Today is a day for yours truly to talk about meat. But instead of horse or guinea pigs, let’s bring the discussion back around to more standard fare, beef and pork. In order to ramp up sales for grilling season and make shopping for meat a little easier, the pork and beef industries have banded together to give new names to 350 cuts of meat.
This all came about because consumer research found that labels on packages of fresh cuts of meat were often confusing to shoppers, according to a rep for the National Pork Board, reports Reuters.
When confronted with a vast array of steaks like “beef shoulder top blade steak, boneless, flat iron” etc., customers would instead walk away hungry, said a rep for the Beef Checkoff Program.
Those two groups got the go ahead from the USDA to update the Uniform Retail Meat Identification Standards, a voluntary system tha most U.S. food retailers abide by when labeling products. If the new names stick, they could be in grocery stores in time for the summer grilling season.
“One of our biggest challenges has been the general belief among consumers that a pork chop is a pork chop,” said the National Pork Board rep. “But not all pork chops are equal, and not all pork chops are priced equally.”
Under the new nomenclature’s reign — aimed at giving some meat cuts more razzle dazzle — a pork chop will become a ribeye chop or a porterhouse chop, while a pork butt could be known as a Boston roast. A boneless shoulder top blade steak will become a flatiron steak and a beef under blade boneless steak will become a Denver Steak. Ground beef will stay ground beef.
Consumers will also get a bit of education with the new system, which will include labels on packages telling buyers which part of the animal’s body the meat comes from and good ways to cook it.