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posted by Fnord666 on Tuesday February 27 2018, @01:37AM   Printer-friendly
from the it's-what's-for-dinner dept.

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.


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  • (Score: 4, Funny) by requerdanos on Tuesday February 27 2018, @02:26AM (5 children)

    by requerdanos (5997) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 27 2018, @02:26AM (#644399) Journal

    It's not unded, since it was never alive

    I know that defining "life" is not something that science has definitively settled... But plants were never alive?

    I am no scientific expert here. But my Grandmother was a professional florist, and my Dad was a horticulturist.

    In working with and for them during my formative years, I got the strong impressions that plants are alive during the time that they live and grow.

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  • (Score: 4, Funny) by PartTimeZombie on Tuesday February 27 2018, @02:37AM

    by PartTimeZombie (4827) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 27 2018, @02:37AM (#644405)

    There's no scientific consensus that life is important.

  • (Score: 3, Funny) by bob_super on Tuesday February 27 2018, @02:37AM (3 children)

    by bob_super (1357) on Tuesday February 27 2018, @02:37AM (#644406)

    I was referring to lab-grown stuff, soon to become industrial-vat-grown stuff.
    Fake meat made out of plants is already called vegetarian patties, soy burger... and I'm sure they will keep inventing fuzzy-sounding names to differentiate from the upcoming frankenmeats.

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by requerdanos on Tuesday February 27 2018, @03:01AM (2 children)

      by requerdanos (5997) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 27 2018, @03:01AM (#644424) Journal

      I was referring to lab-grown stuff, soon to become industrial-vat-grown stuff.

      oooohhhh! I apologize for my confusion.

      So if the lab-grown stuff was grown, was it not alive while it was growing? Definition of life thing again.

      If it were a bunch of bacteria growing, of course we'd say it it was alive.

      But it's a bunch of cow(/goat/chicken/whatever) cells, definitely not located within a cow(/goat/etc.)... Being cultured, that means growing, must be alive in some since, but definitely not a "live animal?" Just the fact that we use the word "grown" implies life to some degree. I don't have the answer(s).

      Fake meat... soy burger

      I was surprised when the soy people got away with establishing the term "Soy Milk". I guess the meat people don't want a similar thing to happen with "Soy Meat" or "Soymeat."

      Speaking of which, there are some "meat patties [flandersburgers.com]" available that contain fillers like soy [shoprite.com], that are called "beef" on the label. I wonder if those would survive a legal defining of the term "beef".

      • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 27 2018, @10:50AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 27 2018, @10:50AM (#644558)

        Grown implies increase in size, not life. You can grow crystals, planetoids grow by accretion, you can even grow an image size by adjusting lenses.

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by Immerman on Tuesday February 27 2018, @02:47PM

          by Immerman (3985) on Tuesday February 27 2018, @02:47PM (#644624)

          Yes, but cells don't grow that way - they only grow substantially when alive, through self-replication