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What’s Meat, Anyway? Missouri Label Law Says It Comes From an Animal; Some Disagree

A new Missouri law throws down the gauntlet on what food manufacturers can label as “meat.” Under the law, “meat” comes from animals — period. So, if you’re a manufacturer of plant-based food items and you label them as “meat-like,” “ground beef style,” “soy roast beef” or anything else that has animal-based references, you’re going to be whacked with financial penalties and even up to a year in jail.

According to NPR the law’s proponents say this ensures consumers don’t get confused about what they’re buying; opponents say consumers don’t need a label for that, and are suing the state for attempting to “stifle the grocery category of plant-based ‘meat.’”

We live in a world where we’re literally starving for nutrition, largely due to the fact that so many people blindly consume processed foods full of empty calories, added sugars, flavorings and dyes. Sometimes manufacturers throw in a few supplemental vitamins to make the product appear nutritious, but the bottom line is they’re not REAL foods, and certainly no substitute for fresh, whole, organic fruits, vegetables and — yes — meats, dairy and poultry.

What’s happened is that eating all this calorie-dense, processed and ultra-processed stuff has caused a worldwide struggle with weight gain and obesity. And because many consumers have become aware of the real cause of their struggle, they’ve taken to reading labels so they know what’s in their food and where it came from, so they can decide whether they really want to eat what’s in that package.

To that end, I believe that consumers do support labels that clearly state what’s inside a package, which eliminates their having to decipher what “plant-based” means — for example, whether it’s completely made of plants, partially made of plants or, in the case of the meat substitute called Quorn, if it’s not a plant at all, but a fungus-based ferment instead.

As I’ve explained before, Quorn is made from the fungus Fusarium venenatum, which is Latin for "venomous." For what it’s worth, Quorn has been the subject of scrutiny since it was introduced, as numerous human study subjects developed severe adverse reactions to it, including nausea, cramps, vomiting and diarrhea.

Even so, it’s waiting in the wings to sell to you, while new competition is on the way in the form of a meatless, “bleeding burger” from Impossible Foods, a company that uses a mix of soy, wheat, coconut oil, potatoes and "heme," the latter of which is derived from genetically engineered yeast, to make its product.

While these meat replicas are marketed as a benefit to the environment and your health, the real truth is that real meat contains a complex mix of nutrients and cofactors that you cannot recreate by an assembly of individual components. As a general rule, I believe man-made foods are vastly inferior to natural, whole foods and always will be. As such, I believe extreme caution is warranted, and they definitely should be properly labeled.

I also believe that if these fake “meat” companies were as proud of their products as they claim they are, they wouldn’t need fake “blood” to ooze out of their products, nor would they have any problem labeling them as fungus food or potato and soy patties, rather than trying to ride on the backs of real animals with deceptive labels purposely designed to make you think you’re getting something that you’re not.

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