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New Web Site Meatpoultrynutrition.org Unveiled

Monday, December 13, 2004

The Meat and Poultry Communications Alliance today unveiled a new web site www.meatpoultrynutrition.org aimed at offering consumers and the media quick and easy meat and poultry nutrition information.

The site was developed with expert assistance from leading nutrition expert Michele Tuttle, M.P.H., R.D., who will periodically answer nutrition questions submitted via the web site. The site includes scientifically referenced sections on dietary fat, protein, weight loss and portion size, a recipe section, frequently asked questions and a list of third party experts who can provide ready background and comment.

The Meat and Poultry Communications Alliance is a joint project of the American Meat Institute, National Chicken Council and National Turkey Federation, with the aim of improving public understanding of the industries and their products.

“This is an important time in the world of nutrition,” said AMI Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Professional Development Janet Riley. “New research is affirming the importance of protein in the diet. Meanwhile, the nutrition value of our products has never been better and soon, consumers will have nutrition labels on more products in the meat case. We thought a dedicated site would be timely and instructive for consumers.”

According to Sherrie Rosenblatt, senior director of public relations at the National Turkey Federation, “Often the conventional nutrition wisdom is badly outdated. This site offers one-stop shopping for the meat and poultry consumer.”

“The site aims to highlight important but little-known facts about the nutritional value of meat and poultry,” said Richard Lobb, director of communications at the National Chicken Council. These facts include:

--Meat and poultry are the best sources of iron. While mother may have touted spinach as they way to increase iron intake, meat and poultry contains the more absorbable “heme-iron.” In fact, the body absorbs four times as much iron from a 90 gram serving of cooked beef sirloin steak than from a 3/4 cup serving of bran flakes.

--Many meat and poultry cuts are extremely low in fat. Among the lowest: chicken breast, turkey breast, top sirloin, ground round and pork loin.

--A “no-fat” diet is not the best choice for good health. While it’s important not to overdo fat intake, fat is an essential part of human nutrition. Fat helps the body absorb fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, and carotenoids such as beta-carotene. Provides the essential fatty acids linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid, needed for healthy skin, normal brain and nervous system functioning and normal growth in children.

--Organic meat and poultry products are a matter of consumer choice but aren’t more nutritious than conventional products. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which awards the “USDA Organic” seal to qualifying products, makes no claims that organic foods are more nutritious than conventionally-grown foods. The seal indicates that the products were produced under conditions spelled out in the USDA program. Numerous studies have examined the issue of whether organic foods are higher in nutrients than conventional foods. One recent study reviewed the scientific literature and found little difference between organic and conventional foods in terms of concentration of most vitamins, minerals and trace elements.

--Lean meat and poultry can be part of balanced, disease-preventing diet. Health organizations from the American Dietetic Association to the American Cancer Society say lean meat and poultry can be important parts of a balanced diet. The operative word is balance – in food choices and in lifestyle. Americans need to eat a variety of foods and need to get plenty of exercise to maintain a healthy body weight.

To see the new site, go to: http://www.meatpoultrynutrition.org


For more information contact:
David Ray
Vice President, Public Affairs
Janet Riley
SVP, Public Affairs

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