This conversation came up on fb as someone was arguing that if the FDA wanted to allow the regulation that ‘just mayo’ should not be allowed to exist labelled that because the original recipe of mayonnaise contains whipped eggs, that they should do it.
It’s not completely true that vegan versions of things would only exist if the animal version existed too. Did you know that cooked jackfruit has a texture and taste very similar to pulled pork? We just happen to compare jackfruit to pulled pork because most ppl have had pulled pork before they ever had a chance to try jackfruit. So your right, it’s a form of semantics that is helpful, especially when a meat, dairy and egg culture is most of what people’s foundation is in cooking. But in my mind, we modify meat and dairy much more to resemble plants than we do the other way around. separating every body part, separating fats, adding sugar and salt, fermenting, drying, cooking, pounding, smashing, churning, seasoning… ultimately meat is meat, milk is milk.. if we all ate them in their natural state, raw, and directly from the animal, I’d imagine a lot more people would automatically be more if not entirely plant based, and the variety of milk and meat would be almost negligible except perhaps for a few aquatic species. Yet we don’t consume animal products in their natural state, modifications to meat, egg and dairy are beyond normalized in our culture, in fact many of these products do hardly resemble the animal product found in them, in fact most people may not even really realize if they aren’t reading labels how many animal products are in everything. Think of a poptart. This food is sweet, solid, crunchy on the outside, and oozing with fruity filled insides. The sweetness wouldn’t be possible without fruits, the strongest flavor in the poptart wouldn’t be possible without fruits. The crunchiness texture is more like a plant food– and is largely made of plant foods, milk is liquid. Yet milk is an ingredient in that food, and that food isn’t made to taste like milk. If we take mayo– sure maybe the original recipe was whipped eggs. Yet whipped coconut milk can make a very similar texture to this. But what makes mayo, mayo… the sweet, yet salty, creamy based sauce. The largest ingredient in mayonnaise today, is actually soybean oil. Mayonnaise doesn’t taste like egg, because they have actually flavored it to taste like plants and minerals — salt, lemon and sugar. Egg is just a filler, in fact it’s a little interesting the we put egg in it in the first place if mayonnaise can be just as easily made without it. And by not using eggs, we are saving greenhouse gasses from entering the atmosphere, effluent from chicken egg farms, brutality to hens and baby chicks, brutality to workers inside of those factories, and cholesterol. The truth is, most meat and dairy hardly resemble the original entirety of that substance or the animal it came from. I don’t know anyone who could tell the difference between raw ground turkey, raw ground lamb, raw ground duck, raw ground dog, or raw ground human…. maybe there would be slight color variations, but ultimately they’d be used pretty similarly. We don’t go vegan because we don’t like the tastes or textures of the foods we grew up with, veganism is an ethical stance. There are 100’s of thousands of plants along with those corresponding fruit and vegetables. There is such a wide variety of tastes and textures within fruits alone, yet we hardly make use of a few species since somehow we’ve gotten to the space in time where our societies largely eat animal based products. At this point it’s unfortunately most of what we know about food, there are very few recipes that most ppl are familiar with that don’t contain animal products. i guess ultimately in my mind it shouldn’t matter if a company has slightly tweaked a name. Since companies have been doing it since the beginning. personally it’s much easier if a product that resembles another product can have a similar name so I know what recipes I can substitute it for. If someone wanted a ranch dressing, but it happened to be made with completely different ingredients, yet it was also possibly cheaper than the original ranch dressing… they wouldn’t know to buy the other ranch dressing if it didn’t have a similar name. If the FDA made that kind of a regulation that foods could not have similar names to each other, it would be slightly chaotic. Many companies would end up having to change many of their product names. Think of how many maple syrups are labelled maple syrup without having actually a trace of real maple syrup inside of it. I guess what’s bothersome about it, is the targeting nature of the egg lobby, when ‘just mayo’ isn’t doing really anything different that any other company has been doing since the beginning.