Nutrition fact labels require for meat-poultry products…

March is National Nutrition month. Two days ago, on March 1st, the USDA demanded that all meat-poultry products available on the market carry a nutrition label.

Before March 1st, 2012, the USDA created the voluntary labeling program so that small grocery stores, which cut and packaged fresh meat and poultry product, would be spared the cost of printing labels and applying them to the products.

Well,as of presently, USDA requires that all grocery stores supply nutrition labeling information for all single-ingredient, major cuts of meat and other (ground beef, turkey) and poultry either on the package or at the point-of-purchase.How good is that?! The nutrition labels will list the number of calories and the grams of total fat and saturated fat that a product contains.

Credit : USDA

This decision was minutely revised by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).The FSIS contends that consumers will have convenient access to important nutritional information about the raw meat and poultry products they most frequently purchase.

The under Secretary for Food Safety Dr. Elisabeth Hagen states, “providing nutrition information on meat and poultry products in the store gives shoppers a clearer sense of the options available, allowing them to purchase items that are most appropriate for their families’ needs. These new labels mark a significant step in the agency’s efforts to help consumers make more informed food purchase decisions.”

I believe that from a nutritional standpoint, it is rather amazing. For instance,from now on, one will be more capable to make a distinction between nutritional values of chicken breast vs that of pork chops. Consumers will no longer make assumption about which product suits best their cooking/diet and about the lean percentage in meat products. This will also reduce consumers’ exposure to unsafe meat products in their respective meals.

Check out this video on the list of 40 of the most common meat products that are require to have a nutrition label.

Beware milk and cheese lovers!

As I am certain of, lots of us enjoy eating pasta.Most pasta cooking , whether it be spaghetti or penne, involve adding milk or cheese to enhance flavor or to make it creamy.It is about time we bring awareness to the utilization of milk or cheese either at home or at the restaurant.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 800 people in the United States have gotten sick from drinking raw milk or eating cheese made from raw milk since 1998.

Credit :Ann@74 from flikcr

Nowadays,more and more people are trying to develop a healthy lifestyle.I must contend,that it  is a process with many decisions and steps.Many people believe that foods with no or minimal processing are better for their health. However, some types of processing are needed to protect health. So,if you’re thinking about drinking or using  raw milk because you believe it has health benefits, consider other options.Choose pasteurized milk product.There are many local, small farms that offer pasteurized organic milk and cheese products.Find out about it!

What you may be at risk for?
Raw milk contains bacteria, such as Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria, that can pose serious health risks to you and your family.They are responsible for various foodborne illnesses . So, if you’re thinking about using raw milk products in your meal because you believe that it is a good source of beneficial bacteria, know that it isn’t and you may instead get sick from  harmful bacterias.
It is important to keep in mind that everyone is at risk : healthy people of any age can get very sick or even die if they consume raw milk products.However,the risk is greater for infants and young children, the elderly, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems, such as people with cancer, an organ transplant, or HIV/AIDS.

Check this USDA video about dangers of raw milk.

Take action,inform yourself and others.Fight against the myths surrounding consumption of raw milk

As a consumer :

Credit:Eugene from flikr

Only consume pasteurized milk and milk- products.Make sure to do so when you’re doing grocery shopping or eating at the restaurant.

Be mindful of aged cheese made from raw milk because some outbreaks have been associated with them.
Spread the word,read the labels, encourage others to do so. Pasteurized milk product does save lives by killing harmful bacteria
When in doubt  about what is safe and what is unsafe to eat or cook with.-Ask! or use the available resources.

Here is small list of what is okay to eat ,refer to FDA for more info:

  •   Hard cheese like extra hard grating cheese such as parmesan
  •   Pasteurized milk or cream
  •   Processed cheeses,Yogurt made from pasteurized milk.

Having health in your meal also encompasses knowing what raw milk can do to us.Protect yourself and others.