We've reported on the "pink slime" that is sometimes added to hamburger meat. It turns out there's a kind of pink slime that can be added to wheat products as well!
It's called "whey protein concentrate," and you're likely to find it in prepared foods, such as power bars. It's derived from milk, which aside from being skimmed, can also be broken down into several parts, one of which is "whey." Separating milk into "curds" and "whey" is the first step in making cheese.
Whey was once considered waste that was fed to pigs, but now it's trucked to a factory, where it's separated out into various parts, one of which is a valuable substance called "lactoferrin," which is present in breast milk, but not in cow's milk (which is one reason that some infants find cow's milk hard to digest). It's a form of concentrated protein that's sold in health food stores for as much as $50 an once.
On NPR.org., Dan Charles quotes cheese-maker Eric Bastian as saying, "Depending on the markets, in any given year, the whey may be more valuable than the cheese. The bodybuilders got into this in a big way. They found that in terms of bulking up, putting muscle on their bodies, whey protein was the best protein that they could find."
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