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Nutrition Labels Coming to Meats

January 11, 2011

The following post was written by nutritioulicious™ intern Megan Kian

In our nutrition conscious society we have been programmed to pick up a food package and immediately search for the nutrition label. Now, in accordance with the USDA, nutrition labels are coming to meats. According to a recent article in USA Today, beginning January 1, 2012 those nutrition labels that we have become accustomed to find on most processed goods will be attached to meats. What will these nutrition labels entail?

The meat labels, which will be placed on the most commonly purchased cuts of beef, lamb, poultry, and pork, are said to include calories, calories from fat, total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, protein, and a list of about 40 vitamins.

Nutrition labels on meat are most definitely a plus. According to the USDA*, over half of our meat intake in the United States is comprised of red meat, which can contain a large amount of saturated fat and may contribute to higher rates of cardiovascular disease. Red meat consumption has risen from about 106.7 pounds per year in 1950 to 113.5 pounds per year in 2000. As the concern about the nutritional content of red meat has risen, leaner cuts of beef have increasingly been produced; therefore, the amount of total fat and saturated fat in meat being consumed has decreased. With these new labels on meats, you may be surprised by some of the stats — including those that are better than what you may have expected!

Nutrition labels on meats carry hope that we can become a more nutritionally conscious country and make healthier decisions when it comes to buying meats.

What do you think of nutrition labels on meat?

*Source: USDA Agriculture Fact Book 2001-2002

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