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Spare Us the Salt! Oregonians Paying a Hefty Price for Hidden Salt
Date:11/6/2008

Consumers' Health and Budgets Negatively Impacted by High Sodium Foods,

Deceptive Labeling

KELSO, Wash., Nov. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Salt. It's been a hot topic shaking up nutritionists and medical professionals for years, and now it's making waves at the government level: U.S. consumers are ingesting too much salt, between 4,000 and 6,000 milligrams of sodium daily on average(1) (or up to 15 pounds per year), substantially more than the USDA recommendation of 2,300 milligrams or less for healthy adults (1,200 to 1,500 for children). Consumers are paying a steep price for the added salt both at the checkout stand and with their health. Even fresh, raw products like chicken may have added sodium and still be labeled "natural," a practice that local poultry producer Foster Farms says is deceptive and costly on many fronts. In fact, Portland consumers are paying approximately $4.2 million per year for salt water -- at chicken prices.

Foster Farms is committed to keeping its fresh and natural chicken exactly that: fresh and natural with nothing added or injected. The company encourages consumers to be aware when grocery shopping because salt can lurk where you least expect it -- even in fresh chicken. That extra salt can add up. In the case of "enhanced" chicken, which is often labeled "natural," consumers may be unknowingly paying up to $1.50 a pound -- at chicken prices -- for salt water. In the greater Portland area that represents approximately $350,000 per month ($80,000 per week and $11,500 per day) spent on salt water by consumers. Recent Senate action calling for an end to deceptive labeling is a critical step towards protecting consumers against high sodium in "enhanced" poultry and meat products.

"At a time when a premium is placed on value, that few seconds it takes to read the label for sodium content can keep consumers from paying for something they're not getting -- salt water, instead of chicken," said I
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SOURCE Foster Farms
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