The Meaning of Meat (copy)

The Impossible Burger is a plant-based burger with wheat protein, coconut oil and potato protein among its ingredients. A Maryland General Assembly bill that would define what can be labeled as meat died in committee last week.

Some believe that just because it tastes like a steak doesn’t mean it should be labeled as one.

Twelve Republican senators are sponsoring a bill in the Maryland General Assembly that focuses on meat products that are made from plants or insects or contain lab-grown animal tissue.

The bill states that a food is “misbranded” if it’s for sale in Maryland, the label reads “meat” and the product contains or is made from those alternative-meat sources.

“It’s basically trying to get back to, ‘OK, if it’s going to be labeled meat then it needs to be the real thing. It can’t be artificial alternatives to it, even in the case of the lab-grown tissue, animal tissue that now wants to be labeled as meat because I grew it in a petri dish,” said Colby Ferguson, government relations director at the Maryland Farm Bureau. “Those all need to be properly labeled.”

The bill was first read on Jan. 15, and the first hearing is on Feb. 6.

Ferguson said the Maryland Farm Bureau will support the bill.

He said truthful and accurate labels allow consumers to make informed decisions.

“You’re not being given a false reality of what an alternative may or may not actually provide,” Ferguson said, referring to health and nutrition benefits.

The bill is similar to a milk and milk-based products bill that was approved by Gov. Larry Hogan in May 2019.

That bill prohibits the labeling of food products as milk unless they meet the definition of milk, which is a “lacteal secretion, practically free of colostrum, obtained by the complete milking of one or more healthy hooved mammals.”

This includes cattle, sheep and goats.

Enactment of the milk bill is contingent on 11 of 14 specific states, including Alabama, Florida and Virginia, enacting similar legislation. The deadline for this is Oct. 1, 2029.

Last year, the Virginia General Assembly tried to pass a bill pertaining to meat labels. However, the bill did not make it out of committee.

But in Missouri, a bill banning the labeling of a product as “meat” if it doesn’t come from “harvested production livestock,” which include sheep, cows and pigs, or poultry, passed in 2018.

It is expected that the market for meat substitutes will hit $2.5 billion by 2023, according to Euromonitor estimates reported by CNBC.

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(28) comments

Greg F

Vegan.....ancient word for "bad hunter."


Meta-vegetarian: Someone who eats plants and things that eat plants.


With the global warming initiative wanting to limit carbon base food sources, future generations may be looking at legislation against food sources. Soylent Green?


Catholics figured this out centuries ago. This is why we hold meatless Fridays and pancake Wednesdays, especially during Lent.

Greg F

I seriously doubt Catholics did this because of any climate issues. More like making things go further and making a sacrifice to your god is why that started.

Traditionally members of the Roman Catholic faith abstained from eating red meat on Fridays as part of a penance to mark the day of Christ's death. ... Catholics are therefore being asked to abstain from eating meat on all Fridays, while vegetarians are being adet from the webvised to abstain from another sort of food that day. Please stop pretending your eating values are any better than anyone else's when it comes to this issue. They aren't.


Remember, Jesus multiplied loves of bread and bushels of fish, not herds of cows or swine. The goodness of the Lord was "green" even before it was cool to be so!

Greg F

Could also be there was a lack of meat at the time also...sheesh.


The "burger" in that caption is the most disgusting thing I have ever seen. It looks like burnt pork-n-beans on a bun scraped off the botton of a dutch oven.


This is not representative of what I have had. I was not a fan of the Burger King version, but the one at Founding Farmers was terrific


Thanks for the alert. It must be all in the presentation.


"“It’s basically trying to get back to, ‘OK, if it’s going to be labeled meat then it needs to be the real thing. It can’t be artificial alternatives to it, even in the case of the lab-grown tissue, animal tissue that now wants to be labeled as meat because I grew it in a petri dish,” said Colby Ferguson, government relations director at the Maryland Farm Bureau. “Those all need to be properly labeled.”"

Colby Ferguson is the same person who argued against the ban on a pesticide because he didn't think it is still a problem. He asserts without any data that "“Taking the tool (Chlorpyrifos) out of the toolbox is not going to help Maryland [residents] because it’s not affecting them now, so all you’re doing is hurting the farmer,” he said." Now he says meat grown in a petri dish doesn't count as meat. Why not? It is genetically the same but grown in sanitary conditions probably without all the hormones and antibiotics given to cattle. If he wants truth in advertising then he should push for labeling how much and what types of hormones the cattle have been given and how much and what type of antibiotics have been used. FNP needs to do better service for the public by presenting information that counter's one person's opinion. These last two articles shows that only part of the information is being reported and does not necessarily follow the data.


Considering that Conservatives are generally supposed to be for LESS government, they sure get into regulations


The caption under the Impossible Burger picture is incorrect, as they are no longer made from wheat. I think pea protein is the main ingredient.


A lot of stores now have fake ground beef, that looks very close to the real thing. Some even stock it next to the real ground beef. In addition to Impossible and Beyond Burgers, there are knockoffs that are just as good, so the prices will go down and the flavor might eventually get better than ground beef. I think these beef substitutes are all labeled as "plant-based" foods. They are generally much more expensive than ground beef.



Some also believe that just because it tastes like a bloody Mary doesn’t mean it should be labeled as one.

Where is that legislation?


The meat of "tubers," like potatoes, is what is under the skin. The meat of nuts, like walnuts, is what is under the shell. For goodness sakes, artichokes even have "hearts" and you can buy a "head" of lettuce, just like you can buy cow hearts and heads from a butcher.

Meat can also mean what we commonly also think comes from living animals, such as cows.

But now we need legislation on this???


Mass balloon release legislation. Study groups on plastic bags. Green resolutions. City logos paid for that look like a constipated duck on a weathervane from Jacksonville, FL. And now legislation on "meat."

I think I am ready to give up on believing any legislators in the entire state of Maryland care about helping the common guy like me. Or any other hardworking ciitizens of this state.

I will remember this when I vote in November. So will thousands of others in Frederick County and City.


Mmmmm..beetle burgers with stem cell sauce. That'll sell. So if a vegan eats an insect unknowingly, will they spontaneously combust?


Hagen beat them to the balloon thing so they had to settle for the meat thing.


I get that you do not want something labeled as "meat" if it does not contain bits of animal, but if it is lab grown but still the same stuff I think it should be allowed to be called "meat".


[thumbup]S88. FYI, there is a company in Walkersville working on lab grown meat. I think vegetarians and omnivores would be willing to try it, though the anti-GMO crowd might not want to eat mutated cow cells manufactured with a 3D printer.


Like the time potato chip companies made Pringles change its label to potato crisps....


Meant to state “meat”.....definition is “the edible part of anything such as nut, plant, etc”. Guess the Md GA wants to change Webster’s definition also?


The very definition of a “burger” is “a food patty on a bun”. What’s the beef? Glad that, again, the GA have nothing more important to do that “legislate” what defines a burger. Forget the roads, healthcare, education. I guess they feel if it’s too hard to do forget about it!


I love the hysteria over this sort of thing. Why does anyone need a law when clearly, regardless of what the label says, you will know that milk is from soy or a patty is not from an animal the second you put it in your mouth. I mean, are there folks running around aggrieved because they have unknowingly been eating plant based meat, and need a label to tell them so? Really? I can see the lawsuits now. This nation is getting stupider and stupider every day.


Dumber and dumper, not stupider and stupider.


What will the legislature do when they come face to face with Mr. Webster who also defines "meat" as being the edible part of something as distinguished from its covering (such as a husk or shell)? Shredded coconut is referred to as being "meat" as are most nuts. So meat can be plant based. In addition, coconut milk certainly doesn't come from a cow, sheep, or goat. As long as the nutrition label indicates the source of ingredients does it really matter?


I don't think the dictionary definition matters. If someone is selling the "meat" part of a plant, such as a coconut or a tomato, they will not be able to label them as "meat", and that is probably for the best, especially if someone starts making fake meat out with coconuts or tomatoes.

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