Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

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Host: Scott LaMar

Penn State Prof says pink slime not bad; Facing Cancer Together

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Mar 29, 2012 7:08 PM

Radio Smart Talk for Friday, March 30:

Cancer can take a tremendous physical, emotional, and mental toll on those diagnosed with the disease. But how do doctors and scientists, who are charged with treating survivors and conducting cancer research, cope with the disease? What's it like to tell a patient he or she has cancer, or to work tirelessly to come one step closer to finding a cure?

As part of witf's multimedia Facing Cancer Together project, we'll talk with Dr. Anne Alaniz, a gynecologic oncologist from WellSpan Health. Besides working here in central Pennsylvania, Alaniz is also helping to build a health clinic in her home country of Malawi.

We'll also hear from Brad Heidrich, a senior associate cancer scientist at Johnson & Johnson whose work has been inspired by his own cancer diagnosis.


So-called "pink slime" or lean, finely textured beef has been getting a lot of attention lately.  LFTB is lean meat that remains on fat trimmings removed from beef carcasses.  The leftovers are heated to 100 degrees and spun to remove most of the fat.  Using a mechanical process, it is then compressed and used in hamburger.  LFTB does not have an appetizing appearance and that's where it gets its pink slime nickname.

LFTB has been used for years but was the target of hundreds of thousands of people on social networks, who pointed out that the meat is decontaminated with ammonia gas or citric acid.

As a result, a number of grocery store chains are no longer selling ground beef with LFTB and school districts are deciding whether they will continue to provide lunches with the filler.

Edward Mills, an associate professor of dairy and animal science at Penn State's School of Agricultural Sciences says there's nothing wrong with pink slime except the name and that the recent controversy has been overhyped by the media. 

Mills will join us on Friday's Radio Smart Talk.

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