Pink slime debate has shoppers looking for alternative meat sources without breaking the bank

CLEVELAND - Meat labels don't tell us a whole lot about the quality of the product. Shoppers were outraged when it was revealed there was a cheap filler in up to 70 percent of ground meat sold at the grocery store. Pink slime was in our meat, and most people had no idea because the USDA doesn't require it to be disclosed.

"I have asked a little bit about the pink slime and I think they see that coming now because everybody asks about it," shopper Lauren Hodermarsky said.

Getting answers is easy at the West Side market, where the butcher is often standing behind the counter. Tony Pinzone has a shop at the market and a stand-alone butcher shop in Parma. Pinzone openly showed 5 On Your Side receipts for his meat.

"The pork comes from Sandusky. A lot of the beef we carry comes from packing houses in a 100 mile radius. We supplement with some primal cuts to have what people need," Pinzone said.

He said he grinds all his own beef.

"That's a big thing. People want to know where their food is coming from," Pinzone added.

Most grocers said they no longer use pink slime, but consumers have other questions too.

"The freshness is a big thing," Hodermarsky explained.

Hodermarsky only buys her meat from certain businesses.

"If I ever have a bad experience I don't go back to that grocery store for that meat. Like if I open it up and it doesn't look right or has those brown spots on it," Hodermarsky said. "I'm willing to pay more for quality."

So, how much can you tell just by looking at a product and its price?

To find out, we bought three pounds of ground beef from three different sources. We've placed the pictures above labeled A, B, and C. Do you know where each one came from? Let us know what you think. Which one do you think was most expensive?



Tonight on NewsChannel5 at 11, we'll reveal the price we paid and where we bought each product. Plus, we'll show you a meat secret that some people don't want you to know.

"This is a wonderful place. Do me a favor. Just don't show up when I'm here. I like to get my great service real fast and go home," Edward Fryger said. "They're competitive." This alternative meat option is not only competitive, we found it's often cheaper.

Join the conversation about this story via Twitter using the hashtag #5digs, or by using the comment box below.

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