Meat package labels contain words that are regulated by the USDA, as well as enticing words to get you to buy. The goal of the USDA is to protect the consumer from marketing terms designed to mislead and sway your purchase. Unfortunately deceptive marketing terminology
then explanations of USDA labeling terms. I hope this helps!
and usually leads to mistruths that many incorrectly accept as fact or even
common knowledge (for instance the term ‘Free Range’)
allowing the natural juices to drain away more freely when thawed.
strongly suggest avoiding pre-brined birds from a processor as they are usually injected with artificial flavorings,
flavorings and lots of water, gaining 15% or more in weight. I am a strong proponent of brining poultry, but only with homemade brines with natural ingredients. We offer my
natural brine recipes prepackaged in our markets, or make your own with a recipe from our website.
absolutely nothing to do with quality, taste or performance at the table.
been chilled below 26° F.
below 0° may be labeled as “not previously frozen.”
injecting meats with a water-based solution of flavorings and chemicals.
juiciness and the weight of the bird. Approximately 70% of the poultry (and
pork) on the market today is ‘brined’ or ‘enhanced’. We do not buy
enhanced meats at Tony’s Market.
rabbinical supervision and treated with a salt water brine.
8-16 pounds. Tom turkeys are males, usually weighing from 18 to 32 pounds. There was a time when hen turkeys offered more white meat, but no longer – the only real difference is size.
must provide small door in the henhouse to a fenced outdoor yard.
labeling / marketing term has nothing to do with quality or taste. While a few
birds may venture outdoors, the vast majority does not, but all can be labeled
as Free Range. Producers see this as a gimmick and avoid it because
of the negative effects of increased stress and mortality due to disease,
insects, and temperature. While ‘Free Range’ poultry can be a special product
of excellent quality, most simply use the term as a marketing tool to gain
bigger profits, not better poultry.
are concerned with items such as land and water use, feed certification and the use of ionizing radiation.
organic farming can be a great thing, the labeling term has no bearing on
quality, flavor, juiciness, nutrition, safety or wholesomeness. The use of hormones is not allowed
in any poultry raised in the USA.
turkeys that consistently
offer superior quality – at Tony’s we only handle premium branded products.
harvest can be labeled as ‘Young Turkeys’. Most turkeys reach market size
at 5 months.
ice-cold water, and since the bird can absorb some of this water in the process
(1-3% by weight), the USDA requires this be disclosed on a label. In
response to this, some have taken to air-chilling poultry, which increases
price. Note: I have tasted the two side
by side and cannot discern a difference, so it’s not something I am willing to
pay more for.
Comments are closed.