Sort & Cull

Meeting Meatless Meat in the Middle

Cheri Zagurski
By  Cheri Zagurski , DTN Associate Editor
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Meatless meat tastes just like meaty meat? Let's just say I have my doubts.

I've been around 59 years come August and I consider myself an eater. Not a foodie. I don't prefer fancy, foreign or faddish food. I like good old-fashioned, cooked, salted and maybe even coated-in-gravy food.

I've been told, "Oh, Product X tastes just like Product Y! You'll love it," before. Rarely has that proven true.

Diet Coke (although I have come to love it on its own merits) does not taste just like good old Coke with sugar or HFCS. Low-fat anything does not taste as good as full-fat something. Cauliflower does not a pizza crust make. I'm sorry, Oprah, it just doesn't. Rice cakes are not adequate substitutes for cookies.

Don't even get me started on sugar-free desserts.

So I'm not likely to become a fan of meatless meat. I may not ever taste it. But I do have an idea for the name of such products.

Many producers of real meat products object to the purveyors of vegan meat, i.e. meatless meat, referring to their product as "meat." At the recent National Cattlemen's Beef Association summer business meeting, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Colin Woodall told attendees about the need for the federal government to ensure that beef nomenclature is protected in the marketing and labeling of fake meat, according to an NCBA news release.

So from here on I propose we refer to fake meat as "meet" -- as in not quite "meat" -- maybe just meeting meat in the middle.

That actually is not a rare occurrence in food retailing. Froot Loops used to be Fruit Loops, but charges of there being no real fruit in the loops led Kellogg's to change the spelling. Krispy Kreme Doughnuts? Is there "cream" in all those doughnuts?

Even my dog will tell you, Snausages (registered trademark) are not the same as sausages (lower case, any real meat source).

Perhaps the nut and bean juice companies (almond, cashew, soy, etc.) could take a clue. I have to agree with the dairy producers -- unless it came out of a teat, it ain't milk. Almond juice? Almond beverage? Almond mylk?

My check for this brilliant marketing idea may be sent to DTN.

Cheri Zagurski can be reached at



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