What Can We Learn From the Pink Slime Bankruptcy

CNBC reports that AFA Foods, a major beef processor, is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company cites “recent changes in the market” as the reason for its going under.

This is a great case study for how consumer outrage can change a long standing food industry norm. And while I agree that pink slime is just the beginning in terrors within the beef industry, at least it’s a start, a step in the right direction.

However, is this really some new revelation? When consumers were informed about the risks of rBST growth hormone being used in dairy cows, the market pressure was even felt by the all-mighty Wal-Mart giant, resulting in all of their store brand milk being produced rBST free. When a company with a such disproportionately large market share makes a shift like that, it quickly becomes industry standard.

Neither of these shifts materialized out of thin air. It took bold campaigns against these symptoms of a broken food system to open consumers’ eyes. The power of an informed consumer is feared by the food industry, and for good reason. We need to fight for more transparency, unbiased information, and labeling so consumers can make a truly informed decision. The industry will fight this tooth and nail, which is why consumers must take educating themselves on food, the industry, and the policies that govern it, into their own hands.

One of the strongest weapons in changing our food industry is right in your wallet. Where you spend your dollars sends a very clear message to the industry. What do you want your message to be today? Are you prepared to make a well-informed decision?


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