USA Today Reports on Cattle Ranchers’ Fight to Define “Meat”
With companies creating plant-based foods that look and taste like real meat—and even getting product placement in grocery meat cases—USA Today reports that U.S. cattle ranchers are disputing the categories of the products developed and sold by these companies, including Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat. The United States Cattlemen’s Association has filed a petition with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) calling for the agency to establish beef labeling that would limit the use of the terms “beef” and “meat” to products derived from animal sources and inform consumers about the difference between such products and “alternative protein sources.” The petition is reportedly aimed not only at “plant-based meat” substitutes such as tofu but also at “clean meat” grown in a lab from animal stem cells.
The firm Allied Market Research reportedly predicts that plant-based meat businesses could sell $5.2 billion worth of products by 2020. About 60 percent of U.S. consumers claim to be reducing their consumption of meat. USA Today quoted Jessica Almy, policy director at the Good Food Institute, as saying meat substitute products are “the beginning of a very, very big trend in the food industry.”