Trend Watch: USDA to Require Nutrition Labels on Meat Cuts

Trend Watch: USDA to Require Nutrition Labels on Meat Cuts

Food & Drink

Trend Watch: USDA to Require Nutrition Labels on Meat Cuts

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If you ever wondered how many calories and fat grams are in that sirloin tip roast you just put in your shopping cart, your opportunity to find out is not too far down the road.

The trend toward government-mandated food labeling continues.

Those nutrition labels which we’ve all become accustomed to seeing on jars of peanut butter, boxes of cereal, and cans of Diet Dr Pepper will soon be found on packages of 40 of the most commonly purchased cuts of fresh beef, poultry, pork, and lamb. The new labeling rules will take effect on January 1, 2012, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced.

The labels will list the same categories as other common food products: calories, calories from fat, total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, protein, and vitamins.

A 4-ounce serving of regular ground beef that is 73% lean meat, for example, contains 350 calories, 270 of them from fat, according to the USDA, making up 60% of the suggested daily intake of saturated fat in a 2,000-calorie diet.

The labels will help consumers “make sure they are doing right by their families as they prepare meals,” USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack says.

While some meat industries have been labeling processed meats for several years now, common cuts of beef and poultry have been labeled on a voluntary basis.

The USDA hopes these new labels will help families make healthier food choices, and represents another effort in the Obama Administration’s fight against childhood obesity.

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