What’s for dinner?
Beef-friendly Nebraska eyes regulations on the word ‘meat’
LINCOLN, NEB. >> More than four months after Missouri became the first U.S. state to regulate the term “meat” on product labels, Nebraska’s powerful farm groups are pushing for similar protection from veggie burgers, tofu dogs and other items that look and taste like real meat.
Nebraska lawmakers will consider a bill this year to prevent companies that package and sell food from advertising plantbased, insect-based and labgrown products as meat. Similar measures are pending in Tennessee, Virginia and Wyoming.
The issue strikes a particularly strong chord in Nebraska, one of the nation’s top states for livestock production, where cars roll down the interstate with “Beef State” license plates and the governor each year proclaims May as “Beef Month.”
Farm groups have found an unusual ally in state Sen. Carol Blood, a city-dwelling vegetarian from the Omaha suburb of Bellevue. Blood, who grew up on a farm, said she introduced the measure because agriculture is Nebraska’s largest industry and needs to be protected for the good of the whole state.
“I’m not bringing this bill to tell people what they can and can’t eat,” she said. “All I’m asking for is truth in advertising. It’s clear that meat comes from livestock, and livestock is our livelihood in Nebraska.”
Nebraska led the nation in commercial red meat produc
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A conventional beef burger, left, is displayed next to “The Impossible Burger”, right, a plant-based burger containing wheat protein, coconut oil and potato protein among its ingredients. The ingredients of the Impossible Burger are clearly printed on the menu at Stella’s Bar & Grill in Bellevue, Neb., where the meat and non-meat burgers are served. More than four months after Missouri became the first U.S. state to regulate the term “meat” on product labels, Nebraska’s powerful farm groups are pushing for similar protection from veggie burgers, tofu dogs and other items that look and taste like meat.