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Mar 16, 2009 05:39 AM

country-of-origin labeling -- COOL?

today, the new regulations go into effect. from the official website:

"A meat product from beef (including veal), pork, lamb, chicken, or goat must bear a COOL label or is subject to labeling providing COOL information if:
It is sold at retail,

It is a muscle cut, or
It is a ground product

The product is EXEMPT from COOL labeling requirements if:
The meat product is sold at foodservice (e.g., restaurants, institutions, etc.),

The meat product has undergone specific processing resulting in a change of character (e.g. cooking, curing, smoking or restructuring) or has been combined with at least one other covered commodity or other substantive food component. The exemption includes, for example, the following:

a. Hot dogs and sausages
b. Lunch meat
c. Cooked products
d. Breaded products
e. Cured products
f. Products in which the meat is an ingredient (e.g., spaghetti sauce with meat).
g. Fabricated steak
h. Meatloaf
i. Marinated pork tenderloin"

more, detailed info for masochistic food or legal geeks:


"Hi, I'm a T-Bone steak, but I used to be called Bob, and was raised in Texas. I was a Pisces, and loved leisurely strolls across the pasture. I was mercilessly slaughtered here in the U.S. for your consumption, by evil corporations bent on global domination. (But I digress. Wait, I can't digress -- I'm dead.) Enjoy!

P.S. Medium-rare is my best look."

(credit & kudos to Mandy Connell, WINK-am news radio).

finally, at first glance, i have to ask: what is "fabricated steak"?

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  1. "Hi, I'm a T-Bone steak, but I used to be called Bob, and was raised in Texas. I was a Pisces, and loved leisurely strolls across the pasture...."

    LOL! I've noticed COOL labels on meat in my local Roche Bros. - usually something along the lines of "Pork from U.S./Canada/Mexico" - so you STILL don't know exactly where it's coming from!

    As for "fabricated steak" - perhaps something like Steak-Umms?

    1. I would venture to say that a "fabricated" steak is one of those "country-fried steaks where they are seriously pulverized to tenderize them The machine that does the deed is called a "stitcher" if memory serves.....

      2 Replies
      1. re: KiltedCook

        You are correct.

        I absolutely support COOL because I refuse to buy meat or produce that originates in China because of food safety. I am well aware that the USDA and FDA aren't the best but my daughter's roommate is from Hong Kong and she wont eat food from China because of their lax food safety laws.

        1. re: Kelli2006

          Quite agree. I was shocked to find that the jar of chopped garlic I purchased was Chinese garlic, even though the label read "Product of Canada". Apparently, since it was chopped and bottled in Canada, that made it "P.O.Canada", even though the stuff was grown in China. Have to admit, though, it hasn't killed me yet.

      2. He sat down.
        The waiter approached.
        'Would you like to see the menu?' he said, 'or would you like meet the Dish of the Day?'

        A large dairy animal approached Zaphod Beeblebrox's table, a large fat meaty Quadruped of the bovine type with large watery eyes, small horns and what might almost have been an ingratiating smile on its lips.

        'Good evening', it lowed and sat back heavily on its haunches, 'I am the main Dish of the Day. May I interest you in the parts of my body?'

        It harrumphed and gurgled a bit, wriggled its hind quarters in to a more comfortable position and gazed peacefully at them. Its gaze was met by looks of startled bewilderment from Arthur and Trillian, a resigned shrug from Ford Prefect and naked hunger from Zaphod Beeblebrox.

        'Something off the shoulder perhaps?' suggested the animal, 'Braised in a white wine sauce?'

        'Er, your shoulder?' said Arthur in a horrified whisper.

        'But naturally *my* shoulder, sir,' mooed the animal contentedly, 'nobody else's is mine to offer.'

        Zaphod leapt to his feet and started prodding and feeling the animal's shoulder appreciatively.

        'Or the rump is very good,' murmured the animal. 'I've been exercising it and eating plenty of grain, so there's a lot of good meat there.' It gave a mellow grunt, gurgled again and started to chew the cud. It swallowed the cud again.

        'Or a casserole of me perhaps?' it added.

        'You mean this animal actually wants us to eat it?' whispered Trillian to Ford.

        'Me?' said Ford, with a glazed look in his eyes, 'I don't mean anything.'

        'That's absolutely horrible,' exclaimed Arthur, 'the most revolting thing I've ever heard.'

        'What's the problem Earthman?' said Zaphod, now transferring his attention to the animal's enormous rump.

        'I just don't want to eat an animal that's standing there inviting me to,' said Arthur, 'It's heartless.'

        'Better than eating an animal that doesn't want to be eaten,' said Zaphod.

        'That's not the point,' Arthur protested. Then he thought about it for a moment. 'Alright,' he said, 'maybe it is the point. I don't care, I'm not going to think about it now. I'll think I'll just have a green salad,' he muttered.

        'May I urge you to consider my liver?' asked the animal, 'it must be very rich and tender by now, I've been force-feeding myself for months.'

        'A green salad,' said Arthur emphatically.

        'A green salad?' said the animal, rolling his eyes disapprovingly at Arthur.

        'Are you going to tell me,' said Arthur, 'that I shouldn't have green salad?'

        'Well,' said the animal, 'I know many vegetables that are very clear on that point. Which is why it was eventually decided to cut through the whole tangled problem and breed an animal that actually wanted to be eaten and was capable of saying so clearly and distinctly. And here I am.'

        It managed a very slight bow.

        'Glass of water please,' said Arthur.

        'Look,' said Zaphod, 'we want to eat, we don't want to make a meal of the issues. Four rare steaks please, and hurry. We haven't eaten in five hundred and seventy-six thousand
        million years.'

        The animal staggered to its feet. It gave a mellow gurgle. 'A very wise choice, sir, if I may say so. Very good,' it said, 'I'll just nip off and shoot myself.'

        He turned and gave a friendly wink to Arthur. 'Don't worry, sir,' he said, 'I'll be very humane.'

        It waddled unhurriedly off to the kitchen.

        "The Restaurant at the End of the Universe" - Douglas Adams
        Of course, the exemptions will also include all those semi-prepared items at the butcher's counter (rolled & stuffed braciole, chicken kiev, burgers with the cheese already in them). Won't bother me a bit as I never buy those anyway. I'm looking forward to seeing COOL in the supermarket cases.

        2 Replies
        1. re: mcsheridan

          Which part of the five part trilogy was that from?

          1. re: KevinB

            Why, from "The Restaurant at the End of the Universe", of course. :)

        2. I don't think COOL is cool.

          1. jfood is very happy to see that COOL was introduced. He looks carefully at where his fish and vegetables were raised and now he has the information on his meats.

            He always appreciates information and this is one more data point to allow him to choose products.