Pink Slime Ammonia In Fast Food Burgers & Sugar Tax Controversy


The Doctors: Chef Rocco DiSpirito

Today The Doctors are looking at what’s really in America’s food supply, and what you need to know the next time you are buying dessert, or even plain old chicken breast.

To get to the bottom of their food investigation, The Doctors invited Chef Rocco DiSpirito as their guest.


“I always liked playing doctor as a kid, so it’s fun to come on and play doctor with you guys,” he said.

The Doctors: Pink Slime Meat Preservative

The Doctors spoke about the meat preservation process Pink Slime, which treats discarded meat with ammonia.

The Drs TV: Sugar Dangers

How dangerous is sugar? It’s easy to think of it as that sweet surprise we enjoy at the end of a meal, or each morning in our coffee. But according to news reports, some are calling for it to be regulated like alcohol and tobacco, because it is a much more dangerous substance than you think.


Pediatrician Dr. Robert H. Lustig contributed a piece to Nature, calling sugar a deadly toxin in need of regulation. Short of regulation, he suggests taxing it, in the same way legislators went after cigarettes.

Should Sugar Be Taxed?

Dr. Travis Stork said guidelines recommend no more than 8 teaspoons per day, and the limit for kids is just 3 teaspoons. But most Americans eat 30 additional teaspoons of sugar throughout the day. Dr. Andrew Ordon said obesity is a growing problem, eclipsing alcohol and smoking when it comes to causing deaths.

Critics said this could help people tame their sweet tooth. But The Doctors asked people on the street to weigh in. Public opinion seemed rabidly opposed and skeptical to this idea.

What do you think about this idea?

The Doctors: Sugar Tax Controversy

Dr. Travis said everyone should have the right to choose what they eat. But he said there’s a hidden economic cost to all the sugary foods in our diets today. He explained that too much sugar can lead to obesity, and the average obese woman will spend an extra $4,879 per year on living expenses.

He said that a small tax on sugar would not add up to $5,000 a year. The health cost of a can of soda or sugary snack might make people think twice about indulging.

Dr. Lisa Masterson was skeptical, wondering where this type of thinking could lead. “Then are you going to tax everything? Are you going to tax salt? Are you going to tax fat?” she asked.

Chef Rocco DiSpirito pointed out that some foods contain carcinogens, and regulators don’t target those. Dr. Travis said this type of tax would lead food manufacturers to innovate healthier products, which would save consumers money.

How Sugar Addiction Works

Chef Rocco said education is key to changing people’s behavior. But Dr. Travis pointed out that sugar is addictive, and education alone can’t fight physiological addictions. He explained how addictions light up the Dopamine pleasure centers in the brain.

He explained that sugar addiction floods the brain with Dopamine, but it also leads to increased Insulin production and other health consequences. There are diminishing returns over time, causing you to eat more sugar to get the same effect.

“If we don’t find a way to decrease the amount of sugar in our food, their prediction is that one in three of us will have diabetes by mid-century,” Dr. Travis said.

Chef Rocco said that 17% of Americans’ calorie consumption is from sugar. But he said you can break the habit by taking small steps over time, to wean yourself off sugar.

Pink Slime In Burgers

The Doctors explained the phenomenon of pink slime, which is gaining media attention. Pink Slime is produced when “discarded beef cuts and fat” are treated with Ammonia Hydroxide, resulting in this Pink Slime. Gross!

As much as 70% of processed burgers probably contain Pink Slime, though recent outcry has spurred some fast food chains to change their practices.

To demonstrate what goes on here, Dr. Travis poured some Ammonia into a bowl of raw meat. He explained that the Ammonia kills bacteria on the meat. “Why would you be using discarded cuts in the first place?” Dr. Andrew asked.

Chef Rocco DiSpirito: What Is Discarded Meat

Chef Rocco said that chefs and butchers know how to use all types of meat, so if something is discarded, there’s probably a good reason for it.

“Part of the pride in being a chef is that we know what to do with everything,” he said. “But at some point, we know there’s only garbage left, and we can’t do anything with it, and it needs to be thrown away.”

The Doctors: Fast Food Preservatives

Dr. Jim Sears said this process is designed to preserve meat that must be shipped, stored, and frozen. He showed a photo of a fast food burger he purchased 12 years ago. It contained so many preservatives that bacteria and mold won’t eat it, so it looks as new as if you’d bought it yesterday.

I’ve seen this trick online with Happy Meals. It’s gross, and it should really make us think twice about the nutritional tradeoff we are making for the convenience of drive thrus.

Dr. Travis pointed out that the USDA, the organization charged with protecting our food supply, deems this meat treatment process safe, and says it benefits us by killing deadly bacteria such as E. Coli.

The Drs TV: Fast Food Chains Ban Pink Slime

Dr. Travis said McDonald’s, Burger King, and Taco Bell have all changed their practices to discontinue use of Pink Slime in their products. Fast food chains In & Out Burger, Jack in the Box, and Wendy’s claim they have never used Pink Slime meats.

But Dr. Travis said school systems that make lunches for America’s children still gleefully serve up Pink Slime every day on those plastic trays. Chef Rocco said it doesn’t make sense to use Ammonia, which is a floor cleaner, to treat meat.

Dr. Travis said you can avoid Pink Slime and get fresher products by choosing local meats and vegetables.



  1. Sean H says

    Thank you for ‘spreading’ the word on your website about the pink slime. After watching the movie (Food Inc) I became a little more aware of the dirty tricks that these beef producers get away with. What are we really eating? Does it matter what we think as the actual consumers? Nope. What matters is the ‘fat cat’ shareholders increasing their profits. What boundries can be pushed to define what is actually LEGAL for people to consume. The FDA is a joke, allowing the nations children to grow up eating their slurry that’s treated with ammonia. Yummy

  2. Carol Chandler says

    What in the heck is going on?! Why is someone, who does not know me, or my habits, think they know what is best for me. Tax sugar!!! What else needs to be taxed and/or regulated. Taxes and education have not stopped young people from smoking… in fact the trend seems to be going up. Yes, people in America are obese, but they sit at their desks, in front of a computer, then jump in their cars for a long commute, sit in front of the TV, or spend the evening texting. Hmmmm I wonder why people get obese? Tax TV time, tax texting… put boxes on the TV’s that only allow an hour or two of TV per day. Sounds crazy, huh! You are scaring peope half to death…. I only started watching this show this year, but I believe I’m going to stop. If I want to be scared, I’ll watch the evening news presented by the liberal media. You sound as though it won’t be long before doctors refuse to treat people who do not fit into the “mold” of healthy eaters or exercisers. You are making a whole segment of the population, feel unworthy, and complete failures. I’m sick of taxes!!! Who are YOU to tell people how to live? I’m sure you’re all prime examples of perfection… eating, drinking, exercising, etc. I’m tired of people telling me how to live!!! and so are a whole lot of people. God help me if I were to ever need any of you for anything. Give us a low-down on the full statistics of drinking… I don’t hear a lot about that because it is so socially acceptable. How many lives are affected on a daily basis, from alchohol. We’ve heard ad-nauseum about smoking… and anyone with a brain cell can honestly say how bad it is for your body… you may say that all the information is out there on drinking, but let’s hear a program about alcohol, from soup to nuts, and you all can admit your drinking habits, whether you drink socially or more often, and if any of you smoke, or like sugar or eat fat too often. Prohibition proved that people will not be denied their “pleasures”. Sure, there is an epidemic of eating too many sweets, too much fat, etc., but all the shouting and education will not change a person who is intent on doing what they want. Tax breathing! It is unhealthy a lot of times! Goodness, go back to educating, and encouraging, instead of berating and condescension. It is not your place to recommend that a food product be taxed! Your celebrity is going to your heads!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Human Verification: In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.