Meat Labeling 101 for restaurant critics
Good cheap eats are something I'm all for, particularly when there's a nod to the new millennium's sensibilities. The sausage is 100 percent beef and all natural, and the poultry is hormone- and steroid-free. The pork is premium natural White Marble Farms or some such.
Note to restaurant critics: if you're going to write about today's SOLE-food sensibilities, you need to be more than noddingly acquainted with the buzzwords.
"All natural," according to the USDA, just means minimally processed with no artificial flavoring or colorants. It's essentially equivalent to saying "100 percent beef." All poultry is by law raised without hormones and steroids; see the USDA's labeling page. And the White Marble Farms pork? It's premium, all right, and natural according the USDA's definition, but that's about all it is.
Look, I'm not saying most restaurant-goers care where their meat comes from — particularly those going to a barbecue joint like this Baltimore one — but the few that do must be shaking their heads.
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