First Pink Slime, Now Tuna Scrape
Food product not as gross as it sounds, but still fishy.
Web2Carz Contributing Writer
Published: April 24th, 2012
fter the insane amount of press that "pink slime" got earlier this year, it's unsurprising that another product made from the "end pieces" of an animal is catching some heat. This time, it's something called "tuna scrape," which is ground backmeat scraped from the bones of the fish. Sounds super gross, but in reality, it's probably nothing to worry about. Still, after a recent salmonella outbreak was linked to it, people are wondering if it's safe to eat.
Ground meat/fish/poultry products are at greater risk for contamination, according to NPR, and one food safety expert thinks there hasn't been enough research done on them.
Is using the whole animal really cause for controversy?
Another thing to consider about this "tuna scrape" is that while it's from the leftover bones of fish, much like the way that pink slime is made from meat leftover on cow carcasses, it's not processed past that. While pink slime is hit with an ammonia gas, tuna scrape is simply removed from the bones with a spoon-esque device, which has one seafood expert saying, "I don't think it's a fair comparison at all."
With the ever-rising prices of seafood, and especially considering the recent reports that tuna is not a very sustainable fish as-is, it makes perfect sense that production plants would want to get the most out of every fish, no? And as with any fish, consumers have to be careful with contaminants. The problem with this may lie in the popularity of sushi, particularly rolls that don't necessarily need whole slabs of fish, say, spicy tuna rolls for example—chefs can get by using tuna scrape, since the flavor is still there and the texture is mostly covered up by "spicy."
And while the pink slime debate rages on, with moms taking schools by storm to get it out of their kids' lunches, we wonder if the same outrage is necessary for tuna scrape...probably not. That said, it might be a good idea to think of a better name for these leftover-meat products. Slime? Scrape? The names alone are grossing people out, regardless of how they're processed.