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Sat, Oct. 19

Friday Catchall: Do almonds lactate? One lawmaker is worried

(University of California-San Francisco/Courtesy photo)

(University of California-San Francisco/Courtesy photo)

The Friday Catchall:

• WASTE OF TIME — Our lawmakers in Phoenix are at it again — being too literal, at a minimum; or wasting time in general.

Members of the House voted Wednesday to prohibit the sale of “almond milk’” in Arizona — get this! — because almonds don’t lactate.

Consumers could still buy those products, but under the terms of House Bill 2604 it would have to be labeled as “fake milk” or “alternative milk.” And there would have to be a “prominent statement” on the package that the product is made from plants, grown in a laboratory or other similar disclosure.

The legislation was crafted by Rep. David Cook, R-Globe, who also proposes a similar restriction on the word “meat,” saying that word could be used only if what is in the package came from what had once been a living, breathing animal.

My question is … why?

The only explanation available to me is it’s aimed at efforts to create animal cells in a laboratory that, once they prove commercially viable, could be marketed to consumers, he told Capitol Media Services. Cook is a rancher and he makes no secret of his desire to protect his industry against those who would seek to replace something from a steer with something from a test tube.

I get it, “but does he think consumers are that stupid?” I wanted to ask him. (Calls to the state House went unreturned prior to press time Thursday.)

Again, why? Why are we wasting our time with this, lawmakers? Protect the unknowing masses from non-meat, test-tube grown products.

But almonds?

“I believe that words matter,’’ Cook said. “All I’m saying is when you walk up and use simple words like ‘milk,’ we should know what that’s from. Almonds do not lactate.”

Want to be literal? Yes, the definition of milk is “a whitish liquid containing proteins, fats, lactose, and various vitamins and minerals that is produced by the mammary glands of all mature female mammals …”

It also is “various potable liquids resembling milk, such as coconut milk, soymilk, almond milk …” The process of milking is to “draw or extract the liquid form,” such as is done with almonds.

Rep. Cook, have you ever made almond milk? I have.

Where does this stop? What about veggie burgers? How about peanut butter?

My objection is simple: while fentanyl dealers here push drugs that can kill — and get off with probation (unlike meth dealers who have a mandatory sentence) – lawmakers are diddling around with “what is meat?” and almonds don’t lactate?!

• PILES OF SNOW — Looking around at the mountains of snow in some parking lots here, what’s your guess as to how long they’ll be there? At first I said a month from now.

Naw, it’s supposed to rain Saturday and next Wednesday. It will be gone in no time.

• HANDS-FREE — Prescott Valley Police Chief Bryan Jarrell is reminding all drivers that the Town of Prescott Valley forbids the use of handheld mobile communication devices while operating a motor vehicle. Although this became effective Jan. 19, 2019, he allowed a six-week campaign to inform and educate the public by issuing only warnings.

Effective Friday, March 1, police officers will begin issuing citations to violators.

That makes it effective across the Quad Cities as well as throughout the county.

By the way, a “handheld mobile communication device” includes the use of any mobile communication instrument with either hand while driving any motor vehicle. This includes simply holding it to take a phone call.

There are few exceptions, but know this: Wanna make a call or answer one? Pull over.

• PICK OF THE WEEK — (Proving there’s always something good to do in the Prescott area that’s cheap or free): On Tuesday, March 5, it is “Theodore Roosevelt: The Man in the Arena,” at 7 p.m. in the Elks Theatre and Performing Arts Center, 117 E. Gurley St. Tickets are $25 for adults, $22 for seniors and $12 for youth. 928-777-1370.

Tim Wiederaenders is the senior news editor for The Daily Courier and Prescott News Network. Follow him on Twitter @TWieds_editor. Reach him at 928-445-3333, ext. 2032, or twieds@prescottaz.com.

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