In March, news outlets sunk their teeth into an unappetizing topic: so-called “pink slime.” Pink slime is a nickname for “lean finely textured beef,” a low-fat, ammonia-treated filler used in processed meats. A former government microbiologist coined the term in a 2002 email. When reporters, spearheaded by ABC News, put pink slime in headlines this year—at a time when consumers are obsessed with all-natural foods—there was enormous backlash. Grocery stores dropped meats that included the product and put out signs saying they didn’t sell “pink slime.” Fast-food chains promised patrons they didn’t use the filler in burgers or tacos. More than 200,000 people signed an online petition demanding that pink slime be banned from school lunches, so the U.S. Department of Agriculture created an opt-out program. Americans have eaten the product for decades, and there were questions about whether the backlash was overblown. Still, there’s no question that the ewww-inducing moniker drove the controversy.