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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9/9/2019 | 12:34 PM CDT
i'm a littled puzzled, chickens have long held out to be the champions of pounds of feed to pound of gain, when I was going to Mississippi State in the late '70s, the ratio was 2.2 to 1, i was told the other day it was now closer to 2.0 to 1. Pork is hitting below 3.0 to 1 and beef is in the high 6's and 7's. As ive gotton older, ive begun to wonder about the beef with beef conversions, as a corn and soybean farmer I've always thought the total kill weight should be counted because all that grass that was brought into the feed yard in the form of a steer or heifer couldn't have been be used by humans unless they wanted to twist it up and burn it in their stoves (well we really don't do that any more). My point is that if you can make a protein patty from potatoes or oats or corn, wouldn't that be cheating, kind of like meatloaf. The chicken or hog or cow or goat or sheep or fish is converting non protien sources into protien for us. However, if it is possible to change starch to protein as simply as running it thru an extruder then that truly is a form of alchemy isn't it? However it seems possible to make a pound of "textured plant protien product" that will substitute for a hamburger patty or or chicken filet, but this will require a pound of real plant protien. Hell a dumb ole chicken does better than that. But if you can take a 1/4 pound of inexpenseve plant protien, blend it with starches, a little oil, modern manufacturing technique and marketing, and get some modern cosmopolilaton type to pay you the same price as he/she would for a pound of nice Angus burger or prime chicken breast or pacific salmon filet, then W.C. Fields will have been proven absolutly correct.
Cliff Shudak
8/26/2019 | 11:38 AM CDT
We totally agree with you!! Thanks.