RICE IS NICE, BUT...

Arkansas and Louisiana are major rice producing states. So it came as no surprise when both states passed laws that made it illegal for food processors to market anything with "rice" in the name that isn't really genuine rice. It appears they were targeting products such as riced cauliflower, made from cauliflower to look like rice but without the carbs of rice.

I found one of these offending products at our local (Wisconsin) Costco. It is called "CAULIFLOWER RICE" and is made from cauliflower with no rice.

Are consumers being deceived by this product? I don't think so. I believe consumers are smart enough to understand that the Costco product is simply a rice substitute. Yes, the legislatures of Arkansas and Louisiana touted their work as "consumer protection" but the real reason is obvious: protecting a certain local agricultural commodity.

I suspect that these laws will be challenged on First Amendment (freedom of speech) grounds. But for now we can expect even more states to consider similar protectionist legislation as the food industry looks at new ways to market healthy plant-based products that can be used in place of meats, dairy, and other foods.


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