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National Nutrition Month Brings Accessible Nutrition Information to Most Popular Meat and Poultry Products

Turkey label example.

Turkey label example.

March is National Nutrition Month, and the Food Safety and Inspection Service is improving the way consumers receive nutritional information about the meat and poultry products they most frequently purchase.  Beginning today, ground or chopped meat and poultry products, such as ground turkey and hamburger, will be required to have nutrition facts panels on their packages, just like the ones seen on most other foods at the grocery store.  For other popular cuts of raw meat and poultry, including chicken wings and pork tenderloin, that same nutrition information may appear on package labels or on easily accessible materials near the meat counter.

Providing the nutritional content of pork chops, chicken breasts, ground turkey, and ground beef right in the store will allow consumers to compare products and make more informed decisions on what is most appropriate for their families’ needs.

In addition to the nutrition facts panel, a ground or chopped product that includes on its label a lean percentage statement, such as “85% lean,” will now include the percentage of its fat content, making it easier for consumers to understand the amounts of lean and fat content in a particular product.

By having more convenient access to this nutrition information, consumers will no longer have to guess which products fit their diets.  I encourage everyone to take advantage of this new information as they do their grocery shopping this weekend.

To read more about the labels that will be coming to your store, click here.

22 Responses to “National Nutrition Month Brings Accessible Nutrition Information to Most Popular Meat and Poultry Products”

  1. General healthy says:

    This label shows 80 out of 170 calories coming from fat…47%!!! This is the fat number that should be on the label. The 14% is a very misleading number.

    GH

  2. Marilyn Burkhardt says:

    It’s about time! Maybe now people will see clearly that meat is unhealthy for them and choose fruits, vegetables, and grains instead.

  3. rwilymz says:

    I completely understand people wanting to know what foods “fit their diet”. What I don’t understand is the government mandating it as a continual expense of food packagers and distributors. Every nickel added to the cost of food is a nickel that comes out of the bood-buyer’s pocket. Actually, make it 7 or 8 cents, because for every nickel added to the cost of production, producers add in a profit margin. At some point, people can’t afford to eat by paying for all the packaging rules.

    Does no one in the government understand how things work? If this information is so crucial that the government needs it disseminated, then the government needs to print up the posters and hang them in the meat department of our nation’s grocery stores … itself. Don’t require everyone else to do YOUR work.

  4. pittsview farm elk says:

    Educate= power

  5. Mark Mettler says:

    Nutrition labeling, nutrition facts, it is way overdue.

    I propose further major change to the way nutritional facts are displayed so that they appear to be realistic serving size.

    Currently nutritious facts are arbitrarily or perhaps planned and allowed by the manufacturer to be unrealistic serving sizes. An example of this would be the serving size for skimmed milk; it is listed as one ounce per serving. When did any person pour out and consumed a glass of milk that contain only one ounce? Another is a candy bar, how can a candy bar containing 6 servings? Most of us consume the entire bar in one session. It is incorrect and irresponsible for the US Department of Agriculture to allow arbitrary assignment of a serving size.

    The US Department of Agriculture should work with the Food and Drug Administration to cause a new labeling standard that is both realistic and usable by the simple citizen. It should not require a person to stand in line at a fast food establishment or for that matter at the kitchen counter with a calculator.

    What many people fail to realize is that the United States is the home of the most obese population in the world. We have now created new illnesses and new allergy detection methods but we cannot create a simple to read and simple to use nutritional fact label.

    This would allow the consumer the same ease and price comparison that is displayed at the grocer. These displays contain the product amount and the total price so that when divided it shows how much it will cost per allotment.

    How can the American citizens recognize that they are consuming up to ten times the amount of calories or percentages of fat, sodium, cholesterol, and vitamin and mineral content.

    A more useful measure in beverages would be the total amount of the delivered product in sugars or artificial sweeteners. Sugars would include corn syrup cane sugar, or other natural flavorings.

    What is natural flavoring? The point of a important flaw that causes severe health issues for many Americans. A “natural flavoring” is also monosodium glutamate, or MSG. The ability of food packagers to simply call a commercially produced additive such as MSG a flavor enhancer is a misnomer of deceit. This flavor enhancer does not occur in nature naturally, it is the extract of seaweed, but for most foods in America it is simply created in the chemistry lab. MSG is a leading cause of severe headaches to the consumer. There are no ways to identify the content of the meals served at a restaurant that have been heavily laced with MSG. An example of this would be easy to see by looking at the Ruth Chris Steakhouse menu. Restaurants uses a large amount of MSG as can be found on the Internet search of Google. This product is not properly displayed on the menu because nowhere does Ruth Chris make it obvious that MSG is added to every serving.

    Truth in advertising should also be truth in labeling. If in the processing of tobacco product, if nicotine needs to be sprayed onto the product because it was removed during the processing of the original plant. then nicotine is a product additive specifically delivered to cause addiction.

    What I am suggesting is that truth and advertising be strictly applied to food packaging whether it is at a restaurant or in the grocer. In this way, Americans can better be aware of the hazards and/or benefits of a food they wish to consume or product they wish to use.

  6. Mark Mettler says:

    In observation of rwilymz comment, perhaps raising every ones taxes to 30% would help pay for the posters to be printed. Seems flat tax is better than making the consumer pay for the food they desire? I guess we could stop exporting our primary grain stock and just make the American consumer actually get a lower price on those items since exporting the goods increases the cost of those as well. The point I was trying to get across is that a large percentage of our foods do not contain foods.

  7. rwilymz says:

    [[Educate= power]]

    For whom? TO whom?

    Educate with an iron fist = power, certainly. The education given may or may not be taken – and knowing how people work, it will mostly not be taken – but as a rule to inflict upon someone else, it has punishments for non-compliance.

    Is it worth punishing others for the sake of this education that most people don’t want and didn’t ask for in the first place?

    If this is all for *informational purposes* only, then why do it this way? Why add production cost to food? Why give a government agency another avenue to impose itself on yet another range of American enterprises – and the cost of doing that, as well – when the simple and cheap solution is to mount posters in the deli section and print up pamphlets to mail to anyone who wants one?

  8. rwilymz says:

    Mark, let’s not be disingenuous here. You’re boo-hooing over matters that are not rationally anyone’s business but the fat person’s.

    Yes, Americans are fat. The answer to that is to watch what you eat and exercise. It’s not to get the government involved and have them hold fat little hands with sausage-link fingers up and down the grocery aisles. First, because most people will either:
    1] not take the hand-holding; or
    2] take the hand-holding but not pay attention to it; or
    3] pay attention but get confused by it; or
    4] they don’t need it in the first place because they actually *cook* food and don’t simply reheat pre-made crap.

    …and second, because I still fail to see among the government’s legitimate authorities the duty to be a dietary nagpot.

    If you want an easily readable nutrition label that eschews vagueries like “natural flavorings” then you’re working at cross-purposes … which I’m sure the folks at USDA already understand. There’s a difference between being told what’s in your processed food and having the degree in chemistry to know what it says. And it’s not even that fine a distinction, either.

    Wailing about MSG – a derivative of seaweed – not being “natural” because it’s “derived” instead of picked … skim milk is derived; pasturized milk is outright manufactured; even cream is derived. Sour cream? Whipped cream? half-n-half? There’s wheat growing behind me nearly every year; I have yet to see any *flour*. Corn grows all around me, yet no starch.

    There is simply not enough label space, let alone ink [not even soy-based ink] on any package of pre-made crap for what you seem to want. And this is ignoring the consideration that it’s none of the government’s business to *mandate* in any event.

    Yes, you bring up a few good points: we eat too much as a nation; we’ve grown lazy in our own food preparation [wait, that was my point]; and much of our food isn’t real food. The solution is to watch what you eat and exercise. The government can’t do that for anyone.

    Hell, it can’t even do that for itself.

  9. helen sudul says:

    we are writing a book on how to buy food.. With in the
    1st sentence we say the scariest thing on our planet
    is the lies and decit of our food industry. The truth
    will set us free providing the truth can find us.

  10. Jim Tobin says:

    I am appalled, disappointed, ashamed, and shocked at our government, (USDA and FDA) after watching the ABC News with Diane Sawyer the past three nights, on their coverage on the practice of our beef suppliers adding ‘textured beef’ or PINK SLIME to about 70% of the ground beef supply in America, and when ABC’s World News correspondent Jim Avila inquired about a comment or response from the USDA on this topic, they said they declined to comment.

    WHAT? Who are you protecting? As consumers in this country, we have every right to know EXACTLY what is on our food supply and make an informed decision on if we want to buy ground beef laced with ammoniated textured gelatin-ized animal trimmings/parts along with our so-called FRESH GROUND BEEF, an call it Nutritious?

    This is the United States of America! You should be ashamed to be pretending to care about food safety of Americans, then not do anything about it.

  11. Michael Walters says:

    Here’s an idea that will make you an instant hero: require products containing “finely textured lean beef”, aka pink slime, to reveal that fact on the label. If you want to claim it’s food, that’s okay. Just let the rest of us know that it’s in there.

  12. Todd Wheeler says:

    Maybe the USDA should consider requiring nutition labels that also reveal the additives in the meat. I find it outrageous that 70% of the ground beef sold in supermarkets today contains up to 30% of the filler known as “pink slime”. This stuff used to go into dog food and now we get the “priviledge” to consume it without even being told. Shame on the Government for ever allowing this to be consumed by it’s citizens.

  13. Patricia Todd says:

    So this is national nutrition month and labels are now required on meats showing the the nutritional facts. But, someone has deemed it ‘safe’ for the ‘pink slime’ to be added to my food without my knowledge and there is no requirement to even tell me about it – I can’t protect my own health by choosing to NOT purchase ground beef with this additive. I guess Beef Products, Inc. is paying BIG bucks to someone at the USDA to protect their business, even if it is not in the best interest of the consumer. I will NOT be purchasing any ground beef products until the USDA decides to do right by the American consumer and demand full disclosure. If every concerned American immediately halted all purchases of ground beef products, maybe the USDA and Beef Products, Inc. will decide that honest is better business.

  14. Curtis McManaman says:

    Food additives, Genetically Modified Foods, Pesticides and Herbicides are all deviations from what is traditionally considered “food”. Any deviation process: chemical, mechanical, or genetic, should be labeled. If this were a requirement of every food in every industry, there wouldn’t be a sharp decrease in sales of those products, but a sharp increase in health awareness by the American public and a change in the entire agricultural industry to increase the health of each and every American. This is why you are employed. Please do not try to protect the profits of big corporations and scientists. Please protect our citizens by showing us care and respect.

  15. rwilymz says:

    Ladies and gentlemen … you’re putting me into an uncomfortable spot here.

    I really hate having to defend a government agency from unfair criticism, especially one that I like to pick apart myself. But when forced to in order to maintain honesty in a discussion, I will.

    The “pink slime” you are all refering to is not an “additive”. It comes from the cow just as surely as the rump roast and brisket does. It comes FROM the rump roast and brisket.

    Have any of you ever put a roast into the oven with a half inch of water in the bottom of the pan, and taken the roast out 3 hours later to see a congealed ring of brownish goo clinging to the edges of the roast? That is cooked “pink slime”. It is the gelatinous leftovers from the breakdown of cellular structures and connective tissues that occurs in all meats.

    It is not a “chemical” distinctive from those already in the cow. It is not unnutritious – even if it is unpleasant to think about. Seriously, do none of you actually cook?

    [[Any deviation process: chemical, mechanical, or genetic, should be labeled.]]

    Curt: the answer isn’t going to change. There’s not enough label-space. And people wouldn’t read it besides.

    [[If this were a requirement of every food in every industry, there would be ... a sharp increase in health awareness by the American public and a change in the entire agricultural industry to increase the health of each and every American.]]

    Baloney.

    Before we had nutrition labels mandated we had relatively healthy people. The more labels we put on the unhealthier we got. Mostly because we stopped caring about we we bought and started assuming that Big Mommy Government was doing it all for us. The more you want Mommy Government to do for you, the less you will do yourself, the more stupid assumptions you’ll make, and the less healthy you’ll be.

  16. Unhappycruiser says:

    rwilymz

    I love this guy.. He knows everything!

  17. AD says:

    Personally, I watch what I eat and I exercise a minimum of 5 days a week and if there is not Nutritional Facts for me to compare products, I won’t buy them without it. I watch what I put in my body…whether it be specific ingredients or calories/fat. So if they don’t want my money, then don’t label your product – is how I feel. They probably aren’t labeling it for a reason which means I wouldn’t buy it anyhow…which means that others should be aware of what is in their food and it’s their problem if they are silly enough to buy something unlabeled.

  18. Mary says:

    LFTB = trimmings that are simmered in low-heat, the fat and tissue are separated using a centrifuge and the product is sprayed with ammonia gas to kill germs. Yum!
    I would like to opt out of this if you don’t mind, label it as a filler/additive or some other catchy name, maybe even LFTB so I can avoid it.
    FYI this is your “100% ground beef”

    1. beef from advanced meat recovery (AMR) systems
    2. low temperature rendered lean finely textured beef (LFTB)
    3. partially defatted chopped beef
    4. partially defatted beef fatty tissue
    5. heart meat.
    6. 2 piece chucks and other primal/sub-primal cuts intended for use in raw ground beef or other raw non-intact product
    7. raw esophagus (weasand) meat
    8. head meat
    9. cheek meat

    All of the above plus fillers like soy, starch and the like can also be added. However if starch or some other “not beef” ingredient is put in it that has to be labeled. None of those nine items above do because they are all considered “beef”. The main ingredient in ground beef is actually “major cut of single-ingredient raw product” like a chuck, which can consist roughly 85% the rest can be any or all of the above.

  19. golden steer says:

    Why is it when it comes to the food people buy,the retailer,by government mandate, is given the responsibility to educate people on nutrition? If people want to know this information,let them look it up. Being responsible for yourself and your choices in life should not be the job of the retailer or the Government. We do not need a nanny Government.
    Why is pink slime pink? I cook meat and it turns grayish brown.And I love meat.

  20. Jessie James says:

    It would be more efficient and effective to have this information in book form, or better yet online, rather than wasting the resources in printing it on every single package of food which then get thrown away. If the government wants to mandate it then let them put together the books and web sites. Quite frankly, my dear, the public doesn’t give a damn.

  21. Gerunds says:

    Clearly people DO care about nutrition facts and what’s in their food – would there be a discussion here if no one cared?

    My largest problem with labels isn’t how esoteric the majority of them are, or how small the print is, or why “pink slime” isn’t listed – it’s allergins. Why aren’t they clearly listed! I wouldn’t even pick up half the package food any any given store if I knew there was milk in a product. Additionally, this information should be presented in a language neutral way – i.e. a nut symbol for “contains” nuts, fish symbol for contains “fish”, etc. So you could tell, regardless of wether you speak english, what allergins a product contains.

    Additionally, I waste time constantly reading labels since half of them don’t list allergins at the bottom, but instead mix them in with other ingredient. I’ve stumbled upon ingredients being listed as “casein protein” or “whey”, without an allergy label clearly saying “YO THIS HAS MILK AND YOUR ABOUT TO GET REAL SICK IF YOU EAT IT.” Is it too much to ask to not be dairy/gluten/nut poisoned on a semi-regular basis? People deserve to know what’s in their food, and know if it’s going to make them sick or send them into anaphylactic shock! This shouldn’t be an “if there’s room” issue, it should be a “front of the box” issue.

    Food is one of the biggest problems in the US. There are plenty of potential solutions – turning our back on each other and failing to provide information and education isn’t one of them.

  22. eleanor says:

    I don’t buy chopped meat very often and didnt realize that all chopped meat now says “chopped beef.” I bought one 2 weeks ago and it wasn’t very tasty. Today i wanted to buy beef and asked the butcher where is the sirloin, she says: it’s in the 90% lean. If i didnt ask I would not have known. bought it, tasted like it used to. SuperMarkets should not be allowed to list all chopped meat as “chopped Beef,” anything could be used for this item.

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