Proponents of fake meats argued that their products would offer more consumer choice to feed a hungry planet. They argued that there was nothing wrong with calling a patty made from pea protein or cultured in a lab “meat.”
They said consumers were excited to try it, and we saw stocks in companies like Beyond Meat skyrocket.
Oh, and they wanted to take the easiest path of regulation and oversight possible, and we had to fight for an even playing field there, as well.
Then the attacks began: Traditional beef is bad for you, for the planet and for the animals. The imitation products, they claimed, were the ethically superior option. This was the wave of the future; get on board or get out of the way.
Then the Silicon Valley investors showed up. Then the traditional meat processors bought in. Then the fast-food chains took these products for a spin. Again, we were told, it’s about more consumer choice, not less.
Yes, we heard all of this, but we also knew that stacked side-by-side in the meat case, beef could compete and would win hands down, everytime. We know what we produce is a nutrient-dense, naturally produced, whole food that tastes great, that satisfies, that fuels the brain, builds muscles and boost immunity. And beef is a traditional food that’s enjoyed at summer barbecues, on date nights, for holiday celebrations and on simple weeknight meals at home. Beef is versatile, delicious and beloved by people here and around the world.
Even in the face of clear opposition where they are willing to steal our nomenclature while disparaging our products, the beef industry said, “BRING IT ON!”
But consumer choice hasn’t been the end game for these market disruptors. It’s an all or nothing deal.
You know, what the first thing that third-world countries do when they improve their economies and have more disposable income? They purchase animal products. They’ve long subsisted on beans and rice, and they want meat! That’s why we have seen such a growing beef demand in exports. People around the world are clamoring for great-tasting and nourishing beef from the United States!
And yet, back at home, folks like Bill Gates are suggesting that rich nations like ours should make the ultimate sacrifice and give up meat to tackle climate change.
To say I’m disturbed by recent trending headlines about fake meats is an understatement, but these headlines underscore the importance of sharing our story, of getting folks to fall in love with beef again and again and of countering the attacks and negative headlines that seek to strip meat, dairy and eggs off the dinner table and livestock producers off the land.
There is a huge payday ahead if they can regulate and shift consumer spending and eating habits. Follow the money and check out these headlines to see if you agree. Debate is always welcome!
Bill Gates: Rich nations should move to ‘100% synthetic beef’ by Cameron Jenkins for The Hill
"I do think all rich countries should move to 100% synthetic beef," Gates said when asked about how countries can help to reduce methane emissions when it comes to food production. "You can get used to the taste difference, and the claim is they’re going to make it taste even better over time.”
What happens when you stop eating meat by Hansa D. Bhargava for Nourish by WebMD
Bhargava claims, “Replacing meat with plant-based foods lowers carbon and other greenhouse emissions. It takes more land to raise livestock than it does to grow food. Growing food also uses less water.”
This cultured meat startup is making animal-free food for your pets by Sally Ho for Green Queen
Ho writes, “While people around the world are getting excited about trying cultivated meats for the first time in the near future, this startup is thinking about offering this experience to your pets. Based in Philadelphia, Because Animals is a biotech working on developing animal-free pet food using cell-based technology, and have already managed to produce the world’s first fetal bovine serum-free (FBS) cultured meat for cats from mouse tissue.”
Future meat technologies reduce cost of cultured chicken breast below $10 featured on PR Newswire
“Future Meat Technologies' cultured chicken has a single-digit production cost for a quarter pound serving, providing the same texture and distinct aroma of farm-raised chicken meat through a unique blend of cultured chicken and plant proteins. The company plans to market its products to consumers and restaurants within 18 months.
“The company is backed by the leading forces in the food and agriculture industries including Tyson Foods, ADM, Müller Group and Rich's Products Corporation, alongside leading venture capital investors such as S2G Ventures, ADM Capital, Emerald Technology Ventures, Manta Ray Ventures and Bits x Bites.”
Matrix Meats’ exec details nanofiber system that ‘mimics extracellular matrix found in living animals’ by Benjamin Ferrer for Food Ingredients First
“The Matrix Meats scaffold mimics the extracellular matrix found in living animals,” says Devan Ohst, director of F&D at Matrix Meats.
The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com or Farm Progress.