Missouri Meat Law Causes Some Beef
Josh Garrett has been running an organic, non-GMO farm with his family in Carthage for about 2.5 years.
“We do beef, pork, chicken, eggs, turkey seasonal,” said Garrett with Garrett Farms.
He tries to live off the land as much as possible.
“I do not like going to the grocery store. We buy nothing from the grocery store and if we do, it’s gonna be household stuff,” said Garrett.
But when Garrett learned of the new Missouri meat labeling law, he was in favor of more transparent terms being used to describe vegetarian products.
“I’m all for real labels, labels that actually mean what they say,” stated Garrett.
Chad Meissner, a shopper and meat lover who has experimented with vegetarian products says he understands where the law is coming from.
“It makes sense. It doesn’t really bother me though, but I could see where it would bother a farmer,” stated Meissner.
Andy Cloud, a production manager with Cloud’s Meats, thinks that this will help level the playing field.
“It’s very important that we have a good label, the standard of identity of what they feel like that product is so that way people understand what they’re getting,” said Cloud.
But Garrett can also understand where the law would ruffle some feathers.
“Some vegetarians out there may be upset with it, but I mean on their side, I wouldn’t someone to say ‘It tastes like this,'” said Garrett.
For him, the best products come from his backyard.
“If you really wanna know and you really do care, and if this is a big deal to you, then buy food from a farmer. I don’t care if it’s us or your neighbor, whoever. Buy it where you can see it raised. Buy it from them,” said Garrett.
The law defines meat as something “derived from harvested production livestock or poultry,” and prevents plant-based products from using descriptors like “ground beef style” on their packaging without facing financial penalties or jail time. Four organizations have jointly filed suit against the state, arguing that the definition is restrictive and stifles competition. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is considering a similar meat labeling law at the federal level.