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Like A Bad Sci-Fi Movie, Here Comes Fake Meat

Is there anything more iconic, more American than a family grilling in the backyard during the summer months? 

Ribeyes sizzling over the flames. Kids running through the sprinkler. Watermelon slices. Corn-on-the-cob. Ice cold lemonade. Music playing on the patio. Memories being made. 

Now picture that same scene without the steak. Does it have the same feel? No, frankly it doesn’t.

There’s something about sitting together for a meal with your family after a hard week of work, and enjoying a juicy cheeseburger with all of the fixings or a thick-cut T-bone steak seasoned with salt and pepper and topped with a pat of melting compound butter.

There’s a reason American beef is beloved around the world. And despite the higher price point than any other protein in the meat case, there’s a reason that consumers keep coming back for more.

That reason is beef is king. It just is. 

It’s a desirable product that people want more of, and yet, bad political policies, increasing inputs, and a focus on prioritizing and subsidizing growing and producing less healthful, cheaper food options in this country makes it harder and harder for Americans to enjoy the beef they love. 

And if governments here and around the world have their way, we won’t have beef on the dinner plate at all. The World Economic Forum (WEF) has stated, “You WILL be eating replacement meat within 20 years.” 

WEF writes, “With the large-scale livestock industry now viewed as an unnecessary evil, and the advantages of novel vegan meat replacements and cultured meat becoming better known, it’s only a matter of time before they capture a substantial share of the market.”

Like a bad sci-fi movie, here comes fake meat. And the tone of these investors and policy makers cramming it down our throats is, you’ll eat it, and you’ll like it. Or else. 

It’s not a train that anyone wants to hop on, and yet these Silicon Valley investors seem to think this is going to be the “game changer” in the protein space. 

Meat packing companies are also investing, which seems odd considering they are in the animal protein space. In every grocery store and at every gas station, the fake meat options have premium shelf space — front and center — and yet, I just simply do not see the demand for it. 

But full steam ahead, the fake meat movement keeps charging on. Consider, for example, some of these new products that are being developed in this space.

According to Fast Company, scientist have invented a soybean that tastes like pork. The company, Moolec, has genetically engineered soybeans to make pig protein. They call their process, “molecular farming,” and bill it as an affordable way to make real animal protein without slaughtering animals.

According to the article, “"If you cut open a new type of soybean, the inside is pink. It’s the first demonstration of a new type of agriculture. The soy DNA has been genetically engineered to integrate DNA from a pig.”

Another company, Liberation Labs, will produce bio-based proteins using building-block ingredients for more cost-effective protein sources. 

In San Francisco, chicken made from cultivated cells is officially on the menu at a restaurant called, “Bar Crenn.” This was added as an offering shortly after the USDA gave two brands, Upside Foods and Good Meat, approval to start producing and selling their cultivated chicken in the U.S.

In the UK, leading UK food producer, Finnebrogue, and the UK’s leading cultivated meat company, Ivy Farm Technologies, have signed a letter of intent, with the aim of creating one of the world’s first commercially available cultivated wagyu beef burgers.

I could go on with more examples, but I’m guessing you’re starting to see the trend I’m laying out. 

Here’s the deal — as advocates for agriculture, we are billed with the task of showing consumers how producers care for the land and the livestock and how food is safe, trustworthy, and nutritious.

However, I can no longer, in good conscience, tell consumers these things considering our government is now treating us like lab rats. As for me and my house, we will not be consuming products with bio-engineered ingredients on the label. We will not be eating foods that are cultivated in a lab. We won’t be sacrificing our health and wellness in the name of having an “efficient food system.” We won’t be throwing the independent farmer and rancher under the bus in the name of “progress.”

I’m going to hang onto the American dream — raising my kids on the land, prioritizing family dinners, and making sure there is REAL meat, dairy, and eggs at the center of our plates. 

1 comment

  • This is ridiculous…we know where our family gets our beef pork and chicken and that isn’t going to change for a long time!

    Kris Rutz

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