Is the USDA preparing everyone’s palate for the yummy mixture of meat and the salty run-off from hydraulic fracturing? No, maybe they’re trying to heighten awareness of a new food movement that wants to bring back the pre-refrigeration days when salt was used to protect meat from spoiling.

None of those reasons are plausible in regards to this story, but, either way, they are good to think about in our struggling oil-based economy. What the government is really trying to do is propose a measure that would require brine-meat to be labeled as such.

Currently, it is not mandated for meat packagers to place labels on the sometimes flavorful, salt-ladened brine meat. The U.S. Department of Agriculture feels it might be in your best interest to know if your meat contains a 40% salt solution:

“Currently, raw meat and poultry products that contain added solutions such as water, teriyaki sauce, salt, or a mixture thereof may have the same name on their labels as products that do not contain added solutions,” according to a USDA statement released today. “For example, a single-ingredient chicken breast and a chicken breast with added solution both may be labeled as “chicken breast,” even though one package contains purely chicken breast and one may be comprised of 60 percent chicken breast and 40 percent solution.”

Probably, a good idea, right? Given the recent expansion of supermarkets in food deserts, there should be tighter oversight on products in markets. The Obama Administration is leaving it up to consumers to make the right choice for themselves and their families, so it is only fair that these labels find themselves on every package of brine-meat.

“Who wants to pay $4.99 a pound for the added water and salt?” asked Michael F. Jacobson, executive director of the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest in a Thursday statement.  “Besides cheating customers financially, ‘enhancing’ meat and poultry delivers a stealth hit of sodium.  Better labeling would help consumers concerned about high blood pressure, stroke, or heart disease avoid products that contribute to those diseases.”


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