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When is a pork chop not a pork chop?

In an effort to increase sales, the meat industry is about to roll out a new labeling system that will make it easier for consumers to identify cuts of meat. 

What's a beef shoulder top blade steak? How about a bone-in pork loin chop? And what's the difference between that and a pork loin top loin chop?

The meat industry's about to roll out a new labeling system to make sure we know about each cut of meat. The labels are aimed at using more common terms, like porterhouse, T-bone, or Boston roast.

"It's a very interesting concept. I know there's some confusion among consumers about the different categories and the different names of meats but to me I think doing this is possibly going to cause even more confusion," said David Lobel, a New York-based butcher. "For example, people have been calling certain cuts of meat by one name their entire lives and to be told that now that's no longer acceptable that's not fair to them."

The labels are part of a broader marketing effort by the industry to boost sagging sales.

"I don't think labels is a solution. The person that walks in and has been referring to something a certain way their entire life and they’re walking through the supermarket and they don’t see that name anymore, what do they do now?" Lobel added.

"You want to buy a New York strip steak, that's also called a shell steak, that's also called a sirloin steak, it's also called a Kansas City steak. If someone walks in and they've called it a shell steak their entire life and then someone says they don't have that, what is it, a strip steak?"

About the author

Sarah Gardner is a reporter on the Marketplace sustainability desk covering sustainability news spots and features.
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