The arrival of a new food product called "Chicken Free Chicken" on the shelves of a major Australian supermarket this week provides yet more food for thought for lovers of protein.
Chicken Free Chicken is made from yellow peas, and according to SunFed - the company that makes it - cooks, feels and tastes like chicken, without being chicken.
For many conventional carnivores that will be enough to stop reading, but scratch beneath the alluringly crispy skin of this meat substitute and you'll find a product that challenges appetites for new protein sources. Well, not new, but packaged differently - in this case, like next level chicken.
On top of having the taste, texture and cooking like chook, the yellow peas are grown using clean energy, in a non-intensive, regenerative fashion and have double the protein of chicken and triple the iron of beef. It's not vegan, or vegetarian, but "flexitarian" and it's something Sunfed CEO Shama Sukul Lee hopes Australians embrace.
"People don't know what they want until it's in front of them and now they have true choice - 'Do I buy animal chicken, or Sunfed chicken?'" asks Ms Lee.
Possibly THE worst question you might put to lovers of conventional chicken, but Chicken Free Chicken doesn't speak to conventional lovers of chicken.
It's aimed at a growing global market that wants to have what it wants without having it. And I'm not talking about freedom or democracy, I'm talking protein that's not animal-based but seems just like it.
But is there a problem calling something that isn't chicken, chicken, even if you say in the next breath it's chicken free?
Are there issues invoking all the good-time thoughts about the genuine article while disavowing any actual connection, because without that association, what have you got? A market rival?
Farmers are already waging war on non-dairy based almond and soy "milks" for similar reasons. Nuts don't lactate, they argue, and dairy products should be secreted from mammary glands. Anything that suggests otherwise erodes their margins ... I mean deceives the public. Clearly the milk's been spilt as industry groups rally to protect their turf.
Europe has been demanding for a long time that we stop calling our sparkling wine Champagne and the Aussie government is currently holding out on Euro demands for descriptors such as "Fetta-like" and "Proseco-like" to be applied to locally produced derivatives. Do copyright issues apply with chicken? And even if they don't, can you trade on an animal's good name even if that product is free of that animal.
Perhaps Louisiana state senator Francis Thompson best sums up the beef in the meat v plant-based food debate when he declares "Broccoli is not rice. And certainly tofu burgers are not meat."
Chicken Free Chicken sounds pretty palatable in a lean, mean world eager to reduce it's environmental footprint, but is there an onus to say somewhere in the title what it is? Which is pea. Free of chicken. A paltry point perhaps, but something to chew over.