FACT CHECK: Did Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Say These Quotes About Redefining ‘Natural Food’?

Mecca Fowler | Contributor

An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows a news article claiming Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said the term “natural food” needs to be redefined.

Verdict: False

There is no evidence of Ocasio-Cortez making the statements attributed to her in the image. The article appears to be fabricated.

Fact Check:

Ocasio-Cortez, along with Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Ed Markey, introduced the Green New Deal in 2019, which aimed to address climate change and help the U.S. achieve net-zero carbon emissions, NPR reported. The two reintroduced the legislation earlier this year ahead of President Joe Biden’s Leaders Summit on Climate in April, according to Reuters.

A post on Facebook shows what appears to be an Oct. 29 article from a newspaper called the Minneapolis Red-Star Tribune bearing the headline: “AOC: Time to redefine ‘natural food.'” The article discusses comments Ocasio-Cortez allegedly made in support for moving to cellular agriculture, the production of animal-based products from cell cultures rather than directly from animals. Some scientists have offered this technology as a way to combat climate change and ensure food security, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

“This move will help us eliminate farms, and the unpleasant types of people who work on them, while simultaneously creating an entirely urban world,” the image quotes her as saying.

Check Your Fact found no evidence of a newspaper called the Minneapolis Red-Star Tribune, and there is no record of Ocasio-Cortez making the statements about redefining “natural food” or about “unpleasant types” working on farms. A search of Ocasio-Cortez’s verified social media accounts and speeches turned up no instances of her saying the quotes. Nor has she made any mention of cellular agriculture in any press releases. The congressional record shows no instances of Ocasio-Cortez saying such things, either.

The article shown in the Facebook post does not appear on the website of the StarTribune, a Minnesota-based outlet of a similar name. (RELATED: No, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Did Not Send This Tweet About Olympic Qualification Rules)

Ocasio-Cortez has previously spoken in favor of eating less meat and dairy to help combat climate change, and in February, she announced on Twitter that she would adopt a vegetarian diet for Lent.

This is not the first time a quote has been incorrectly attributed to Ocasio-Cortez. In June 2020 Check Your Fact debunked the baseless claim that she said, “Children should be raised by the state.”

Check Your Fact reached out to Ocasio-Cortez’s office for comment and will update this piece if a response is provided.

Mecca Fowler