The Clock Is Ticking on Meat Label Laws

Prairie Gleanings

Will nutrition labels on packages of meat change how you purchase protein?

Published on: December 31, 2010
Nutrition labels, to be required on packages of meat by 2012, have grabbed quite a few headlines in the past few days. 

After reading an article in USA Today, I realized this requirement is going to push me toward purchasing healthier cuts. The newspaper showed the differences between 73% lean ground beef and 96% lean ground beef. For a 4-ounce serving, that’s 350 calories (270 from fat) for 73% and 130 calories (25 from fat) for 96%.

A ground beef lover, I’ve always been willing to eat more fat calories in return for more taste. Of course, I didn’t realize how much more fat I was eating as a result. When numbers are included on my favorite cuts of meat, I’ll probably hesitate before picking up a package of pork shoulder blade steaks.

I bet a lot of folks start picking up more expensive, leaner cuts as a result. Probably not a bad thing, but I’ll always remember those blissfully ignorant days when I scarfed down pork steaks slathered with barbecue sauce.

O.K. so maybe I’m not ignorant to the difference in fat content between a pork steak and a pork tenderloin. Still, it will be tough to see the numbers displayed in black and white.

In today’s recessionary climate, folks are already looking for a great bargain when it comes to protein. Many analysts have pointed toward trends away from beef, which is typically more expensive.

With the new label laws, I hope it doesn’t give an unfair advantage to boneless, skinless chicken breast. Hopefully folks take the time and effort to prepare pork and beef in a health conscious manner.

What about you? Will labels change your purchase habits?

Registered users may comment on this blog.