‘Soylent,’ ‘clean meat,’ ‘Impossible Burger’: What we call food is just as important as how it tastes

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Image: Bareburger

When we talk about the food of the future, we conjure images from science fiction: the pureed brown stuff in “2001: A Space Odyssey,” the blue milk of “Star Wars.” It’s not far off from the modern food movements we latch on to today …. what we call the new powders, isolates, mixes, and drinks of the future might help determine whether they become the powders, isolates, mixes, and drinks of the future …. When the foodstuffs of tomorrow suddenly emerge from the lab, where will they get their names?

“Soylent” …. The engineered meal replacement, purportedly popular in Silicon Valley, has gotten more attention for its name than for the product itself …. “Everyone’s told us to change the name,” co-founder Rob Rhineheart told The New Yorker in 2014.

Related article:  USDA, FDA should streamline 'fragmented' lab-grown meat regulation, Government Accountability Office finds


Engineered meat substitutes pose a distinct challenge. There are two different kinds of engineered substitutes that lay claim to being the “meat” of the future: ones that are plant-based, and ones that are based on animal tissues grown in a lab …. More familiar are the plant-based meats. The Impossible Burger and Beyond Burger are two well-known examples ….

Naming and branding consultant Nancy Friedman …. underscores an important point: the foods of the future will only become so once they’re widely adopted, which means their names rely heavily on marketing. “A general principle of branding is: make the unfamiliar seem familiar and the familiar seem unfamiliar,” writes Friedman.

Read full, original article: Fake meat needs a better name

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