After watching Food, Inc. I was really left with a bad taste in my mouth per say. I began researching and trying to really find out the source of these ammonia treated meats, and generally who sells it and who does not? Stephen actually joined in on this crusade after I so enthusiastically babbled about it for a week. With him its all about the fact and what the facts told him is that ground beef is being fortified with Ammonia. I'm really not just spouting my "hippie BS". Its happening with a process of mixing ammonia with "beef trimmings", scraps, often sludge and then dehydrating the mixture. (Its been nick named "pink ammonia slime") They then combine this powdery substance with the beef thats being sold to retailers world wide. So we looked and looked, and I found out a few things. One- its in more than just meat you'll find this in, you'll find it in a lot more than just that. (peanut butter being a good example) and two- The food chains and retailers that are feeding you it, don't want you to know about it. With a bit of researching online I pretty conclusively figured out that the following chains use ammonia treated beef. Its purely hear say really but it seems its either a well played conspiracy or its just that obvious.
Mc Donalds Burger KingSonic Taco Bell
A few kind chains of lingered that I seriously questioned. Red Robin being the top of my list obviously. Why is it that we can pay for a product, eat and digest said product, yet we do not deserve to know whats in it? I'll admit my own faults and although my family does not eat out very often we do now and again indulge in burgers. Among our absolute all time favorites is Red Robin. We've been eating there as a family since Stephen and I first met, and I ate there well before then as well. I absolutely lov(ed) their food, however as of lately I'm left with a bitter angst towards them. This is a corporation that I've given so much money to over the years, a restaurant that offers "gourmet burgers" will not even tell you what they are using as ingredients, they say fresh and never frozen, fresh produce etc, however they will not tell you where they got their "fresh"
beef? Whats in the food they feed you? Who knows they will not tell me.
This is a freeze screen of the guest feedback, where my husband Stephen asked quite simply "Does Red Robin Use ammonia treated beef". It was not altered except to remove his personal email and location. It seems to be a fairly straight forward question, however this was the response we got.
Hello Stephen,Thank you for your e-mail. We appreciate your inquiry. Red Robin ground beef comes from only approved Red Robin ground beef suppliers that meet stringent requirements. All Red Robin suppliers are USDA-inspected. All Red Robin ground beef is tested for safety and quality prior to grinding, and is further tested routinely for safety and quality.
In addition, at our restaurants, we offer two types of cooked burgers: some pink or no pink which are both heated to temperatures that exceed the FDA safety standards for cooking ground beef. All burgers are cooked to a minimum of 160 degrees.
Thank you for choosing Red Robin,Red Robin Guest Relations -
Where in this response does it actually answer the question? From this I take one thing, ok two things. One, they have no respect for their customers, you do not have a right to know what you are paying for or eating. (its really disappointing because they were my favorite) and two- red robin uses ammonia treated beef products. Should I be surprised? I mean was it not obvious from the fact that I couldn't find any information in the first place? How many other chains use Beef Products Inc. or similar companies but don't want you to know? What else are they serving you? So Stephen responded to their email in a quite blunt manner:"This didn't answer my question. The question was do you use ammonia treated beef? An appropriate answer would be either yes or no... so which is it?"
The original query was responded to within 24 hours. Its now been one week since he responded and asked them again if they are utilizing ammonia treated beef and ironically enough we've yet to get any further response. Inconclusive? I would not say so. It seems fairly obvious to me that theres plenty of companies that simply have no respect for their customers. As a result we eat out even less than before and my son still does not eat school lunches. Question everything, from now on I'll approach companies more often. I guess its a good thing after all it saves money and we are able to eat healthier meals at home instead of being tempted to eat out. Although I may not know everything about the products I use at home it seems a little bit safer at least? However I stand by my question.
Whats in your food and why aren't you allowed to know?
Ask them Yourself! Red Robin Gourmet Burgers
NY Times: The safety of Beef Processing?
Beef Products Inc: The basic process of injecting your beef with Ammonia