Food Fight Between Cauliflower And Rice Boils Over

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It’s a bit of a food fight over minced cauliflower as it’s becoming a trendy substitute for carbohydrates. But there’s controversy about what to call it.

Cauliflower, the much maligned vegetable is making a comeback.

“Cauliflower is one of the hottest vegetables we sell today,” Green Giant Vice President Jordan Greenberg.

Regular old cauliflower is being transformed into all sorts of designer dishes. It can be barbecued, baked, stir-fried, and even shredded, where it’s turned into riced cauliflower.

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“I haven’t tried it but I think it’s a good substitute for rice,” Johnna Neel said.

Shredded cauliflower has less than 15 percent of the carbs than in real rice.

“At the end of the day, consumers want to eat healthier,” Greenberg said.

A whole cauliflower has just 25 calories and it’s packed with nutrients, including lots of vitamin C, folate and fiber.

Now it’s latest incarnation is being shredded.

“I hear it’s healthier,” Neel said. “Kinda reminds me of squashed noodles, something like that.”

But rice people are not liking it.

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“Riced cauliflower — I mean, why even call it riced cauliflower? Matthew Sligar, a rice farmer said. “Could call it– bits of cauliflower or cauliflower crumbles. Secondly, when did ‘riced’ become a verb?”

And now rice farmers have Washington lobbyists and they are asking the Food and Drug Administration to define “rice” so not everyone can use the name.

It’s unclear if the FDA is going to redefine rice but the CDC has weighed in on the importance of cauliflower, ranking it among the top 30 powerhouse vegetables.

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