Ross: What should we really call fake meat?
I’m sure you’ve noticed that a lot of hamburgers and hot dogs today are actually meatless.
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Which is why, under pressure from the meat industry, Missouri has a new law that could send you to jail for using a meat word to describe a meatless product.
So last week I bought some Tofurkey hot dogs, thinking they were a humane combination of Tofu and Turkey. Well – it turns out they’re all tofu. So I guess I was illegally deceived! But if anything, my hot dogs turned out to be even more humane than I thought, right? And talk about deception – even real hot dogs are not really hot dogs. We hope.
So, bottom line, the fake meat industry is suing to overturn Missouri’s law.
And when you think about it, if the fake meat industry has to tell the truth about its product, what about the real meat industry? Maybe a package of bacon should be described as “slices of Wilbur.”
And what about that new laboratory-grown meat? The labs that just grow a hamburger without the cow. What would you call that? A protoplasm burger? We’re grilling up a protoplasm burger! Come on over!
See? Food language is a complete mess. Even the word “burger” – it’s an abbreviation of the German word “Hamburger.” But in German, a burgher is “a small businessman.” In a rational world, grilling up a burgher would be illegal in every state.