Beef producers not forthcoming about ‘pink slime.’ In southwest Ohio anyway, I put a stop to that.

Lean, finely-textured beef, AKA pink slime. Creative Commons-licensed photo courtesy of Flickr user pennstatelive.

Journalism, if anything, is reading documents carefully. Especially when they come from corporations with big public relations budgets.

With this story — whose fallout I’ll probably continue to report in the coming weeks — I throw a wrench in what, at best, were corporate oversights with favorable consequences. At worst, they were calculated plans to deceive school programs that feed kids. Often the poorest kids.

Chicago Tribune reporters had uncovered the same situation in that city. But I had no idea about it until my report was done.

I’ll paste the first few graphs here, but I’d appreciate it if you read the story on the paper’s site, and even commented on Facebook if you have the time.


Schools feel misled about ‘pink slime’

News-Sun investigation prompts more scrutiny about beef schools buy

By Brandon Smith-Hebson

For weeks, local school districts told the public they don’t serve food containing the controversial beef product known as “pink slime.”

Turns out they probably do.

A Springfield News-Sun investigation revealed that districts and food vendors may have been inadvertently misleading the public. Three key beef suppliers to schools acknowledge using what detractors call pink slime in some of their products.

After asking more questions of the suppliers, a few school districts have changed their menus.

“They were telling the truth, but not the whole truth and nothing but the truth, is how I feel,” said Chris Ashley, director of Springfield City Schools’ meals program.

Superfund multimedia extravaganza!

Or at least, that’s what I call my textual-visual-auditory, multi-platform news story about the nearest Superfund site to me, Lammers Barrel Factory.


The old (and toxic) "Lammers Barrel Factory" is next to a residential subdivision.

In case you didn’t get to see the TV news package a couple weeks ago, here it is again. (If the video’s still squished, pardon me. The fix is on the way.)

But now I have more for you. Much, much more.

I’ve written a web-magazine format story with all the juicy details I haven’t included elsewhere before.

Here’s a really cool feature: a video of the actual 1969 fire that released all the pollution. It was shot by a Beavercreek fireman with a Super 8 camera. Since the video itself didn’t have sound, music was inserted into the background when the footage was digitized a few years ago. Kip Smith, currently Battalion Chief with the Beavercreek Fire Department, was kind enough to narrate the 15-minute long video. (He was at the fire, too.)

Last but not least, you can view a slideshow of pictures I took about a month ago at the site itself. I know you’ll be curious about this place, so spare yourself from getting the cancer-causing chemicals on your shoes and look at the pictures I took.