Meat the New Label?

For Americans concerned about their dietary health, they now have more information available to make decisions about the food that they’ll be putting in their mouth.  As of January 1st, the USDA has issued a press release covering nutrition labels that will now be placed on meat.  Yes, like the nutritional labels you’re probably already accustomed to seeing on soda pop and cereal boxes, you’ll now be provided with similar information on packages of meat ranging from beef brisket to veal rib roast.

USDA Meat label for extra lean ground beef

Last week, the new rule was announced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture which will require 40 of the most common cuts of poultry, pork, beef, and lamb to disclose information to consumers including calories (total), calories (from fat), as well as the total grams of fat and saturated fat.  Interestingly, the metric system has crept into the lexicon of American nutrition.

Other information included on these new labels will provide are details about cholesterol, sodium, protein and vitamins.  Also according to US Federal officials, the new labels must either be attached to the product itself or simply be available to consumers at grocery stores.

Though this label system was revised during the ‘90s, it became mandatory on processed food with meat being the exception except under voluntary circumstances.

If you’re concerned about some of the health effects of eating meat, a recent review study published in the journal, Circulation, found that processed meat but not red meat itself is associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease and diabetes mellitus.  There’s also some conflicting research regarding the association between a diet high meat and colorectal cancer risk.

In contrast, lean meat is a very good source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, niacin, vitamin B12, zinc, and iron.

Do you think these new labels will affect the decisions that you make at the grocery store?

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