Rewinder Magazine

Illegalization of “vegetable milks”

Ilegalización de las “leches vegetales”
The European Union has prohibited the use of the word “milk” to refer to milk of plant origin and only milk of animal origin can be called as such (EC Regulation 1308/2013) . When in America and other continents there is no problem (for the moment) in labeling a vegetable milk as "soy milk" or "almond milk", in Europe it is necessary to resort to euphemisms such as "soy drink" or "almond drink". ”. Meanwhile, many dairy brands don't label their packaging "cow's milk," but simply say "milk," usually coupled with a cartoon of a happy cow. They have appropriated the term “milk”. In parallel, the "vegetable milks" that from the outset already explain their vegetable origin, cannot legally say "milk".
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Is this banning of the term "vegetable milk" in Europe fair?

1- Let's see what the dictionary says : Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), a referent of English dictionaries, in his "A dictionary of the English language", concludes that "milk" is the " mammary secretion of female mammals " , and that “ there are also plants that have milk when you cut them” mentioning later “almond milk” and “pistachio milk ”.

Image 1, johnson dictionary

Noah Webster (1758-1843), "father" of American-English dictionaries, in his "An American Dictionary of English Language" also speaks of milk as a mammary secretion of mammals, to which he adds two more meanings to the term “milk”: << White juice found in certain plants >> << Emulsion produced from seeds; such as almond milk or coconut milk. >>

Image 2, 150px-Noah_Webster_United_States_postage_stamp_1958

Today the Oxford English Dictionary and the Cambridge English Dictionary, in its second definition of the word "milk" says: << White juice of certain plants such as coconut milk . >> Hmm, how interesting … If we check the dictionaries of other languages ​​such as German or Spanish, we find similar definitions. 2- Let's see what history says and we will understand why dictionaries say that there is "milk" of vegetable origin. "Vegetable milks" have been a star product in the medicine and cuisine of the main European countries for at least 1000 years , as confirmed in countless ancient manuscripts and in many they are not so old. And most importantly, in all these manuscripts it was literally spoken of “lacte”, “milch”, “mylke”, “laict”, “milk”…
Image 1, De re coquin
The Roman cookbook "Re Coquinaria" already shows recipes for vegetable milks in the 4th century.
Who is interested in the history of vegetable milks, read this documented work prepared by Chufamix. THEN , if both Languages ​​and History itself endorse the use of the term "milk" for plant-based milks...

On what basis and criteria has the European Union banned the term “vegetable milk”?

They have “illegalized” “vegetable milks” due to pressure from dairy lobbies camping in Brussels. Pure economic interests and a disproportionate interest, even suspicious, in that we all drink: "Industrial cow's milk". It is only necessary to see the "nutritional pyramids" of any European government and the public money that goes to "dairy propaganda", to understand it better.
Advertising campaign in the Madrid metro, Spain (2014)
Advertising campaign in the Madrid metro, Spain (2014)
And meanwhile, what happens in the USA? Well, it happens that the powerful dairy lobby NMPF (“National Milk Producers Federation”) has asked the FDA (“Food and Drugs Administration”), the Ministry responsible for Health and Food, to also outlaw the term “vegetable milk” for being “confusing the consumers". CONCLUSION We hope that the European Union rectifies and allows again, as it has been done for thousands of years and its own languages ​​indicate, to use the term "vegetable milk". We hope that the FDA does not give in to pressure from dairy lobbies. To do this, Chufamix has submitted an official request to the European Parliament to change Regulation (EU) 1309/2013 allowing the use of the word "vegetable milk", as it has always been done. REQUEST TO THE EU We are “vegetable-milk-addicts” and we will continue to claim our right to be able to freely talk about plant-based milk, whatever the cost. BECAUSE lobbies start here, because of these little "mischiefs", but only they know where they can end...

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