Apparently, someone at the National Milk Producers Federation recently had some spare time on their hands — along with a hefty dose of misdirected anger — to bang out this exhausting exhaustive petition about “imitation products that milk dairy terms”.
As NMPF CEO and president Jerry Kozak explains,
“The [Food and Drug Administration] has allowed the meaning of ‘milk’ to be watered down to the point where many products that use the term have never seen the inside of a barn. You don’t got milk if it comes from a hemp plant, you can’t say cheese if it’s made from rice, and faux yogurt can’t be made from soy and still be called yogurt.”
Grammar issues aside (“you don’t got”?), I’m not so sure about using the inside of a dairy barn as a utopian benchmark. Most dairy cattle subsist on unhealthy diets of corn, growth hormones, and antibiotics, and spend most of their lives standing in one spot. I don’t think a hemp plant would be eager to pull a “Freaky Friday” with your average US dairy cattle.
What absolutely confuses me about this petition is that dairy alternatives are already adequately described as “(name of food here) milk.”
The term “milk” in the context of these alternatives makes sense to me. After all, these products are meant to replicate and replace milk in a multitude of ways (in smoothies, over cereal, in coffee, etc).
Kozak and his ilk claim this petition is done in an effort to “prevent false and misleading labeling on consumer products,” but I have yet to know of anyone who accidentally bought soy milk or rice milk thinking they were buying dairy-based milk.
I have seen the term “mylk” thrown around to describe dairy alternatives, which I find to be kind of adorable in that cute counter-culture kind of way.
Do you find this petition as absurd as I do, or do you consider Mr. Kozak’s claims valid?
UPDATE (May 3): Thank you to Small Bites reader Derek for pointing out that the odd grammar I pointed out in Mr. Kozak’s statement is in reference to the multi-million dollar “Got Milk?” campaign!