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It’s Meat vs. ‘Meat’ at the federal level

It’s Meat vs. ‘Meat’ at the federal level


Now Ralph, I know what you are thinking, and yes, I may be making hay out of something so trivial as properly labeling all this “fake meat” products that have hit the coolers and freezers of our local grocery stores.

We’ve debated this before but now I read the other day that our meat eating politicians in Washington are getting in on this mystery meat labeling.

As you know Ralph, we debated the legislation passed by our Arkansas lawmakers that calls for these fake meat producers to remove the word “meat” from their labeling of so-called “veggie burgers”, “Beyond Beef”, “Veggie Grillers”. fake chicken products. “Impossible Burger”, “Beyond Meat Sausage”, “Beyond Sausage Brat”, and on and on and on.

Oh, and also getting in on the fake meat craze are our fast food joints like Burger King with their fake Whooper, which as we both know is nothing but a bunch of chopped up or mulched up vegetable products.

Now I have made my sarcastic digs as to how I feel about this ridiculous trend but seriously this misrepresentation of meat being promoted by these slick entrepreneurs is causing quit a stir. No pun intended Ralph.

Arkansas’ labeling law has been put on hold pending the outcome of a lawsuit filed by this company I believe is in Oregon of all places.

Listen Ralph, I’m on the side of the farmers and ranchers in this country that provide me with all the juicy and fresh beef I can possibly consume. And, let’s not forget my chicken strips or thick and juicy pork chops, all of which I label “The Real Thing.”

Now I get plant-based foods created to look, feel and taste like beef or chicken are growing in popularity by, how shall I define them, a segment of our consumers who also have gone nuts over so-called “organic”.

There are those politicians who feel as I do that imitation products, fake as I would describe them, that create confusion in the marketplace.

For you information Ralph, I hear there is now legislation on a national scale, called Real Meat Act of 2019 to ensure that consumers make informed decisions in choosing between meat and fake meat products.

Hey Ralph, I’ll bet you a “Big Mac” the politicians supporting this labeling law are real meat eaters. Whatcha think?

The bill says any imitation meat food product, beef or beef product shall be deemed to be misbranded unless its label bears, in type of uniform size and prominence, the word “imitation” immediately before or after the name of the food and a statement that clearly indicates the product is not derived from or does not contain meat.

As expected, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association applauded the bill saying fake meat products are clearly trying to mislead shoppers about what they’re trying to buy.

Some people say this is deceptive marketing practices and I have to agree Ralph. First of all I don’t know why these fake meat marketers think they have to deceive their consumers by calling what is clearly nothing but plantbased products “meat”. These products have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with meat and therefore should not be labeled as such, plain and simple.

What it is Ralph, if they are forced to properly tell their consumers what they are fixin’ to buy is not real no one will want to buy their products.

I guess by calling a squashed up head of lettuce, celery and carrots beef it tastes better.

I’m just saying Ralph, let’s just call a spade a spade and stop all this ridiculous clever marketing deception.

By Ralph Hardin

Geez, Michael, were you beaten with a cucumber as a child? Talk about beating a dead horse… and then having processed into the all-new Horse Whopper, coming soon to Burger King.

I believe this is now the third time we’ve had this debate, and so far, I’m pretty sure I’m 2-0 on this topic.

Although I suppose we’re not actually keeping score…

OK, I’m totally keeping score, and I won’t embarrass you in front of our readers, but I’m pretty far ahead.

And you know what, you admit this might be “trivial,” but it’s really not. In a time when we as a nation are struggling with rampant obesity, it’s important that consumers have access to healthier alternatives, so while on the surface, the meat versus “meat” debate seems pretty silly, I’m willing to concede that it is important for a significant percentage of the population be able to readily identify plant-based meat alternatives. No, I’m still not interested myself, but folks can eat what they want.

I mention obesity here because that’s where I want to place my focus on this round of the Great Veggie Burger Debate of 2019. We are HUGE! I read a lot of news on the internet… OK, some it is more like “news” than news, but a couple of articles recently got my attention.

One was about how the Ford Motor Company is all but abandoning the production of cars. Our fat butts are too big to fit in them. Outside of the Mustang, Ford is only going to make trucks and SUVs. And we have to have the big old land cruisers to get a 1,000 pound family of five up and down the road.

The second one was an article about what observations non-Americans have made when visiting the U.S. or how American tourists have been viewed when visiting other countries. The most commonly-seen comments were, one, that portion sizes in American restaurants were humongous, usually enough for two grown people, and two, Americans are much larger than their counterparts overseas. And I don’t mean that every American is Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. More like the boxer Butterbean.

So, I say again, you can cry about “fake meat,” and our carnivorous politicians in Washington can do their debating over labeling laws. It just seems like making a big deal out of nothing. Once more, the idea that we are too stupid to tell the difference between a real piece of animal flesh and “veggie burgers”, “Beyond Beef”, “Veggie Grillers”, “Chick-N Patties” the “Impossible Burger,” “Soy Sausage”, or “Tofurky” is as insulting as it is ridiculous.

“Confusion in the marketplace,” my Boston butt. It’s politicians looking for a safe hill to stand on and bestow their wisdom on the rest of us poor uneducated folk who might accidentally eat a bean-based hot dog.

Again, I like my meat. I have zero interest in the vegetarian or vegan (what is the difference, anyway?) lifestyle, but I’m glad people who do get into that have plenty of options, just like I have plenty of options… Do I want the steak, or the salmon, or the chicken?

This really just smacks of political grandstanding against a generation of people, Millennials, who are an easy target to get certain blocks of voters all riled up.

Are we really worried abou So, Michael, read your labels carefully, lest you wind up getting a “Beyond Burger” by mistake. We don’t want you taking food out of the mouths of hungry, hungry Hippies now.

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