Archive for the ‘Substitutes’ Category

Service of Calling a Spade a Spade

Thursday, October 17th, 2019


I can’t sell a ring with glass in the setting and call it a diamond; I can’t call a synthetic textile cashmere, linen or silk no matter what it looks or feels like.

So why is it OK for the substitute milk producers to call their oat, almond or coconut alternatives milk?  And what about the food fiddlers who use the meat word to ID their plant-based alternatives?


In “Dairy, Beef Products Fight for Shelf Space with Plant-based Alternatives,” Wall Street Journal reporters Heather Haddon and Jacob Bunge write about what cattle ranchers and dairy farmers are doing about it.

They wrote: “Now, cattle ranchers and dairy farmers are starting to push back. Trade groups representing meat and milk producers said Monday they are ramping up marketing to underscore the difference between their cattle-made products and new rivals made from soy, almonds and peas. Plant-based replacements make up just 1% of the U.S. meat market by volume, Nielsen said.” [Nielsen the polling company.]


The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association “also want legal limits on the ability of plant-based producers to call their products milk or meat. This year 45 bills have been introduced in 27 states that seek to police the labeling of plant-based products and cell-cultured meats, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration held a hearing last month on how to update dozens of labeling standards governing food products, including plant-based meats.”

The FDA is currently reviewing 13,000 comments that chime in on whether meat and milk can appear on packaging. One of the advocates for plant-based substitutes for meat thinks it’s unfair to bring the government into the discussion.

I think it’s simple: if it’s not meat or cow [or goat’s] milk the manufacturer shouldn’t use the words meat or milk in labeling and marketing. Your thoughts?

Photo: youtube

Service of Substitutes

Monday, December 28th, 2015

Sugstitutes 1

I’ve had good luck with many, though not all, substitutes. Here are a few examples that go both ways.


Gallery leather plannerI have used At-a-Glance monthly calendars for as long as I can remember. The one I prefer ranges in price online from $15 to $25 but with $6+ postage/handling, it’s hardly worth the bother. When I saw a very similar calendar [photo, right] at Barnes & Noble I bought it. The only indication of a brand was “Gallery Leather Maine” stamped discretely on the back cover. Works for me.

Not so Sweet

Sugar substituteOn the other hand I dislike the aftertaste of all sugar substitutes.

How Graphic

There is little substitute for great graphic design. Years ago a talented man created my agency’s logo. Designer Nigel at Staples’ 3rd Avenue and 43rd Street store was able to simulate it for a business card. The price for Nigel’s time and talent JM Business Card Staplesand for Staples to print 500 of cards was a breathtaking $9.99. Amazing. Even more amazing, I was in to buy paper and he remembered my name.

Substitute of a Substitute

I was unable to find my favorite butter substitute—Brummel and Brown–for a while and didn’t have much luck with the others I tasted. It’s low in cholesterol, spreads well and tastes like butter.

Are there substitutes that work for you and some that don’t? Is there a trick to making a successful substitute?

 Brown and Brummel

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