Cauliflower rice has quickly become a trendy substitute for traditional rice because it's low in carbs and calories, and high in fiber. Nowadays, no one goes to Trader Joe's without having cauliflower rice on their shopping list. But depending on where you live, it might be a little harder for you to get your hands on this innovative product. Arkansas just passed a new law that affects the marketing behind cauliflower rice and millennials everywhere are quaking. 

What's the Law?

On March 20th, 2019, Arkansas' Governor Asa Hutchinson signed a bill into law that bans companies from labeling or marketing "cauliflower rice" as "rice." The law also prevents companies from calling "meats" that are plant-based or cell-culture "meats."  Additionally, it prohibits calling alternative "milk" options like almond, cashew, and coconut milk "dairy." Five other states have a law against "falsely" labelling products as meat and milk, but Arkansas is the first state to make a law against cauliflower rice

What's Arkansas' Problem With Cauliflower Rice? 

Arkansas is the number one rice producer in the United States and farmers believe that cauliflower rice is unfair competition because the product is deceiving the public. The rice industry created 20,000 jobs in Arkansas and it generates $1.3 billion for Arkansas' economy. In addition, Arkansas had a lot of pressure from large corporations, such as USA Rice, whose CEO Betsy Ward said, "vegetables that have gone through a rice are still vegetables, just in a different form."

What Happens If Companies Don't Follow the Law? 

Companies have 90 days after the 2019 session ends to change their labeling and marketing. Companies that don't comply with the new law will be fined $1000 for every violation. 

Just because Arkansas is banning labeling cauliflower rice as "rice" doesn't mean you can't use the product to make rice dishes. I wonder what the new name is going to be? I vote for shredded cauliflower.