Beef production, and I suppose agriculture in general, has become a pretty contentious issue over the past several years. Most often, the criticism is directed at us while we try to defend ourselves in a graceful manner. It’s a tiresome existence, warding off unfounded and misplaced criticism, when all we really want to do is grow food and raise our families.
I’ve been thinking about the faux meat issue for a long time. I have mixed feelings about the emergence of these products in the marketplace, which has been happening over the past few years. So what follows are my honest, and somewhat scattered, thoughts about faux meat, alternative proteins and beef existing together.
First and foremost, we’ve got to stop criticizing alternative proteins for being processed. Pot, meet kettle. There is an abundance of processed foods that fit into a healthy diet, including processed beef. Hamburger, beef sausage, corned beef, beef jerky and all beef hotdogs, just to name a few, are all processed beef products.
This attack is similar to the Food Babe’s crusade of lambasting any food ingredient that she couldn’t pronounce. I’m guessing she doesn’t drink caffeine (scientific name 1,3,7-Trimethylpurine-2,6-dione). In my opinion, the beef industry should take the high road and shouldn’t employ the same fear-based marketing tactics that we’ve been fighting for decades.
Along the same lines is the recent comparison of the Impossible Burger and/or Beyond Meat products to dog food. I’ve seen this statement made by many agriculture peers that I have a great amount of respect for and even though I mean no insult to them, I disagree with that messaging vein.
Again, processed is not necessarily bad, and I think it’s pretty well-known how much care goes into pets and their food these days – pet owners are willing to spend a lot of hard-earned cash for extremely high-end pet food. Just tonight I saw a commercial for a meal delivery service for dogs. Additionally, humans could actually eat dog food with no ill effects for an extended period of time, if absolutely necessary. So how well does this argument really sway in our favor?
Lastly, and this one may get me thrown out of the beef business … continue reading