Arkansas declares war on cauliflower rice

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Photo: I_rinka (iStock)

The rise of plant-primarily based and “cell-cultured” meats has touched off a international debate more than what, precisely, constitutes meat. Bureaucrats, customer groups, and the meat lobby have abruptly turn out to be amateur linguists, debating makes use of and ontologies of the words “meat” and “burger.” Who knew the seemingly innocuous term “rice” would also finish up in the crosshairs?

Final month, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson signed into law truth-in-labeling legislation sexily titled—all-caps their’s—“AN ACT TO Need TRUTH IN LABELING OF AGRICULTURAL Goods THAT ARE EDIBLE BY HUMANS AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.” (As for other purposes?) The stated purpose of this law is to “protect shoppers from becoming misled or confused by false or misleading labeling of agricultural items.” Substantially of the law focuses on meat and dairy items, and bars non-animal-derived versions of such foods from utilizing terms like meat and milk. This is comparable to legislation passed in at least 5 other states such as Missouri, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Mississippi.

But the Arkansas law also protects the term rice. Why? Simply because the state’s rice farmers are concerned that shoppers would be misled by items like cauliflower rice, which do not truly include any grains of rice. Cauliflower rice is created by breaking down chunks of cauliflower into rice-sized kernels. But accurate rice is now defined in Arkansas as “the complete, broken, or ground kernels or by items obtained from the species Oryza sativa L. or Oryza glaberrima, or wild rice, which is obtained from one particular of the 4 species of grasses from the genus Zizania or Porteresia.” Sorry, cauliflower rice, you are now regarded as mislabeled.

Arkansas On line reports the Arkansas Rice Federation and Arkansas Cattlemen’s Association each had input on this legislation, which will go into impact later this year. A single of its sponsors, Rep. David Hillman, is a rice farmer and previous chairman of the Arkansas Rice Study and Promotion Board. The law imposes a $1,000 fine for initially-offense meals mislabeling funds raised by fines will be directed toward the Agriculture Department’s Plant Board Fund.

So now the comply with-up query is: What to get in touch with the solution formerly recognized in Arkansas as cauliflower rice? Cauliflower Ryce? CauliCrumblies? Fart-Smelling TinyBits? You are on your personal, Razorbacks.

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