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THE TERM: The term "pink slime" was coined by a meat inspector at the U.S. Department of Agriculture a decade ago. It caught fire online after being quoted in a 2009 article by The New York Times.

THE MAN: Gerald Zirnstein, who no longer works for the USDA, says he thought of the word in the spur of the moment. He said he could have just as easily called it "pink goo" or "pink paste."

THE IMPACT: The vivid description fueled an uproar that resulted in the main company behind the filler, Beef Products Inc., closing three meat plants this month. Major supermarket chains including Kroger Co. and Stop & Shop have vowed to stop selling beef with the low-cost filler.