“Fake Food” Fights

Is milk by any other name still milk? Apparently, it is. Dairy producers claim “fake milk” is spoiling the dairy industry’s image and they are calling for a crackdown on almond, soy and rice “milks,” they say are masquerading as the real thing and cloud the meaning of milk. Though soy milk and almond milk have become commonplace terms, milk’s standard of identity says it is obtained by the “complete milking of one or more healthy cows.” Most of us are growing increasingly suspicious of sweeping claims that “fake foods” are actually better than the real thing. “Mammals produce milk, plants don’t,” said Jim Mulhern, president of the National Milk Producers Federation. The FDA has let imitators play “fast and loose” with dairy terms. Soy, almond and rice milk makers are charging more money and consumers are gravitating toward them. Butter and margarine makers also entered the fray. Some states tried to prohibit the sale of dyed margarine, which was naturally white. Parkay margarine (“Golden Yellow and ready to spread!”) provided yellow solution capsules so people can dye the margarine themselves.

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