Though most other states have rejected lean finely textured beef (LFTB), Nebraska and Iowa will continue to serve it in school lunches during the next school year because it's safe, lean and less expensive, state officials say.

USDA says that Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota are the only three states that opted to continue purchasing ground beef containing LFTB for the 2012-2013 school year. The largest producer of the product, Beef Products Inc., is based in Dakota Dunes, SD, and its only remaining plant is in South Sioux City, NE.

All other states chose to purchase more expensive beef that didn't contain the manufactured product through USDA’s National School Lunch Program.

Beef containing LFTB is about 3% cheaper than beef that doesn't contain the product, according to current market prices provided by USDA.

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