Find the latest episode of "This Is Uncomfortable" here. Listen

When is a pork chop not a pork chop?

Sarah Gardner Apr 4, 2013
HTML EMBED:
COPY

When is a pork chop not a pork chop?

Sarah Gardner Apr 4, 2013
HTML EMBED:
COPY

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?”

Marketplace is on a mission.

We believe Main Street matters as much as Wall Street, economic news is made relevant and real through human stories, and a touch of humor helps enliven topics you might typically find…well, dull.

Through the signature style that only Marketplace can deliver, we’re on a mission to raise the economic intelligence of the country—but we don’t do it alone. We count on listeners and readers like you to keep this public service free and accessible to all. Will you become a partner in our mission today?

Your donation is critical to the future of public service journalism. Support our work today – for as little as $5 – and help us keep making people smarter.