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When is a burger not a burger?

Why meat and plant-based food producers are at war over words

Vegetarian and vegan food companies are under attack for using words like ‘burger', ‘sausage’, or ‘steak’ to describe their meat-free products. The meat industry and some politicians argue such words can only be used to describe foods that came from an animal and that plant-based alternatives should come up with new names to avoid consumer confusion.

But can you really claim ownership of a word? And what’s in a name anyway – is this argument about transparency and trust or marketing and profits?

Willem Van Weede, CEO of Dutch plant-based food company Vivera argues the case with Jess Peterson, senior policy adviser at the US Cattlemen’s Association, which represents the beef industry.

Plus, language expert Carrie Gillon tells us the real origins of the word 'meat' and suggests some new names for plant-based alternatives.

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26 minutes

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