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Tofurky Says Arkansas Is Violating Its Free Speech Rights by Banning It From Using Meaty Words

Plus, California is having a potable water crisis, and other news to start your day

Hands holding a tray of Tofurkey veggie roast
Tofurkey’s veggie roast
Tofurkey

Ahhh, delicious “veggie discs”

Today, an Arkansas law goes into effect that bans meatless products — like vegan hot dogs, and Impossible burgers — from describing themselves with typically meat-adjacent phrases. Using “burger” to describe a vegan burger, according to the “truth in labeling” bill, could confuse the customer, especially when it comes to alternative meat and dairy products. Because everyone was really out here thinking vegan cheese had milk in it!

The Arkansas law is one of several state laws attempting to regulate labeling with the backing of the meat and dairy industry. However, Tofurky, supported by the ACLU, is arguing that the bill has more to do with protecting the state’s meat and dairy farmers, and that it violates their free speech rights. According to the Washington Post, the complaint states the law “does nothing to protect the public from potentially misleading information. Instead, it creates consumer confusion where none existed before in order to impede competition,” and that “Tofurky Co. cannot accurately and effectively describe its products without comparison to the conventional meat products whose flavor profiles they are designed to invoke.” Because let’s face it, “milked almonds” is a lot more confusing (and gross sounding) than “almond milk.”

And in other news...

  • A thousand community water systems in California, mostly in low income areas, may be at risk of delivering non-potable water. [NY Times]
  • By 2020, you’ll be able to get Starbucks on Uber Eats. [Starbucks]
  • If you are an American who cooks with olive oil, it’s probably because of a group of people who actively promoted the “Mediterranean diet” in the ‘90s. [TASTE]
  • There is a mental health crisis looming in the restaurant industry. [The Outline]
  • Over 700 pounds of beef and pork are being recalled for “blood contamination.” [Yahoo]
  • You can now buy a “pairing” of Cheez-It and wine in the same box, for all your cheap picnic and romance needs. [Boing Boing]
  • Antoni hung out at Justin Theroux’s bar in Manhattan, if you want to know where the hot people go. [Page Six]
  • Dunkin’ is getting into the meatless meat game with a Beyond Meat breakfast sandwich. [CNN]

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