“Pink slime” shouldn’t be in school lunches. McDonald’s and Taco Bell have already determined that “pink slime” is a public relations disaster and they refuse to use it, but the fast-food giants don’t get it, either.

“Pink slime” is used in two very effective ways. First and foremost, “pink slime” makes ground beef safer to eat by eliminating dangerous pathogens. But, “pink slime” is also a headline writer’s dream, which can be very important to media folks who are more interested in sensationalism than food safety. Here’s just a sample of this week’s headlines: “USDA buys ‘pink slime’ for school lunches;” “Partners in slime;” and “The school cafeteria mystery meat might be ‘pink slime.’”