Farewell. The Flying Pig Has Left The Building.

Steve Hynd, August 16, 2012

After four years on the Typepad site, eight years total blogging, Newshoggers is closing it's doors today. We've been coasting the last year or so, with many of us moving on to bigger projects (Hey, Eric!) or simply running out of blogging enthusiasm, and it's time to give the old flying pig a rest.

We've done okay over those eight years, although never being quite PC enough to gain wider acceptance from the partisan "party right or wrong" crowds. We like to think we moved political conversations a little, on the ever-present wish to rush to war with Iran, on the need for a real Left that isn't licking corporatist Dem boots every cycle, on America's foreign misadventures in Afghanistan and Iraq. We like to think we made a small difference while writing under that flying pig banner. We did pretty good for a bunch with no ties to big-party apparatuses or think tanks.

Those eight years of blogging will still exist. Because we're ending this typepad account, we've been archiving the typepad blog here. And the original blogger archive is still here. There will still be new content from the old 'hoggers crew too. Ron writes for The Moderate Voice, I post at The Agonist and Eric Martin's lucid foreign policy thoughts can be read at Democracy Arsenal.

I'd like to thank all our regular commenters, readers and the other bloggers who regularly linked to our posts over the years to agree or disagree. You all made writing for 'hoggers an amazingly fun and stimulating experience.

Thank you very much.

Note: This is an archive copy of Newshoggers. Most of the pictures are gone but the words are all here. There may be some occasional new content, John may do some posts and Ron will cross post some of his contributions to The Moderate Voice so check back.


Saturday, March 10, 2012

Mmm-mmm! Had me some Pink Slime for lunch!

By John Ballard

Well, maybe I did and maybe I didn't.  
I had a fast food hamburger at a place that didn't know about pink slime and wasn't cited as one of the companies that said they didn't use it (any more).  

Pink slime is the catchy name identifying a byproduct of the beef industry obtained by harvesting scraps from the processing area (one source I was reading said stuff that fell on the floor was included) and making it fit for consumption.
It's been  around about a decade, but when word of this product recently got out image-conscious places like McDonald's and Burger King dropped it like a bad habit.

ABC News is on the case and Twitter has a hashtag
And it's still being used in school lunches.

Okay, there's also yet another online petition circulating to protest. That seems to be all the rage these days. My guess is that this product will once again be quietly redirected into the pet food segment, so look for the price of ground beef to kick up a few more percent. 


  1. I think I liked the old days when they used saw dust better.

  2. I hear ya.
    As I get older I value roughage over calories.

  3. ABC News describes how "pink slime" is made,
    "The �pink slime� is made by gathering waste trimmings, simmering them at low heat so the fat separates easily from the muscle, and spinning the trimmings using a centrifuge to complete the separation. Next, the mixture is sent through pipes where it is sprayed with ammonia gas to kill bacteria. The process is completed by packaging the meat into bricks. Then, it is frozen and shipped to grocery stores and meat packers, where it is added to most ground beef�"
    Seriously? gathering, simmering, centrifiging, spraying with ammonia, packaging, freezing, shipping to where it is defrosted and added to hamburger. You have to be kidding me. That crap is more expensive that the hamburger it is supposedly being added to.

  4. Unbelievable, isn't it? But remember, it's being recycled and resold by the pound. By separating the fat they can not only add the "not-fat" part into an approved product, but the fat can then also be sold to the tallow industry to manufacture inedible products like cosmetics or, who knows, food for pets or other animals, You can't feed beef products to cattle (BSE food chain, you know) but it might go for chickens, farm-raised shrimp or seafood. I know that here in Georgia the poultry processing people don't throw away much. Chicken feet are exported to Asia to be sold as food and the entrails can even be recovered from the equipment and used for something else -- fertilizer, perhaps.
    It's not very different from the oil industry. It takes energy to refine crude oil and by-products can make a contribution to the revenue stream. Ammonia and other ingredients are expensive but like nutmeg or chili powder in cooking, a little goes a long way, so in the end product that part gets a lot of bang for the buck.
    Most industry is sausage-making writ large. It's best we don't look to close or ask too many questions. If all this is disturbing, don't do any reading about GMO foods.

  5. So check this out.
    As I posted that comment I noticed an advertisement that appeared with my blog post. Notice the non-food products included -- massage?
    Do they know something about massage lotion we don't want to know?