Blog dedicated primarily to randomly selected news items; comments reflecting personal perceptions

Saturday, April 21, 2018

"Le Veggie Burger"

"It is important to fight against false claims."
"Our products must be designated correctly; the terms of #cheese or #steak will be reserved for products of animal origin."
Jean-Baptiste Moreau, MP for La Republique en Marche, cattle farmer

"[No food products containing a] significant part of vegetable-based matter [can be presented as meat]."
"Meat and vegetable-based products, like soya, which is very profitable for the producer compared to a pure meat beef steak, can be marketed in a way that gives the consumer the impression he is consuming meat only."
"[The] totally paradoxical [practise of presenting vegan products as having a] bacon taste [or being a] sausage substitute [is abhorrent]."
Partial text of a new French food bill

"It is just patronizing to suggest a cauliflower is a satisfactory substitute for a steak."
"Let's face it, a white broccoli covered in salt and pepper and griddled [sic] to within an inch of its life, hasn't got a patch on a medium rare rump with a side of pepperoni sauce, has it?"
British blogger
"A principle of equivalence between pure pork sausage and substitute of vegetarian sausage vegetarian is imposed on consumer," amendment read
"A principle of equivalence between pure pork sausage and substitute of vegetarian sausage vegetarian is imposed on consumer," amendment reads

Outrageous, to be sure. Purveyors of vegetable products daring to present them as equal to, or superior in taste and food value to their animal-derived counterparts. This unwholesome trend to demonize meat and in the process convince hungry people that their cravings can be satisfied by substituting vegetable-based products dressed up to emulate their animal-based distant -- very, very distant -- cousins is obviously enraging to the meat industry.

Imagine, parading vegetables as equal in robust taste and hunger-satiation to meat! They won't have it, they simply will not have it. So accusing the vegetarian industry of trying to hoodwink the public into believing that their pseudo-meat products can still their cravings for meat, the meat industry and its formidable lobby has convinced the French parliament that a law is overdue to subdue the false claims confusing poor French consumers who evidently cannot tell the difference between either.

To save them from themselves, it takes a stern law forbidding the very labelling of vegetables in any shape, form or combination of spiced-up presentations to trade on the risible fiction that it's as nutritiously delicious as any meat product. Mind, as a member of the European Union, it might be said that the pioneering work on this vital file has already been done.

For a year ago, the European Court of Justice -- no less -- issued a ruling that dairy-related terms such as "milk", "cream", "chantilly" and "cheese" will only be permitted use on products that have been manufactured with real, authentic animal milk. This decree was evidently spurred by a Marks & Spencer store in the United Kingdom selling "cauliflower steak" aka a slice of grilled cauliflower with herbs labelled "steak" pricing it at $3.50.

Those who watch their pence know that the price is outrageous given how inexpensive a whole cauliflower is, let alone masquerading it as a meat product. So, the purveyors of vegetables-as-meat have got their comeuppance. Not from a public that must surely be capable of differentiating vegetables from meat, but from the meat industry ticked off that upstart vegetable purveyors are muscling in on their meat territory.

Henceforth, it becomes illegal for vegetarian food producers to use nomenclature clearly linked to meat products, such as "steak", "merguez", "bacon", or "sausage" when referring to food not partially or wholly comprised of meat. Oh yes, even innocuous terms such as "bacon taste" will not be permitted, for inherent in that descriptive is an absolute falsehood.

As for French Parliamentarian and cattle rancher, Jean-Baptiste Moreau, he only has the consumer's peace of mind at heart, nothing more, nothing less. Current labelling,  he argues, tends to confuse consumers who may be led to believe they are consuming pure, high-quality meat rather than a meat-and-soy combination or a completely vegetarian product. Sad, that people can be so easily led astray, right?

Sausages on the barbecue with vegetarian sausages at the bottom and meat sausages at the top of the picture
Only meat-based products will be permitted to use the word "sausage" under new French legislation

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