Comments on life, the universe and everything from an aging Sixties survivor.

Location: Massachusetts, United States

Ummm, isn't "about me" part of the point of the blog?

Thursday, March 22, 2012


One of the lesser media amusements of the last fortnight has been the exposure of pink slime and its associated evils.

This is one of those items that recurs about once a generation, when certain people discover they've been eating garbage. My mother could remember when one didn't admit to eating beans and hot dogs on Saturday night. It wasn't the beans so much as it was the hot dogs, which were generally known to be made from scraps, floor scrapings and sawdust. Spin the wheel of time ahead to the time when us people of a certain age were in college. Then, the dining halls specialised in Mystery Meat. That was a meatlike substance that was constituted into various exotic dishes, such as pasta with "meatballs"* and the ever-popular "Swiss steak." One feels certain that Mystery Meat was an earlier manifestation of pink slime.

One of the generational changes I found had to assimilate when the offspring went to college was that college dining had become a serious culinary experience. My daughter's ultimate choice did itself proud, but I was utterly blown away by student dining at Gettysburg College and Bowdoin, then engaged in a bloody contest for the nation's top college dining accolades. It seems reasonable to suppose none of them served pink slime in any form.

Lest anyone wonder why the last two generations didn't all die of food poisoning, there was a radically different standard. It appeared in local stores and butcher shops. If someone ordered ground beef, they could specify the cut and stand there while the butcher ground it to order. We were still out of luck with hot dogs, though. My mother's antidote to frankfurter toxicity was to remind us how hard they had it when she was a child. Guilt kills all known biological toxins.

*"They taste the same...if you close your eyes." (Rent)

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Blogger massmarrier said...

Then maybe you know why the government issue peanut butter Boomers got in school was generally gray...gray. I've never seen a gray peanut.

4:29 pm  
Blogger Uncle said...

I'd forgotten about the PB. I remember that it showed up in the school kitchen in buckets (like hog slops). It did taste sort of like peanut butter. When it was put between a couple of slices of semi-stale government issue bread and spread with jam, it almost passed as the real thing.

11:49 pm  

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