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Posted: Jun 22 2018, 06:29 PM
Group: Featured Blogers
Member No.: 17
Joined: 17-January 12
Rep: 144 pts
Food fight over 'traitorous, manipulated mung beans' in meat fridge
By political reporter Anna Henderson
A Government politician representing beef industry heartland has taken issue with the labelling and placement of a vegetarian product, describing it as a "traitorous protein" that should not be stocked on supermarket meat aisle shelves.
Michelle Landry, who paints herself as a "committed carnivore", holds the marginal Queensland seat of Capricornia.
The electorate includes Rockhampton — which celebrates its links with the cattle industry through six giant bull statues, and hosts the national beef expo.
Photo: Rockhampton celebrates its links with the cattle industry through six giant bull statues. (ABC News: Alice Roberts )
The Nationals chief whip questioned Woolworths's decision to stock a 100 per cent "plant-based" product in the meat section of the supermarket, labelled as "minced".
"When red-blooded Australians peruse the aisle for red meat to feed their hunger, they are looking for good, wholesome, natural, Australian beef — not a pile of manipulated mung beans with a fancy name and a lab coat," Ms Landry said.
"If people are genuine vegans, they will hardly be looking for products in the red meat section anyway.
"This is clearly an attempt to trick consumers into taking home a Trojan horse of processed protein posturing."
Her comments come after her Nationals colleague Barry O'Sullivan called for Woolworths to pull the product from shelves.
The National Farmers Federation has also weighed in, calling for more clarity about labelling for products related to milk or meat.
Nationals leader and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack also took issue with the labelling, arguing "mince is meat" and the term should be reserved for meat products.
Labor's agriculture spokesman Joel Fitzgibbon said the case highlighted the importance of "genuine truth-in-labelling".
"Consumers are entitled to known what's in their food and where it comes from. Despite all its talk, the Turnbull Government has failed on both fronts," he said.
Photo: The plant-based product was placed in the meat section of the supermarket, labelled as "minced". (ABC Rural: Daniel Fitzgerald)
Greens rural affairs spokeswoman Janet Rice accused the Nationals of "running a protection racket for red meat".
The product itself is not branded as "meat" but Woolworths has promoted it using that term.
Senator Rice said she did not have an issue with that.
"I think we can cope with plant-based meat, just the same way we can cope with soy milk," she said.
"We've got soy sausages, vegetarian sausages and we've got nut meat, and consumers can understand what's going on."
Senator Rice said the focus on the word "minced" was laughable.
"Mince is meat unless it's minced garlic, or mince pies," she said.
"Basically mince means to chop something up into very fine pieces. So no, mince is not meat."
Senator Rice said she did not see a problem if people were duped, although she thought the product was clearly labelled.
"Inadvertently, if somebody buys it thinking that it's meat, and they happen to like it, that's actually no big deal," she said.
Photo: Barry O'Sullivan called for Woolworths to pull the product from shelves. (ABC Rural: Sally Bryant)
Naturli Foods in Denmark manufactures the Funky Fields "plant-based minced" item that has triggered the political debate.
The ingredient list does not appear to include any reference to mung beans. The faux mince ingredients listed include soy, wheat, almonds, mushroom, tomato, and beetroot colouring.
In a statement on its website, Funky Foods argued meat extends beyond animal products.
"We don't quite understand why animals should have a monopoly on the definition of meat," it said.
"From our perspective, the definition of meat is more about the texture."
Photo: The product itself is not branded as "meat". (ABC News: Marty McCarthy)
The company suggests using the product for lasagne, hamburgers and spaghetti bolognese.
Ms Landry acknowledged the negative attention the Nationals have paid to the new vegetarian mince is likely to have lifted the profile of the item.
"It probably has had free advertising," she conceded.
I agree with Michelle Landry on this issue. To have non-meat based products placed alongside genuine Aussie meat is misleading to consumers. If there was no intent to mislead consumers, why is the word "minced" much larger than the "plant based" descriptor?
Senator Rice's statement that the Nationals are running a "meat protection racket" is absolutely ludicrous and the typical nonsense one expects from the Greens. The Nationals aren't saying the product should be banned. They are simply pointing out that the current product placement and labeling is misleading and detrimental to our meat industry.
“If life were predictable it would cease to be life, and be without flavor.” - Eleanor Roosevelt
“All of life is peaks and valleys. Don’t let the peaks get too high and the valleys too low.” - John Wooden
Posted: Jun 23 2018, 05:03 PM
Group: Active Member
Member No.: 79
Joined: 7-August 13
Rep: 10 pts
I agree Charles, the only mince we buy comes from our local butcher - I would rather eat road kill than this 'plant-based product'.
But, Tassie Salmon is my favourite.
Politicians and diapers should be changed frequently and all for the same reason.
~José Maria de Eça de Queiroz,
We live in a world in which politics has replaced philosophy. ~Martin L. Gross, A Call for Revolution, 1993
"Stupid people are like glow sticks: I wanna snap em and shake the shit outta them till the light comes on."