefully. And when the family has a hankering for burgers, I will be happily mixing up fresh ground beef, a bit of chopped onion and some bread crumbs… just like Dad makes.