Food

Arkansas Legislature Saves Residents From Accidentally Eating Rice Made From Cauliflower

Or maybe they're just protecting the Arkansas rice industry.

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Ingram Publishing/Newscom

Cauliflower rice is not rice—as the presence of the word "cauliflower" in the name would strongly suggest.

But lawmakers in Arkansas apparently don't trust that their constituents have a firm grasp on the English language, because this week the state became the first to ban the use of the term "cauliflower rice" to describe a product that does not contain actual rice. Manufacturers selling "cauliflower rice" in Arkansas will be subject to a $1,000 fine for each supposedly mislabeled product.

"This law only affects people who want to deceive the public about how their food originated," state Rep. David Hillman (R–Almyra) tells the Arkansas Democrat Gazette. "And if you're not trying to deceive the public, this will not affect you or any of the outlets who sell these products."

One wonders when the legislature will get around to protecting the public from the scourge of pineapples—which, shockingly, are neither pine nor apple—or peanut butter, which is not a butter and is derived from legumes, not nuts. And what are hamburgers if not an obvious attempt by the beef industry to deceive consumers into thinking they are eating patties made of salted, cured pork?

It's almost as if the Arkansas legislation isn't really about protecting consumers at all.

Indeed, the real impetus here comes from American rice growers, who are unhappy about the rising popularity of cauliflower rice as a low-carb alternative to rice made from grains. Big Rice is taking a page from the playbook of dairy farmers, who have been lobbying the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to outlaw products that dare to put the words "soy" and "milk" next to one another.

Cauliflower rice is "a bit malicious and maybe nefarious," a spokesman for USA Rice, an industry group, told Taste magazine in 2018. The previous year, USA Rice asked the FDA to do something about the malicious and nefarious threat posed to the public by the unwitting consumption of cauliflower that's been riced.

The FDA, thankfully, has not acted on that request (although it is currently investigating soy milk and almond milk). But lawmakers in Arkansas—the state where, coincidentally, about 40 percent of all American rice is grown—seem to have been a bit more susceptible to Big Rice's protectionist pleas.

Similar laws in other states have run into legal trouble. A law passed last year in Missouri made it illegal to identify non-meat products as meat (think veggie burgers or Tofurky); now it's facing a First Amendment lawsuit. Missouri's law might reasonably be called a violation of the Eighth Amendment too, since it allows violators to be punished with up to a year in prison merely for describing a meat substitute as a substitute for meat.

Such laws are obvious government overreach. Consumers should be allowed to make their own decisions about what to purchase, and they certainly should be trusted to read the government-mandated ingredients labels if they are confused about the distinction between cauliflower and rice. The only people here who are attempting to deceive the public are the lawmakers, like Hillman, who claim that cauliflower rice is a problem requiring government action.

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54 responses to “Arkansas Legislature Saves Residents From Accidentally Eating Rice Made From Cauliflower

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  1. “And if you’re not trying to deceive the public, this will not affect you or any of the outlets who sell these products.”

    Well, that’s a relief.

    1. isn’t every marketing campaign ever “trying to deceive the public”?

      1. I like to think that giving honest information about a good product can be effective marketing.

    2. If the goal is to punish those who set out to deceive the public, pretty much any legislator anywhere needs to be prosecuted.

  2. Ban buckeyes too, they’re peanut butter and chocolate.

    1. Goldfish crackers?
      Gummy worms?

  3. Most laws are explicitly about protecting someone from something nefarious, but are implicitly about either protecting a favored industry from competition or protecting the unwashed masses from making the “wrong” decisions.

  4. Why in the everloving fuck aren’t these assholes just called out for being completely daft? You said that shit with a straight face and nobody broke out into laughter?

    1. Look, there are people who post here who will, with a straight face, say that its appropriate to make calling a product almond milk illegal.

      1. Somebody please think of the children.

      2. ‘Milk’ isn’t even what it is, ‘milk’ is a made up word. Hey Arkansas, start forcing your dairy producers to start calling ‘milk’, bovine lactate juice just so your citizens understand what it is that they are buying! Must not be anything legislatively pressing in Arkansas!!!

  5. lawmakers in Arkansas apparently don’t trust that their constituents have a firm grasp on the English language

    It is Arkansas.

    1. SNL doing presidential debate with Bush sr. Ross Perot and Bill Clinton.

      Bill Clinton: When I was elected governor of Arkansas we were last in the nation in education. Now I’m proud to say, we’ve moved ahead of Mississippi.

  6. Sounds Ricist. Need ruling from the Supreme Court.

  7. “”Or maybe they’re just protecting the Arkansas rice industry.””

    That would be it.

    1. From what? Are rice producers in financial straits because Green Giant sells ground cauliflour as a rice substitute (at a cost of about 100 times per unit of weight than rice)

      1. From everything, real or imagined.

  8. Another regulation by big business. That, and does big rice actually think this will do a thing to help rice sales?

  9. …and don’t get me started about rapeseed, what a rip-off.

    1. Triggered

  10. ‘Industry groups’ should not be confused with actual industries.

    In many cases, they’ve turned into bureaucracies making up fake issues to fleece their constituents.

    If you only have a lobby, everything looks like a legislative problem.

  11. Cauliflower rice should be banned entirely not because it is lying about being rice, but because it tastes fucking horrible.

  12. And yet “rice” is both a noun and a verb – you rice food by running it through a ricer, a food grater designer to produce bits of food roughly the size of a grain of rice.

    But they do need to do something about that rice-burner I bought that still says I gotta put gasoline in it. What a rip-off!

    1. I was thinking this too, could it still be called “riced cauliflower” or would that be verboten too?

  13. What’ll the product be called?

  14. Are you cosmotarian cucks advocating for food fraud again?

    “Cauliflower rice”= fraud

    “Riced cauliflower”=accurate description of a processed food

    1. Somebody please think of the poor souls who will be defrauded at the grocery store! It’s an evil conspiracy to take our constitutionally protected rice!

      I know, I’m being too sassy.

  15. Wild rice isn’t actually rice, either (but it is a grain, at least).

    There’s no popcorn in popcorn chicken.

    Cherry tomatoes are not cherries. And what about beefsteak tomatoes?

    1. Gene editing will give us real beefsteak tomatoes.

      1. Wasn’t there an episode of the Dilbert Animated series about that.

        ToMeato

    2. “Ricing” has long been a culinary term for grinding things up into little rice sized bits. Maybe they should change to “riced cauliflower”.

      1. Maybe you should voice your support for legislators/regulators to force them and take it upon themselves to entirely police all product nomenclature at the behest of lobby groups.

  16. You just made “caluflower rice” up. No way that’s a real thing.

    What the fuck is wrong with people? If you don’t want to eat rice, don’t eat rice.

    1. If you don’t want to eat cauliflower rice/riced cauliflower, don’t eat cauliflower rice/riced cauliflower.

    2. It has no carbs. If you’re on a Keto or low carb diet it’s quite useful. I had some yesterday topped with stir fried beef and soy sauce.

    3. I love cauliflower rice, it’s delicious with butter and soy sauce, or with a cheese sauce. Maybe it’s not an actual replacement for rice but it’s definitely a tasty addition to your diet.

  17. Indeed, the real impetus here comes from American rice growers, who are unhappy about the rising popularity of cauliflower rice as a low-carb alternative to rice made from grains. Big Rice is taking a page from the playbook of dairy farmers, who have been lobbying the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to outlaw products that dare to put the words “soy” and “milk” next to one another.

    Cauliflower rice is “a bit malicious and maybe nefarious,” a spokesman for USA Rice, an industry group, told Taste magazine in 2018. The previous year, USA Rice asked the FDA to do something about the malicious and nefarious threat posed to the public by the unwitting consumption of cauliflower that’s been riced.

    We have processed food for people who worry that they are getting too many calories. These are amazing times.

  18. When I was young, poor people were skinny, rich people were fat.

    Now we have really expensive, low quality, rich people food with funny names, and fat poor people.

    And people *don’t* think this is a golden age?

    1. There’s a lot of precious nutrients locked up in tjose fat poor people. The skinny rich people could farm them for food.

    2. Its nothing new, tan skin used to be a sign of being poor (because you had to work outdoors) and being sickly pale meant you were a rich person who never had to leave the house

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  20. I never heard of cauliflower rice, and if (before I read this) I had seen something labeled as such, without further explanation,`I wouldn’t have been sure if it was made from rice or from cauliflower. Of course, the packages probably DO have further explanation, so banning the term altogether is not sensible.

    1. I’d imagine when Arkansas legislators are in a store and stumble across something they don’t understand, their hearts yearn for some small, portable device that might give them access to nearly all of humanity’s knowledge and allow them to make an informed decision as to whether they wish to purchase said item.
      Who knows, in some future age of miraculous scientific achievement, such a device might exist, but until then, eh, just outlaw it.

    2. “I never heard of cauliflower rice”
      Cripes, what rock have you lived under the last 40 years?

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  22. I always find it odd that the same people who think that all foods that they decide have been genetically modified should be labeled such to a meticulous level are also those who demand that simulated foods be labeled as if they are the real thing.

    And, to be sure, Reason tries to dance on both sides of this.

  23. My new label reads, “Rice-shaped Cauliflower”. Go pound salt, you fucktards!!!

  24. Blended cauliflower is a great, if less satisfying, substitute for mashed potatoes.

  25. Doesn’t “riced cauliflower” get around the whole issue? I used to have a kitchen implement called a “potato ricer”. Seems the Arkansas legislature oughta look at those things as well…

  26. Yeah, I am really appreciative to God and my director. In case you have to make your life straightforward with this pay like me!

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