Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

posted by martyb on Monday July 08 2019, @02:19AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the one-soy-based-hemispherical-cross-section-please dept.

A new law in Mississippi(1) makes it illegal to refer to plant and cell-culture based patties as 'burgers'.

The law would also prohibit the use of "burger" or "dog" in relation to vat-grown, cell-based food, which is made of meat. The statute reserves these appelations for foodstuffs derived from "slaughtered livestock."

The law has naturally been challenged by parties such as the Good Food Institute and the American Civil Liberties Union among others. In a nutshell

The contention on the meat industry side is:

Mike McCormick, president of the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation: "This bill will protect our cattle farmers from having to compete with products not harvested from an animal."

The contention on the other side is:

"There's nothing misleading about the name of a veggie burger, or vegan hot dog, or seitan bacon," Almy, a lawyer on the Missouri case, told me. "The packages clearly disclose that this is plant-based food that has the taste or texture of this familiar food."

A typical American would likely fall somewhere between these two views.

I fully understand (and at times enjoy) 'veggie burgers', however I had to look up 'seitan bacon' (FYI - a traditional Japanese wheat based food that is meat-like) and would not have known what it was at a glance (does super-seitan bacon go to 9000 calories?)

So where do patrons of Soylent Words-Related-to-Current-Happenings fall on this one?

(1) - Note TFA bounces between Missouri and Mississippi actions. There are similar labeling laws in both states. SB 627 in Missouri and SB 2922 in Mississippi.

Related: U.S. Cattlemen's Association Wants an Official Definition of "Meat"
Regulation Coming to Lab-Grown Meat


Original Submission

Related Stories

U.S. Cattlemen's Association Wants an Official Definition of "Meat" 80 comments

The U.S. Cattlemen's Association has asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture to develop an official definition for terms like "meat" and "beef", as plant-based alternatives to meats continue to grow in popularity and lab-grown/cultured meat may be coming soon:

Companies like Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat are combining plant-based ingredients and science, rather than animals, to create fake-meat burgers and other products that taste like the real thing.

Now U.S. Cattlemen's Association is looking to draw a line in the sand. The association launched what could be the first salvo in a long battle against plant-based foods. Earlier this month, the association filed a 15-page petition with the U.S. Department of Agriculture calling for an official definition for the term "beef," and more broadly, "meat."

"While at this time alternative protein sources are not a direct threat to the beef industry, we do see improper labeling of these products as misleading," said Lia Biondo, the association's policy and outreach director. "Our goal is to head off the problem before it becomes a larger issue."

[...] While these foods are commonly dubbed "fake meat," there's a little more to the meat-substitute market than that. The Good Food Institute, which advocates a sustainable food supply, breaks it down into two categories: clean meat and plant-based meat. Clean meat refers to "meat" grown in a lab from a small amount of animal stem cells. This kind of meat isn't on the market yet, but it's in development. Plant-based meat is anything that mimics traditional meat but is made mainly using plant ingredients.

Here's an idea: define "meat" for the Cattlemen's Association, then tax it with an exemption for "lab-grown meat".

Related: Lab-Grown Pork Closer to Reality
Lab-Grown Chicken (and Duck) Could be on the Menu in 4 Years
Inside the Strange Science of the Fake Meat that 'Bleeds'
Impossible Foods Just Raised $75 Million for Its Plant-based Burgers
Cargill, Bill Gates, Richard Branson Backed Memphis Meats Expects Meat From Cells in Stores by 2021
Meat Tax Proposed for Sake of Human and Environmental Health.


Original Submission

Regulation Coming to Lab-Grown Meat 25 comments

Don't listen to Big Cattle — lab-grown meat should still be called "meat"

Lab-grown meat is on its way, and the government is trying to figure out how to regulate it. This week, the US House of Representatives [pdf] released a draft spending bill that proposes that the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulate lab-grown meat and figure out how it should be labeled — which is a contentious topic since Big Cattle doesn't want it to be called "meat." Regulation is important, and there's plenty more to learn, but the USDA shouldn't be the only one regulating. And when the product comes to market, yes, it should be called "meat."

Traditional meat, of course, comes from animals that are raised and slaughtered. Lab-grown meat (also called "in-vitro meat," "cultured meat," or "clean meat") is made from animal stem cells grown in a lab. But because the stem cells are typically fed with a serum derived from the blood of calf fetuses, the product uses animal products and isn't vegan. Still, the pitch for lab-grown meat is that it saves animals and also helps the environment because lab-grown meat doesn't take much land or energy to grow. Plus, lab-grown meat doesn't directly create methane emissions, while methane emissions from cows accounted for 16 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions in 2015.

Because of the way that government agencies work, it hasn't even been clear who should regulate lab meat. The USDA traditionally regulates meat, while the US Food and Drug Administration regulates food safety and additives. The proposal that the USDA be in charge of regulation is in line with what the [pdf] National Cattlemen's Beef Association wanted, but some lab-meat advocates fear that USDA will be biased against them in favor of traditional meat. If the USDA will be regulating lab meat, it should at least collaborate with the FDA. There are no slaughterhouses for the USDA to inspect anyway, and the FDA has already been regulating food technology, like the genetically engineered salmon it approved. It makes the most sense for the two to work together.

Previously: U.S. Cattlemen's Association Wants an Official Definition of "Meat"

Related: Lab-Grown Chicken (and Duck) Could be on the Menu in 4 Years
Cargill, Bill Gates, Richard Branson Backed Memphis Meats Expects Meat From Cells in Stores by 2021
'Soylent' Dawkins? Atheist Mulls 'Taboo Against Cannibalism' Ending as Lab-Grown Meat Improves


Original Submission

Meat Industry PR Campaign Bashes Plant-Based Meat Alternatives 58 comments

Plant-based burgers are "ultra-processed" like dog food, meat-backed ads say

A public-relations firm backed by meat producers has unleashed a savage marketing campaign that claims plant-based meat alternatives are unhealthy, "ultra-processed imitations" similar to dog food.

The campaign rolled out in recent weeks from the industry-funded firm Center for Consumer Freedom, according to The New York Times. So far, it has included full-page ads and opinion pieces in mainstream newspapers, including The New York Times, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal. All the marketing material raises health concerns about trendy meat alternatives, such as the Impossible Burger and Beyond Burger.

One ad posed the question "What's hiding in your plant-based meat?" Another directed readers to take the quiz "Veggie Burger or Dog Food?"

In an op-ed, the managing director of the Center for Consumer Freedom, Will Coggin, labeled meat alternatives as "ultra-processed" foods and noted that a recent study led by the researchers at the National Institutes of Health linked ultra-processed foods to weight gain.

The negative marketing campaign comes amid soaring popularity of meat alternatives, which threaten to slice into the meat market's sales and profits. In recent months, big players in the meat industry had tried a different—some might say hypocritical—tactic to compete with the new comers—that is, they released their own lines of meat alternatives. Now, the industry wants consumers to think such alternatives are unhealthy.

Older stories:


Original Submission

Judge Serves Up Sizzling Rebuke of Arkansas’ Anti-Veggie-Meat Labeling Law 75 comments

A federal judge on Tuesday roasted Arkansas' law banning makers of meatless meat products from using words such as "burger," "sausage," "roast," and "meat" in their labeling.
[...] Judge Kristine Baker, of the US District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, granted a preliminary injunction that prevents the state from enforcing the law while the legal case is ongoing. In her order, Judge Baker made clear that the law appears to violate the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment—as Tofurky argued. She determined that the state will likely lose the case.
[...] "The State argues that Tofurky's labels for its plant-based products are inherently misleading because they use the names and descriptors of traditional meat items but do not actually include the product they invoke, including terms like 'chorizo,' 'hot dogs,' 'sausage,' and 'ham roast,'" Judge Baker noted. Such misleading or false labels would not be protected commercial speech under the First Amendment, the state claimed.

But Judge Baker essentially called that argument bologna.
[...] She went on to cite a ruling in a similar case that determined that "Under Plaintiffs' logic, a reasonable consumer might also believe that veggie bacon contains pork, that flourless chocolate cake contains flour, or that e-books are made out of paper."

"That assumption is unwarranted," she went on. "The labels in the record evidence include ample terminology to indicate the vegan or vegetarian nature of the products."
[...] Meat and dairy industry groups have been increasingly working to try to limit the use of terms like "milk" and "meat" in other states and contexts as meatless and diary-free products continue to grow in popularity. Missouri, Mississippi, Louisiana, and South Dakota have similar anti-veggie-meat labeling laws. In Wisconsin, lawmakers have considered banning non-dairy products from using the word "milk," such as beverages labeled almond milk.

The latter issue led former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb to quip last year that "You know, an almond doesn't lactate." He said that the Food and Drug Administration is working on a guidance for the use of the term.

https://arstechnica.com/science/2019/12/judge-serves-up-sizzling-rebuke-of-arkansas-anti-veggie-meat-labeling-law/
Previous Stories:
https://soylentnews.org/article.pl?sid=19/12/04/1425220
https://soylentnews.org/article.pl?sid=19/07/07/1443201
https://soylentnews.org/article.pl?sid=18/02/26/2315236


Original Submission

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
(1)
  • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday July 08 2019, @02:45AM (12 children)

    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday July 08 2019, @02:45AM (#864298)

    They've been selling Veggie Burgers in California since the early 1990s, at least.

    Funny that it hasn't even been an issue in the Deep South until just now.

    --
    My karma ran over your dogma.
    • (Score: 2) by boltronics on Monday July 08 2019, @03:04AM (5 children)

      by boltronics (580) on Monday July 08 2019, @03:04AM (#864303) Homepage

      Yep, I've always known then as veggie burgers here is Australia. I don't see why that's confusing.

      --
      It's GNU/Linux dammit!
      • (Score: 2, Redundant) by sgleysti on Monday July 08 2019, @03:25AM (1 child)

        by sgleysti (56) on Monday July 08 2019, @03:25AM (#864309)

        I don't see why that's confusing.

        It isn't confusing.

        • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 08 2019, @04:11AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 08 2019, @04:11AM (#864326)

          Mississippi politicians are easily confused and easily bought.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by JoeMerchant on Monday July 08 2019, @11:31AM (2 children)

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday July 08 2019, @11:31AM (#864416)

        When I went to California (from the Deep South) for the first time in 1992, it was confusing for about 20 seconds, then I asked a California Native just to be sure before making a terrible mistake, and he confirmed the strangeness: no, it's not a burger with veggies on it...

        --
        My karma ran over your dogma.
        • (Score: 2) by darkfeline on Tuesday July 09 2019, @03:28AM (1 child)

          by darkfeline (1030) on Tuesday July 09 2019, @03:28AM (#864843) Homepage

          And a vegan burger is not a burger made from the meat of vegans, alas.

          --
          Join the SDF Public Access UNIX System today!
          • (Score: 2) by boltronics on Tuesday July 09 2019, @05:19AM

            by boltronics (580) on Tuesday July 09 2019, @05:19AM (#864865) Homepage

            I purchased a burger that said it was vegan friendly. I don't care if it's friendly towards vegans - I'm concerned about it being friendly towards animals!

            --
            It's GNU/Linux dammit!
    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Monday July 08 2019, @05:54AM

      by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Monday July 08 2019, @05:54AM (#864358) Journal

      Cultured/lab-grown meat is a new thing, though.

      U.S. Cattlemen's Association Wants an Official Definition of "Meat" [soylentnews.org]
      Regulation Coming to Lab-Grown Meat [soylentnews.org]

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by hwertz on Monday July 08 2019, @06:49AM (2 children)

      by hwertz (8141) on Monday July 08 2019, @06:49AM (#864377)

      I could see why they might worry about confusion... if places did indeed list their veggie burgers as veggie burgers, there's no confusion. But, I've been to several restaurants recently that now among their several burgers list the Impossible Burger as an option, with nothing obvious indicating that this is a veggie burger.

      • (Score: 2) by https on Monday July 08 2019, @03:10PM (1 child)

        by https (5248) on Monday July 08 2019, @03:10PM (#864517)

        If you don't know what the "Impossible Burger" is, you have clearly beaten the marketing campaign to interfere with your reasoning process. You're more dangerous to capitalists than Jesus (and worse, not a target market). Serving you an incorrect menu item is the least of their worries.

        --
        Offended and laughing about it.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 08 2019, @10:29PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 08 2019, @10:29PM (#864728)

          You're more dangerous to capitalists than Jesus (and worse, not a target market).

          Are you sure about that? He'll pay twice as much for something without knowing any reason to, expect that it's priced twice as high. Sounds like a good target market to me.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 08 2019, @08:52AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 08 2019, @08:52AM (#864400)

      It's because lab based 'meats' and others are becoming increasingly misleading with their labeling. For instance would you think an "Impossible Burger" or "Beyond Burger" do you think these clearly indicate that the product is the product of corporate labs working to produce a product that resembles the texture and flavor of a burger while being made of entirely different components? And this is made even more relevant by the fact that these are the sort of products many people would prefer not to eat and so if they do eat them it's going to be because they were misled as to what they were consuming. That's a deeply personal violation of a consumer since it's not just a knock off product or trinket, but stuff you are putting inside of your body and consuming.

      Another good example even given in the article synopses. Seitan is apparently a non-meat product in Japan. I've never heard of it and I expect the vast majority of Americans have not either. Seeing "seitan bacon" on something that seems to be bacon is going to mislead people. The most crucial part is that I think this deception is intentional on part of the corporations manufacturing these products.

      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday July 09 2019, @01:57AM

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 09 2019, @01:57AM (#864807) Journal

        It's because lab based 'meats' and others are becoming increasingly misleading with their labeling.

        Not at all.

        For instance would you think an "Impossible Burger" or "Beyond Burger" do you think these clearly indicate that the product is the product of corporate labs working to produce a product that resembles the texture and flavor of a burger while being made of entirely different components?

        Yes, since I know what those are. In addition, the presence of the adjective is a clear warning sign that one should ask, if one doesn't so know.

        And this is made even more relevant by the fact that these are the sort of products many people would prefer not to eat and so if they do eat them it's going to be because they were misled as to what they were consuming.

        Which let us note, is not very relevant. They get enough such veggie burgers and they'll learn to ask before they buy. The disease is the cure.

        The most crucial part is that I think this deception is intentional on part of the corporations manufacturing these products.

        Well, then show it. Really, this is the only relevant part of your entire post.

        The thing is I don't buy at all that these businesses get by on deceiving the public. This isn't a business that can get by on burning a few gullible people once (particularly since the examples you give are likely to result in refunds!). And they're trying legitimately to get a product that looks, tastes, and is used much like the meat versions of burgers and bacon. Why can't they use similar names for similar products?

        Finally, this is a massive violation of free speech. Contrary to your claim, it's quite clear what product they're selling. Instead, I see this as an abusive attempt to squelch rival competitors.

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by AthanasiusKircher on Monday July 08 2019, @03:03AM (13 children)

    by AthanasiusKircher (5291) on Monday July 08 2019, @03:03AM (#864302) Journal

    From the opening of TFA:

    FDA (totally not in thrall to Big Dairy): we're going to ban calling almond milk "milk"; Mississippi State legislature (totally not in thrall to Big Ag): hold my beer.

    Whenever the milk issue came up recently, I argued that the FDA had a legitimate point. I understand some might not agree with it, but "milk" has had a well-known definition going back a millennium in English and very similar words existed in other languages before. The EU has defined "milk" similarly as secretions of mammals. Whether or not the FDA is "in thrall to Big Dairy," I can see a legitimate argument for separating "milk" from the various nut and grain juices (which is what they really are) based on history and based on the fact that mammalian milk has a pretty well-defined set of chemical properties which make it useful as an ingredient in a lot of things, and many of these other "milks" don't share those properties. (Hence a lot of internet questions about -- "can I use soy/almond/oat milk in X?" These are different products than a rather fundamental ingredient.) I have nothing against these various other white juices, and I've enjoyed them myself. But are they "milk"?

    On the other hand, I can also see the other side -- people have been calling white liquids from vegetable sources "milk" occasionally for at least a couple centuries (and some claim for significantly longer). So I can see both sides.

    But this Mississippi thing is preposterous on its face. First of all, TFA suggests it's a "jailable offense" to call something a "burger" or a "dog," which is already absurd to place such a criminal penalty on language usage. But the other issue is etymology and usage. "Burger" comes from "hamburger," supposedly named after the town of Hamburg in Germany. (It has nothing to do with ham.) So, "burger" is NOT identifying anything specifically as meat-based necessarily. There's no long history where "burger" meant primarily "meat" -- it's just based on a word that referred to something like a regional dish, which had a lot of variation, and that's when it was still called a "hamburger steak." The word "burger" is even further removed from that.

    And the suffix "dog" has even less of a certain connection to meat. (One could argue about the long history of jokes about what's in the hot dogs anyway too...) Both hot dogs and hamburgers have long histories of all sorts of "fillers" showing up in them too, many of them officially acknowledged by cooks as ways to "stretch" the meat or even make things that were mostly things other than meat.

    Furthermore, my argument about milk depends on the fact that the other white juice products are significantly different chemically and nutritionally. But this law seeks to even deny "burger" and "dog" status to products made literally of chemically identical meat just because it was grown in a lab. That seems even crazier to me.

    So, while I can at least see an argument for being a little more specific about the use of "milk" as a term, this law is patently absurd.

    • (Score: 2) by AthanasiusKircher on Monday July 08 2019, @03:11AM

      by AthanasiusKircher (5291) on Monday July 08 2019, @03:11AM (#864305) Journal

      Oh, one last thing -- I don't know whether being "absurd" is enough to question legality in this case. According to federal law and federal court rulings, states have pretty broad regulatory authority. There are lots of absurd laws on the books. So I'm not sure how this will go legally...

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by PartTimeZombie on Monday July 08 2019, @03:36AM (6 children)

      by PartTimeZombie (4827) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 08 2019, @03:36AM (#864316)

      Mike McCormick, president of the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation: "This bill will protect our cattle farmers from having to compete with products not harvested from an animal."

      which might be shortened to:

      Mike McCormick, president of the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation: "This bill will protect our cattle farmers from having to compete.

      Although unless the vat-grown or plant-based producers can get themselves subsidized in the same fashion that the farmers have I wonder if they will be able to compete on price anyway.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by sgleysti on Monday July 08 2019, @04:05AM (2 children)

        by sgleysti (56) on Monday July 08 2019, @04:05AM (#864323)

        Although unless the vat-grown or plant-based producers can get themselves subsidized in the same fashion that the farmers have I wonder if they will be able to compete on price anyway.

        Plants take a lot fewer resources to grow than animals, especially when considering the caloric value or even the mass of the resulting food. You have a very valid point about vat-grown, but in that case, if the end product is animal flesh, what else is it besides meat?

        • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Monday July 08 2019, @05:41AM (1 child)

          by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 08 2019, @05:41AM (#864355) Journal

          Plants take a lot fewer resources to grow than animals, especially when considering the caloric value or even the mass of the resulting food.

          Have you figured out why the humans are omnivorous, though?

          You have a very valid point about vat-grown, but in that case, if the end product is animal flesh, what else is it besides meat?

          Well, that's a big if that you have there.
          Not as big as "if ever FTL travel will become possible" but certainly harder that "scale down the gate sizes to 3 nm in the current CPU-es".

          --
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 08 2019, @10:36PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 08 2019, @10:36PM (#864731)

            Have you figured out why the humans are omnivorous, though?

            Outsourcing.

            Seriously: protein production/fabrication, bio-accumulation of trace minerals, and in the case of pigs, turning crap into something tasty!
      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 08 2019, @09:14AM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 08 2019, @09:14AM (#864403)

        I don't think this is a fair take on two points. First, let's consider champagne. The reason that most champagne in the US is called sparkling wine is because only champagne made and bottled in France is legally allowed to be called champagne. Incidentally, there was a local wine in Champagne, Switzerland that predates French Champagne by hundreds of years. They were forced to change their product's name by the EU. Aren't supernations awesome! Okay, snark aside I had a point. That is that in spite of that insanity, sparkling wine does fine.

        But in this case the regulation actually makes sense. Sparkling wine made in Champagne, France or Napa Valley, USA is a fundamentally identical product with the only variation coming in terms of product quality and the exact process. Not dissimilar to e.g. corporate chicken meat vs free range chicken meat. But hamburgers and e.g. "impossible burgers" are just entirely different things. One has an ingredient list of 'meat'. One is a lab grown concoction loaded with additives, coloring, chemicals, compounds, and other ingredients to try to replicate the taste, texture, and appearance of the former. Precisely:

        Hamburger: meat

        Impossible Burger: water, soy protein concentrate, coconut oil, sunflower oil, potato protein, methylcellulose, yeast Extract, cultured dextrose, modified food starch, soy leghemoglobin, salt, soy protein isolate, mixed tocopherols, zinc gluconate, thiamine hydrochloride, sodium ascorbate, niacin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin, cobalamin

        And so in this case in any way suggesting they are the same thing is simply not a very reasonable thing to do. There's clearly some market for these type of concoctions and so they're not going to lose their market by renaming to something that more clearly represents what they are - they'll only lose the people that were purchasing these things without understanding what they were. And that's a good example of actual consumer-oriented regulation.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 08 2019, @04:02PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 08 2019, @04:02PM (#864545)

          I think they should legally be required to call them a food substance that is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike hamburger.

        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday July 09 2019, @02:41AM

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 09 2019, @02:41AM (#864822) Journal

          But hamburgers and e.g. "impossible burgers" are just entirely different things.

          Not really. They're both protein rich patties. The other thing is that champagne is a trademark. Burger and bacon aren't trademarked by anyone. Under present US law, they can't be trademarked as food products because they are in common usage. Sure, if you want to trademark Bacon for anti-virus software, sure. But for food products? No way.

          The phrase "Impossible burger" on the other hand can be so trademarked and is. What is interesting about this law is that it's attempting to make illegal use of this trademark even though there is no compelling reason for the law. I think it'll fail on First Amendment law grounds, but the process could be pretty ugly.

    • (Score: 2) by mhajicek on Monday July 08 2019, @04:19AM (3 children)

      by mhajicek (51) on Monday July 08 2019, @04:19AM (#864335)

      What do you call coconut milk?

      • (Score: 2) by AthanasiusKircher on Monday July 08 2019, @05:03AM (2 children)

        by AthanasiusKircher (5291) on Monday July 08 2019, @05:03AM (#864349) Journal

        Coconut "milk" is like most of the other products -- it is an engineered juice/extract from a vegetal source. I assume you're not talking about coconut "water" or coconut "juice" (i.e., the actual liquid found in coconuts, which is NOT called "coconut milk").

        Anyhow, as I said, I can see both sides of the milk issue. And coconut milk is the ONE authorized exception I believe in the EU, due to the long history of the term. Also, chemically and nutritionally there's an argument for some greater semblance.

        The question, to my mind, if you allow any white liquid to be called "milk," what are the parameters? Does it need to have a certain nutritional or chemical profile? Does it need to have a certain viscosity? Should it react to temperature changes in certain specified ways? Or is it enough just to vaguely process some vegetal matter and extract some white liquidy substance?

        Language is arbitrary. But words become useful when they mean something. Where we draw the line determines to some extent whether the words are useful. Nobody is calling tomato juice "tomato milk,* so is it just color that defines "milk"? Well, what about parsnip juice? That's white, but maybe wrong texture/viscosity. And responds differently to temperature than most other engineered vegetal "milks."

        Point is: I might be okay with calling various engineered vegetal juices/puree mixtures "milks" is we had a better official definition of what parameters you need to satisfy to call your product "milk." Because lots of people want to use their "milk" as an ingredient in all sorts of things (unlike burgers and dogs, which are generally consumed in very specific ways). It seems to me we need to legally define "milk" somehow...

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 08 2019, @02:51PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 08 2019, @02:51PM (#864506)

          Total BS. Coconut "water" is EXACTLY what coconut milk is. No "engineering" required.

        • (Score: 2) by dry on Tuesday July 09 2019, @03:12AM

          by dry (223) on Tuesday July 09 2019, @03:12AM (#864839) Journal

          I've always known the liquid that comes out of a ripe coconut as coconut milk, though looking, it seems the definition has changed, perhaps it's an American thing.
          Likewise, milk has always been used for various products, dairy milk, nut milk etc. To quote wiki, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plant_milk [wikipedia.org]

          In English, the word "milk" has been used to refer to "milk-like plant juices" since 1200 AD.[5]

          Anyways, if we're going to give into the marketers, who want to poison us with animal milk, hot dogs should only refer to dog meat, or accept that language changes, sometimes for stupid reasons.

    • (Score: 2) by Arik on Monday July 08 2019, @06:25AM

      by Arik (4543) on Monday July 08 2019, @06:25AM (#864365) Journal
      Mostly with you, but;

      ""Burger" comes from "hamburger," supposedly named after the town of Hamburg in Germany. (It has nothing to do with ham.) So, "burger" is NOT identifying anything specifically as meat-based necessarily."

      Nope, it comes from "Hamburger Steak" i.e. steak in the style of a Hamburg resident, stereotypically frugal, that is to say chopped and pressed. From there it progressed to a "Hamburger Steak Sandwich" which was just a bit of a mouthful for the thing once it became a common meal, and so it was eventually shortened to 'Hamburger.'

      --
      - Sig not found. Self destruct initiated. Please clear the area.
  • (Score: 2) by Hartree on Monday July 08 2019, @05:40AM

    by Hartree (195) on Monday July 08 2019, @05:40AM (#864354)

    "So where do patrons of Soylent Words-Related-to-Current-Happenings fall on this one?"

    I come down firmly on the side of "Pass the popcorn."

  • (Score: 2) by Bot on Monday July 08 2019, @05:41AM (1 child)

    by Bot (3902) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 08 2019, @05:41AM (#864356) Journal

    What does Hamburg say on the matter? Their name, their choice.

    --
    Account abandoned.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 09 2019, @10:04PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 09 2019, @10:04PM (#865180)

      Figured you'd be one of those supporters of "thought crimes."

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by istartedi on Monday July 08 2019, @06:13AM (5 children)

    by istartedi (123) on Monday July 08 2019, @06:13AM (#864361) Journal

    Way, way back I remember asking a teacher or professor why we didn't have English as the official language in the USA. The reply, in part, involved the undesirable notion that if we had such a thing then the government would be involved in endorsing or even enforcing grammar and such. I was told this was the case in France, and that the government indeed would come down on people for advertising "Le hamburger" if a French word was available.

    There was always a tension between the libertarian strain of conservatism that wants minimal government, and the other type of conservative that wants the USA to be an Anglo nation.

    Now, thanks to powerful lobbyists, we're seeing the libertarian faction trampled under the boot, and yet it does nothing to further the cause of compulsory English use in other contexts.

    To the conservatives of Mississippi I say, "Why are you hitting yourselves?".

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by c0lo on Monday July 08 2019, @06:45AM

      by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 08 2019, @06:45AM (#864375) Journal

      To the conservatives of Mississippi I say, "Why are you hitting yourselves?".

      Principles and politicking and whatnot are, as usual, just smoke and mirrors. As such, your almost-wall-of-text-rant is, at best, an essay on the esthetics of smoke.

      If you want the reality, especially when it comes about all-things-US, the path to the truth is much simpler: just the follow the money/profit.

      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
    • (Score: 2) by acid andy on Monday July 08 2019, @12:23PM (3 children)

      by acid andy (1683) on Monday July 08 2019, @12:23PM (#864432) Homepage Journal

      As c0lo has hinted, it's libertarian for big business, authoritarian against the littler guy. Whoever makes the most money gets the most liberty. Then they lobby to get their liberties written into new laws. The irony. That's the trouble, too little regulation in a society and only the bullies will end up being the ones that are not regulated. They become the regulators.

      --
      Where did that thought come from? And that one? What about this one? Woah, man...
      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday July 09 2019, @02:52AM (2 children)

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 09 2019, @02:52AM (#864827) Journal

        That's the trouble, too little regulation in a society and only the bullies will end up being the ones that are not regulated.

        This proposed law against veggie meat replicas didn't come out because there was too little regulation, but rather because there was too much.

        • (Score: 2) by acid andy on Tuesday July 09 2019, @12:49PM (1 child)

          by acid andy (1683) on Tuesday July 09 2019, @12:49PM (#864960) Homepage Journal

          This proposed law against veggie meat replicas didn't come out because there was too little regulation, but rather because there was too much.

          You're missing the nuances in my comment.

          The meat industry clearly have bigger lobbying clout than the vegetarian / vegan food industry at present, so they lobby for more regulation, thus bullying the littler guy (veg industry). Big meat retain liberty and lack of regulation; little veg get regulated by authority. That's how it works.

          --
          Where did that thought come from? And that one? What about this one? Woah, man...
          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday July 09 2019, @03:21PM

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 09 2019, @03:21PM (#865003) Journal

            You're missing the nuances in my comment.

            The meat industry clearly have bigger lobbying clout than the vegetarian / vegan food industry at present, so they lobby for more regulation, thus bullying the littler guy (veg industry). Big meat retain liberty and lack of regulation; little veg get regulated by authority. That's how it works.

            Um, no. I'm not missing the nuance. First, you admit above that there is already excess regulation - the regulation that the big lobbyists allegedly are adding onto the small guy. Second, you propose no mechanism by which to prevent the big lobbyists from doing that aside from more regulation, which you've already admitted generically favors the big lobbyist in the first place. My take is that if we come up with even more byzantine laws on regulation campaign contributions, bribery, and anything else that can influence politicians to vote against the best interests of their constituents, we'll just tilt the lobbying grounds even further in favor of the big lobbyists - who will be better versed in legal and/or criminal ways of overcoming those legal obstacles. And of course, the people who have the least interest in enforcing lobbying/bribery laws will be the ones in charge of enforcement.

            The problem here is that the voter and consumer doesn't care enough in the general case - they can otherwise provide independent enforcement of such things without the need for regulation. As long as that remains the case, it's not going to be relevant how much legal veneer you put on top of lobbying. But if some business spends a billion dollars on lobbying and consistently gets as a result, a massive 10 billion dollar loss in profits (whether it be from lawsuits, contrary legislative results, losing elections, boycotts, whatever), then they're not going to do that for long either because they give up or go bankrupt.

            Perhaps you see now why I don't buy that this approach is going to work?

  • (Score: 1) by hwertz on Monday July 08 2019, @06:35AM (1 child)

    by hwertz (8141) on Monday July 08 2019, @06:35AM (#864369)

    Don't care... on the one hand, I'm for free speech etc. So if they get to keep calling those things burgers I won't complain too much. But honestly I do find it objectionable to refer to something with no hamburger at all as a burger, or no actual mystery meats as a hotdog. Just call it a veggie patty, and don't bother with the dogs.

    Honestly, I personally find this obsession with fake hamburgers, hot dogs, sausages, etc. rather odd. If I had to give up all meats suddenly, I could do it, but with Indian, middle eastern, various asian cuisines, and I'm sure some African countries all having strong vegetarian cuisines as well as I'm sure plenty of fine indigenous (US) vegetarian recipes around, I simply would rather have the nuts, chickpeas, tofu, etc. as they stand in these dishes rather than trying to make them resemble some kind of meat. (The trick with tofus, btw, is the different types.. those tiny gross little white cubes are "soft" tofu, if you get a hard tofu you get bigger pieces that absorb flavors nicely in a stir fry or whatever, and if the outside gets browned it develops nice flavors off the ones it's absorbed.)

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 08 2019, @08:13PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 08 2019, @08:13PM (#864675)

      It's about money. The Monsanto model was to create a seed that they could claim intellectual property rights on, and then interweaving with the government to gradually begin to enforce a transition to their patented inventions. As but one example, Monsanto worked with the government to offer major farmer insurance discounts but only to growers of their patented seeds. Farmers don't make much money as is and so this was a major driver in the migration to Monsanto seed.

      There's not only no reason to think a similar thing could not be done with meat, but it would also be incomparably more profitable. Americans consume a shocking 200 pounds [marketwatch.com] of meat a year. Convert that to "meat(tm)" and one company (or an oligopoly as it may end up being), and their lovely friends within regulatory and other government agencies, would stand to print just immense amounts amount of money.

  • (Score: 2) by LVDOVICVS on Monday July 08 2019, @06:43AM (6 children)

    by LVDOVICVS (6131) on Monday July 08 2019, @06:43AM (#864374)

    Renaming hot dogs.

    • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Monday July 08 2019, @07:41AM

      by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 08 2019, @07:41AM (#864389) Journal

      In an industry with low profit margins**, it is a matter of great importance.
      If you want to blame something for the 'frivolity in the grand scheme of things', blame capitalistic chronyism (I'd go as far as blaming capitalism, but again I have this hunch the 'pure capitalism' is as utopian as pure communism/anarchism or any other one-word-ideology-ism).

      ---
      ** Such as "the hotdog industry" - it's a dog-eat-dog one, I tell yea. Large grin.

      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
    • (Score: 2) by stretch611 on Monday July 08 2019, @10:18AM (4 children)

      by stretch611 (6199) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 08 2019, @10:18AM (#864410)

      Lets call them Frankfurters.

      Of course this can only last until Angela Merkel insults or embarrasses Donald Trump (again) at which point we will call them "Freedom Dogs."

      --
      Social Distancing... Please keep your posts at least 6 double spaced lines away from mine.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 08 2019, @04:53PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 08 2019, @04:53PM (#864567)

        Frankenfurters

        • (Score: 3, Funny) by RandomFactor on Monday July 08 2019, @09:29PM

          by RandomFactor (3682) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 08 2019, @09:29PM (#864707) Journal

          They can't take our Freedogs!

          --
          В «Правде» нет известий, в «Известиях» нет правды
      • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 08 2019, @10:45PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 08 2019, @10:45PM (#864734)

        Which will cascade into laws legislating exactly which products can and can't be called "Freedom Dogs."

        • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 08 2019, @11:24PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 08 2019, @11:24PM (#864752)

          Depends if they contain dog.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 08 2019, @02:22PM (4 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 08 2019, @02:22PM (#864494)

    "Hi, I'd like an Impossible-"
    "Don't say it. There's a cop right behind you."
    "Huh?" Glances around. "Look, I just want to order an Impossible-"
    "SHH! Don't say the 'B' word. That's an arrestable offense."
    "What?"
    "The 'B' word. If it's not meat and you use the 'B' word, you're going to jail."
    "Is this, a Monty Python sketch?"

    • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 08 2019, @02:54PM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 08 2019, @02:54PM (#864510)

      UGH, I realize hate the idiots that feel the need to do these fake, conversational skits. You're not funny. You never were.

      • (Score: 2) by https on Monday July 08 2019, @03:26PM (2 children)

        by https (5248) on Monday July 08 2019, @03:26PM (#864527)

        You do realize that some of the idiots that felt the need to do these fake conversational skits were Monty Python? All in the top 100 funniest people ever?

        And even they had their moments where their efforts fell flat.

        That not everything attempted is awesome is a horrible excuse [zenpencils.com] to stop trying, and the fact that you're actively discouraging it suggests your current quality as a human being.

        --
        Offended and laughing about it.
        • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 08 2019, @03:44PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 08 2019, @03:44PM (#864535)

          Don't worry we can grind him up and still call it "burger."

        • (Score: 2) by krishnoid on Tuesday July 09 2019, @05:07AM

          by krishnoid (1156) on Tuesday July 09 2019, @05:07AM (#864862)

          Pfft -- you're probably one of those horrible knights who say 'B'.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 09 2019, @02:45AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 09 2019, @02:45AM (#864823)

    Is a tuna steak a steak? My five year old says NO.

    Is a pretzel dog a pretzel if there's no knot?

    Is a doughnut a nut? (Before they had holes, the dough nut was the uncooked dough-y part in the center, the "nut")

    Would a rose by any other name still make tea with its hips? Hips? Really?

    I'm not a lexicographer, but by god Pluto is a PLANET!

    Ask any lexicographer -- it doesn't matter what the law says, it's how people use the worlds that make the definitions.

(1)