I think Shakespeare’s famous phrase, “to be or not to be, that is the question,” has become a universal reference to synthesizing all that entails indecision and doubt, leading me to think about the European Union's decision that products of vegetable origin can be called a hamburger or a sausage, even if they do not have meat. Is it hamburger or not?

While I do not like the idea, because I think it can be misleading due to the fact that these products are based on the preconceived idea of what a burger or a sausage is, it should be considered. I had already blogged once that concepts of things evolve.

On that occasion, I commented that we could look at the dairy sector with how it dealt with the concepts of “soy milk” or “oat milk.” But while people clearly speak of soy or oat “milk,” they are not thinking about the dairy industry. But legislation, at least in the EU, does not allow the use of this general term, as opposed to the belief that the use of a burger or sausage can be allowed.

I think that is very clear. It is not the same to use a term from the original product as one from a product made with that original product. In other words, you cannot sell “vegetable meat” but you can sell a vegetarian hamburger, just as you cannot say “oat milk” but you can an oat beverage or shake.

As European agricultural producers said well through the Copa Cogeca organization, this opens a Pandora's box of confusing terms. But not only that, environmentalists, medical groups, and companies are coming to the fore. It’s a real tangle.

It is still a challenge for the meat-producing industry, including the broiler industry. It is on us to communicate to the consumer as it should be, that chicken is just chicken, nothing more, and that chicken burgers are better, because they are the good ones, the real ones. Those with meat.

What do you think?