-FARM-FACT-FRIDAY- Is Your Meat Really a "Product of the USA"?
Updated: Jan 2, 2022
The next time you’re looking through the weekly grocery ads, or are in the meat department at the grocery store, check out the packaging and see if you notice a “Product of the USA” label.
Chances are you will and chances are the animal that the meat came from wasn’t raised in the USA.
Under current United States Department of Agriculture FSIS (Food Safety and Inspection Service) guidelines, beef that is imported from a foreign country and processed in a USDA inspected facility can be labeled “Product of the USA”.
The term processed can simply mean trimming the fat from beef or pork that’s already been cut in another country, taking a large cut of meat and cutting it into smaller portions, or grinding beef into hamburger.
In many cases, the animal whose meat is being labeled as a “Product of the USA” was never even alive in our country!
This means that the meat you're buying under the impression that the animal from which it came was born, raised, and slaughtered in the US, could have been imported from Australia, Brazil, Canada, or Mexico, among others (20 countries to be exact).
The ONLY way you can be sure where your meat is coming from is to buy local! When you purchase meat directly from a farm, there’s no guessing. You're consuming a genuine “Product of the USA”