The Christian Science Monitor

Farmers have a beef with plant- or lab-grown ‘meat.’ Should you care?

Cattle at the McLean Feedyard in Texas. The cattle ranching industry is arguing that lab-grown meat products should not be permitted to use the term ‘beef.’ Some states are considering laws regulating use of the word ‘meat,’ in a dispute that touches on evolving consumer markets and environmental concerns. Source: Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff/File

It seems almost silly. Farmers and ranchers are pushing state legislatures to define “meat.”

Missouri last year became the first state to oblige, passing a law saying it was “any edible portion of livestock or poultry carcass or part thereof.” Nebraska may be up next, considering legislation with similar language, and efforts are also under way in Virginia. North Dakota, Wyoming, Tennessee, New Mexico, Colorado, and Indiana.

Why all the fuss? Money and fear. The conventional meat industry is worried that as competitors mimic the taste and texture of their products using vegetable proteins, they will cut into sales. Even more concerning: Start-up companies are mimicking their

It’s happened beforeConvergence of palate and planetA view from rolling grasslands

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