A while back, I suggested that consumers don't want to see the word "slaughtered" on their packages of meat. If that's true, it might affect the way we evaluate the COOL requirement to include information on where meat was "born, raised and slaughtered" on the label.
My local Whole Foods may be proving me right about what consumers want. Here's a picture of the way they now label all their meat:
So, it's not "born, raised and slaughtered," but rather "born, raised and harvested."
I hadn't been aware that "harvest" was a possible word choice here, but the final USDA rule explains that it is:
This commenter as well as other commenters stated their opposition to having to use the term ‘‘slaughtered.’’ The commenters suggested alternatives to the term ‘‘slaughtered’’ that consumers may find more acceptable including ‘‘harvested’’ or ‘‘processed.’’
...With respect to the suggested alternatives that may be more acceptable to consumers, the 2009 COOL regulations permit the use of the term ‘‘harvested’’ in lieu of ‘‘slaughtered.’’ As discussed previously, this flexibility will continue to be allowed under this final rule.
Under this final rule, the United States country of origin designation for muscle cut covered commodities is required to include location information for each of the three production steps (i.e., ‘‘Born, Raised, and Slaughtered in the United States’’). The current COOL regulations permit the term ‘‘harvested’’ to be used in lieu of ‘‘slaughtered.’’ This final rule retains that flexibility.
"Harvesting" cows? Not something I ever heard said before. Will this information confuse or inform consumers? If consumers are interested in knowing where their beef was slaughtered, will the word "harvest" adequately provide that information? And what if some packages say "born, raised and slaughtered," while some say "born, raised and harvested." Is that confusing?