Americans know the difference in origin between cow’s milk and plant-based milk, and they ought to be told when a dairy alternative has a different nutrient makeup, said the Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday. Its proposal, for a statement on packages for many types of plant-based milks, satisfied neither side in the years-old argument over what can be called “milk.”
Three-and-a-half years after it received a cattle group's petition to define "meat" and "beef" as referring only to the flesh of food-bearing animals, the USDA said it has no authority over the labeling of alternative proteins from plants and insects. The FDA regulates those products, said the Food Safety and Inspection Service, and when it "is made aware that a non-animal product is being labeled as 'meat' or 'beef,' FSIS refers such information to FDA."
More than half of all Americans would eat more plant-based foods if they had more information about the effect of their food choices on the environment, said a survey released on Thursday. (No paywall)
An estimated 40 companies worldwide are in the race to bring to market cell-based meat — "clean meat" in the eyes of proponents and "fake meat" according to ranchers. Asked if the product qualifies as meat, Deputy Agriculture Undersecretary Mindy Brashears responded, "This is something we will be talking about. That is an important priority for us."
The food startup that began as Hampton Creek is now known as JUST, and its newest product is a nutrient-fortified cassava porridge named Power Gari that it says is the solution to malnutrition in western Africa, reports the Washington Post. "JUST believes that its product will increase Africans' intake of critical vitamins and minerals by including them in a product that tastes good and is sold at retail in slick branded bags, unlike the fortified foods currently offered by development organizations."
For years, the dairy industry has faced a long-term decline in per capita milk consumption. Organic milk was the exception in recent years, but it is now losing its place in the dairy section to plant-based milks, says Food Dive.
The market for plant-based foods grew an average of 8.1 percent last year, compared to a decline of 0.2 percent for all other foods, according to data compiled by the retail sales research group, Nielsen. According to the report, which was funded by the The Good Food Institute and Plant Based Foods Association, the market for plant-based meats specifically rose 6 percent from a year ago, while plant-based dairy alternatives saw 20 percent growth. Nielsen found a 5-percent decrease in cow-milk sales, but a 3.1-percent increase in sales of plant-based milk.