"Pink slime" could be a handy visual metaphor for the grassroots digital campaigns that have recently shaken organizations as varied as Apple, Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the Sanford, Fla., police department. The term might even be on its way to becoming a verb, especially now that AFA Foods, one of the largest ground beef processors in the U.S., has filed for bankruptcy protection.
AFA Foods, which produces more than 500 million pounds of ground beef products annually, according to Reuters, referred to "recent changes in the market" in its bankruptcy documents. The filing by AFA and the closing of several processing plants by Beef Products Inc. are a direct result of the largely online movement (see the #pinkslime hashtag) to rid ground beef products of "lean, finely textured beef" filler treated with ammonia—otherwise known as pink slime.
The anti-pink slime movement and bankruptcy of AFA and the closing of Beef Products Inc. plants could have far-reaching effects on the beef production, supermarket and restaurant industries. As in the case of Apple, whose CEO Tim Cook recently went to China to witness firsthand the reality of its supply chain there, traditional investigative reporting coupled with intense and impassioned social media activity has led to quick action on the part of an entrenched industry. In this case, the action was a bankruptcy filing.
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