It wasn’t an April Fools’ joke although many had to smile when the European Parliament’s Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development decided yesterday that products may only be called something with steak, sausage, burger and hamburger if the product contains meat. Will we then also have to bid sausage bread, hot dogs and fruit flesh farewell?
EU politician Jørn Dohrmann and his European colleagues voted on meat words such as steak, sausage, burger and hamburger and decided that meat words must be monopolised. To mention an example, a plant sausage may no longer be called a plant sausage at the supermarket.
‘I find such votes rather foolish. What is the most important? To do something serious about our climate problems or waste time digging trenches and monopolising words? Well, excuse the pun: I believe that many people find that a bunch of baloney’, says CEO Henrik Lund from Naturli’ Foods.
He continues: ‘Children go on climate strikes all over the world while politicians come up with naughty words. Consumers are light years ahead of the politicians and realised a long time ago that you can make a positive difference for the climate every time you open your mouth to eat. A plant steak is 19 times more climate-friendly than a hamburger, and more than one out of four Danes already reduced their meat intake from 2017-2018, says CEO Henrik Lund from Naturli’ Foods.
Naturli’ Foods makes exclusively 100 per cent plant-based foods for the entire world and sees it as an important step forward for the climate when it becomes easier for consumers to find 100 per cent plant-based alternatives to e.g. minced beef or to pork or chicken sausages at the supermarket.
How about the fruit flesh from the orange?
‘In order for that to be logical, we need to find new words for many things. A doughnut will have to contain nuts to be called a doughnut. And what about the eggplant and the sea cucumber? And poor Bo Hamburger’, says Henrik Lund while smiling.
A job for a trade organisation
Henrik Lund continues: ‘The way we understand it from the EU, the decision is not yet final. We have been part of establishing a trade organisation for plant-based foods, and this will be the first task for the organisation to consider. We will try to make the politicians understand that the way forward for the climate is not to ban words. How does that help the climate?’, asks Henrik Lund.
Guidance – not misguidance
‘We are in the middle of a food revolution, and consumers at the supermarket ask for plant-based foods with the same function as the animal products that we already know. It’s therefore proper consumer guidance – rather than misguidance – when we for example launch new plant sausages and name them, well, plant sausages. The consumers know then that they are made of plants and may be used in the same situations as the sausage that is made of pork, e.g. on the grill. No one has doubts that the sausage is made of plants’, says Henrik Lund.
Finding new names – together with the consumers
However, Naturli’ Foods is already used to teasing when it comes to plant drinks that may be used in the same situations as milk. Together with the consumers, the company will therefore start developing a new product name for their plant sausages right away.
‘We have 200,000 followers on our social media. I am positive that the many consumers have excellent suggestions for future names for our plant sausages’, says Henrik Lund.
Another example is the vegetarian burger that a lot of large burger chains have on their menus.
‘What should that be called in the future? A plant bun? I guess it can’t be a burger bun – there’s no meat in the bun. Other industries do not witness the same way of thinking. They are allowed to talk of a reclining bike although no recliner is mounted on the bike,’ says Henrik Lund.