Vegetarian meat is on the rise. The products look like meat, and have names like ‘veggieburgers’ and ‘steaks’. But the Agriculture Committee of the European Parliament wants the name to change. Big companies like Burger King and Nestlé, as well as smaller start-ups, are trying to come up with more vegetarian alternatives for their products. These alternative hamburgers or steaks try to mimic meat as close as possible, both in taste and look. The goal is to convince more consumers: the more it resembles real meat, the fewer people will miss it.
They will not, however, be called ‘veggiesteaks’ anymore, if the Agriculture Committee has any say. ‘Animal product names’ for plant-based food is too misleading for the customer. No more veggieburgers or soymilk. It should be vegetable discs and soydrink, reports De Standaard.
Organisations promoting the vegetarian lifestyle talk about the work of a powerful meat lobby. ProVeg, one of the organisations, is stunned by ‘these renewed attempts to silence the vegetable sector.’
According to Éric Andrieu, member of the Committee, that’s not at all what happened. “The meat lobby is not involved in this. It was a debate in the Parliament, and more than 80% (of the committee) approved the proposal. It’s about common sense for consumers. We need to use the word steak for an actual steak.”
The European Parliament in its entirety will still have to approve it before the proposal could be adopted into legislation.