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Apr 4, 2013 02:29 PM

US meat industry renames cuts

Looks like we'll be seeing some new names at the meat counter... including no more "pork chops".

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  1. I trust that my local butcher shop will still give me what I want if I ask for it the way I always have, and not by these silly-assed new names.

    1. Just more deceit from the food industry. A huge percentage of fish labels, at the consumer level, are fictional. Why not create as much confusion for land animals too? Much of the world no longer is willing to import U.S. foods. Drugged and chemicalized meat, plant products that are more genetically modified every week. They look at Americans, who seems to fatter and dumber every year, and say holy crap, it must be that stuff they all eat. We don't want to end up like them.

      2 Replies
      1. re: emu48

        There is nothing in the article that suggests that the purpose is deception.

        1. re: GH1618

          Paragraph 2:

          "In an effort to boost sales just ahead of the U.S. grilling season ... "

          Article also points out that the U.S. supply chain is clogged with a surplus of unsold meat because fewer countries are willing to buy the U.S. product because of the chemicals in it.

          No deception? What other intent can you suggest when there's too much unsold meat, which should result in much lower prices, and suddenly your previously cheap pork chop has become a Porterhouse chop, a Delmonico cutlet or something else with an assinine name none of us has ever seen applied to it before? Do you believe in tooth fairies too? Hey, my mom has sex with space aliens.

      2. Interesting article.
        I agree with emu48; "more deceit from the food industry"

        Jones-Ellard said. "Anything that simplifies the names of cuts of meat is a good thing for consumers."
        -bullshit. The industry is not doing this for the consumer's sake, but instead to boost sales.

        I wonder if they're going to have a transition labelling period:
        "Ribeye Chop $4.99/lb formerly pork chop $2.99/lb"

        Or in 20 years, will old timers like us reminisce when a pork butt was a pork butt. "Damned kids today... wouldn't know a pork chop if they saw one."

        9 Replies
        1. re: porker

          This is EXACTLY why they are doing it! To "justify" raising their prices.

          "Ribeye chop" sounds so much fancier, like a ribeye steak, yet are worlds apart in flavor and quality (let alone animal!).

          1. re: Dinermite

            I believe it has more to do with defining the actual type of chop.

            1. re: wyogal

              I feel they're using clarification of what type of chop (or other cut) as a GUISE to change the names. The real goal is to raise prices and/or sales.
              From the second paragraph:
              "In an effort to boost sales... pork and beef industries are retooling more than 350 names of meat cuts to give them more sizzle and consumer appeal"

              1. re: porker

                boosting sales, yes, justifying a price raise, not so much. Two different concepts
                Also, I have seen discussions on the boards, when someone says "porkchop," there are wildly different views and opinions of cooking said chop, depending on the type of the chop. So, yes, I find the new names easier to identify, and from what I've seen in discussions, may be beneficial.

                1. re: wyogal

                  it's value-added marketing but as it stands, pork chops are not all priced equally.

                  1. re: wyogal

                    I think it may be beneficial as well - theres alot of regional differences in cuts and names to create plenty of confusion. Clarification would be refreshing.
                    However, without being alarmist or conspiracist, I don't trust big industry. They seem to tell you one thing to justify another. It rubs me the wrong way to hear something like "Anything that simplifies the names of cuts of meat is a good thing for consumers" when the real goal is to boost sales.
                    They don't give a rats ass if its "a good thing for consumers", but rather their bottom line: SALES.

                    I believe increased sales will drive up demand which will lower supply which will increase prices. Different concepts yes, but quite connected and benefitting who? Not necessarily the consumer...

                    1. re: porker

                      Isn't that just as true of small industry? Businesses large and small make business decisions.

                      1. re: GH1618

                        Yes and no. IMO, big industry has a tremondous amount of inertia. People can lose touch of their mores or integrity within such a big machine; their decisions might be based solely on the bottom line and be damned with anything else. Anything goes bad, the machine will protect them. I dunno, sub out dangerous, unhealthy work to desperate people at a lower cost or lower your manufacturing standards in other countries simply because you can, etc.
                        Small industry appears more accountable and seemingly behaves accordingly.
                        I know this is a simplistic view and theres overlap to both sides, but its an opinionated rant...

                      2. re: porker

                        what's good for consumers is what's good for business and is usually determined by advertising agencies.

                        In this case, the USDA is also on board which makes it seem less nefarious.

            2. The reality of this is that most people will still buy cuts at their local supermarket and will be disappointed in the tough tasteless piece of meat on their plate. In the drive for lean non-fat meat, we are left with tasteless and tough cuts of meat that most people don't know how to cook properly. Giving it a different name doesn't make it taste any better or look any prettier in the shrink wrap.

              How about teaching the consumer to properly cook these cuts? That will move more meat off the shelf and onto the consumers plate in the long run. A catchy new name might make the first sale but, poorly cooking it will result in only a single sale.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Sid Post

                "You can put lipstick on a pig...."
                How appropo.

                1. re: Sid Post

                  Ahhh, but they solved this problem, inject the lean crap with a water solution. People think the product is moist and the producers charge $2.50 lb for the water they inject that they paid less that an 1/8 of a cent per pound for.

                2. Coming up with new names for milk products didn't work out very well. I still buy 2% and not whatever it was that was on the new label. I'm thinking this follows the same path.