Proposed EU laws would require plantbased burgers to be called “veggie discs”

Proposed EU laws would require plant-based burgers to be called “veggie discs”

This is not a drill. Recently proposed EU food-labelling laws would require that veggie burgers be renamed “veggie discs”.

Yes, David, this is real life — and that’s not all, either.

Should the changes go through, the words steak, hamburger, sausage and escalope would also be off the table for providers of plant-based products.

Apparently, the proposal, which was voted through by the agriculture committee this weekand will go next to the entire EU parliament, is born from concerns around consumer awareness.

“We felt that steak should be kept for real steak with meat, and come up with a new moniker for all these new products,” said French Socialist MEP Éric Andrieu.

“There is a lot to be done in this front, a lot of creativity will be needed. People need to know what they are eating. So people who want to eat less meat know what they are eating – people know what is on their plate.”

Other commenters, however, seem confident in consumers’ ability to tell the difference between plant- and animal-based products, and have even suggested that the proposed changes are the result of pressure from the meat lobby.

“It’s obviously an attempt to attack vegetarian meat substitutes,” said Green MEP Molly Scott Cato.

“For me, it’s number one a sign that the meat lobby is worried about a rapid change in diets, especially among young people – a lot of which is about their response to climate change.”

Social media commenters, while split in opinion, were not so diplomatic.

“You can call it a pile of [expletive] and I’ll still eat it before I eat an animal,” one commenter wrote on Reddit.

“About time, nobody wants a veggie surprise in a bun,” wrote another on Facebook.

This may be true for some, but the sales of plant-based meat alternatives such as Greggs Sausage Rolls and the Beyond Burger, for example, seem to suggest otherwise. Both explosively popular, the Beyond Burger allowed Beyond Meat to more than quadruple its sales last year over 2016, while Greggs’ new product has been credited for the chain’s recent surge in profits.

Looks like wants a veggie surprise in a bun — or pastry, sorry. Mustn’t forget to be specific.

Header image: Nina Firsova/ Body images: Field Roast/Beyond Meat/Instagram

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