altSome of you might remember your mom or grandma picking up ice milk instead of ice cream at the store. It was supposed to be “healthier.” It was like they were trying to con us into thinking ice milk was just as good as ice cream.

It had a “gritty” texture and just didn’t go down as smooth as ice cream; tasting instead like chips of ice with a little flavoring mixed in. It was actually forbidden in the Turner home when I was a kid. While ice milk was still a dairy product, kind of, it was labeled as ice milk, because it wasn’t ice cream.

Missouri lawmakers are now considering a pair of bills – HB 2607 in the House of Representatives and SB 977 in the Senate – that would prohibit the misrepresentation of products being labeled as meat that are not derived from harvested production livestock. If passed, Missouri would be the first state to address the fake meat issue with legislation.

The target of the legislation is so-called clean meat, which is basically a product created in a lab to be similar, and supposedly healthier, than meat from animals. That’s a science experiment, not meat.

Funny, those who claim meat, poultry and dairy products are unhealthy and filled with chemicals, hormones and antibiotics that will harm you are the first ones in line for a product created in a test tube or petri dish. They push for limited ingredient, natural food products, yet want a product that’s created in a lab to have the appearance of a natural product.

Opponents of the bills are crying foul, claiming lawmakers spearheading the legislative moves are involved with “big ag,” because of contributions to their campaigns. Those “big donations” were $300 or less.

Others are claiming consumers are smart enough to know the difference, making the legislation unnecessary. Today’s consumers don’t understand many things about agriculture and food production, but that’s a topic of discussion for another time.

PETA has even become involved by issuing a press release chastising the killing of animals for human consumption and questioning the definition and use of the word “harvest.” The organization claims that, according to the 1828 Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the word harvest applies “exclusively to apples, corn and other crops, which are packed full of fiber and free of saturated animal fat and cholesterol, unlike animal parts, the consumption of which is linked to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity.”

I’m sure that’s verbatim from the dictionary and not embellished or twisted in any way to fit the PETA agenda.

This is nothing more than a marketing plan to con consumers into thinking these products are healthier.

For those who feel a lab-created slab of beef will never find its way to store shelves, think again. There’s been some big money invested in research into clean meat, and it just might surprise you to find out what companies have the loosest purse strings – Tyson and Cargill.

Published reports indicate that both companies have state in clean meat companies. Tyson wants to create “a venture capital fund focused on investing in companies to sustainably feed the world’s growing population.” And Cargill claims it wants to give consumers who want meat a more sustainable option. The companies have made billions thanks to animal agriculture and now they are trying to tap into the “non meat” for yet another revenue stream. A shrewd business move, but will it cause the hand that feeds them to bite back?

Real meat from real animals, real eggs from real chickens and real milk from real cows is on my menu.

And sorry Mom, the ice milk is still out.



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