Double Standards and Faux Meat

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
  next page



Latest News

BLM Rescinds Hammond's Grazing Permits

In another installment in the years-long saga of the Hammond Ranch, the Interior Department on Friday rescinded grazing permits that had been restored under the Trump administration.

CAB Insider: Quality Carcass Spreads Turn Up Early

The two weeks in the middle of the month marked by extreme weather and insufficient fed cattle to harvest-space put a cap on cattle prices as packers found themselves well-supplied.

Victor Ranch Receives Oklahoma Leopold Conservation Award

The Victor Ranch has been selected as the recipient of the 2020 Oklahoma Leopold Conservation Award®, which recognizes land owners who inspire with their dedication to land, water and wildlife habitat resources.

Sexten: Respiratory Disease Timing

There are few no-risk options in the cattle business, but calves with reputation, high-growth potential and a well-executed health program should provide cattle feeders with relatively fewer health challenges.

USCA Supports Cattle Market Transparency Act of 2021

U.S. Cattlemen's Association supports the Cattle Market Transparency Act, which seeks to ensure regionally sufficient negotiated cash trade, and equipping producers with more information to aid marketing decisions.

NCBA Welcomes Discussion on Cattle Market Transparency Act

The Cattle Market Transparency Act, if enacted, would direct the Secretary of Agriculture and the Office of the Chief Economist at USDA to establish regional mandatory minimums for negotiated trade of fed cattle.