There's a faux meat revolution comings, folks, whether you like the sound of it or not.
No, really. Not many people are contesting how cool it is that we have fake meats (which look and taste like the real thing, but are grown in food technology labs, rendering them much more sustainable and nixing all those animal-welfare issues in the bud) -- they’re just taking issue with the terminology used to describe it.
Therefore, food technology companies, which historically have referred to their products as "cultured" or “lab-grown," are now hoping to rebrand.
In order to stop putting customers off -- does the sound of meats hatched out of a petri-dish whet your appetite? -- fake-meat would now like to be called "clean food," please.
"It’s important because words matter in how we describe how something makes a big difference," Paul Shapiro, a top leader at Humane Society of the United States and author of an upcoming book on the subject, told Quartz. "You can only make a first impression once."
The term was conceived of by lobbyists at the recently-established, non-profit trade group in Washington, DC called the Good Food Institute. The GFI is currently preparing to highlight the findings of researcher Brian Wansink, a former U.S. Department of Agriculture official who studied different methods of urging schools kids to eat more veggies.
Wansink says, "Research suggests the biggest influence on a person’s opinion of a particular food is how they 'expect' it will taste. Giving fun, enticing names to healthy foods increases the desire to try them. Why not call broccoli ‘broccoli bites’ or carrots 'X-ray vision carrots?' Renaming foods to make them sound more appealing resulted in an increase in the sale of vegetables in the school cafeteria by 27%."
As of right now, “clean foods” have already begun their slow ascension into the mainstream food community: Impossible Foods, for instance, unveiled its plant-based burger at Momofuku Nishi, a popular New York eatery, in late July. Beyond Meats is also selling its clean, meat-free burger at a limited number of U.S. supermarkets.
What do you think? Are you excited for the clean food revolution?