As producers, lets welcome fake meat onto the market so we can showcase how superior our real meat is. Capitalism always separates the contenders from the pretenders.
Greetings again. Hope all is well. I’m really excited for my latest podcast episode I recorded last night. It was the first opportunity I have had to speak to someone who I have known for a number of years and who has an incredible story. I’m so excited to share this with you in the very near future.
I want to talk a little bit about fake meat today. On August 1, Burger King announced that it would be selling their “Impossible Whopper” in their restaraunts nationwide. Since then I’ve seen countless ads touting these plant based burgers. It shows “real” customers claiming that this “burger” tastes like the real thing. Following suit, other chains such as Red Robin, White Castle, and Cheesecake Factory (NO!!!!!) have begun to roll out their own versions of these plant based patties.
Full Disclaimer: I have not tried any of these impossible options. As a beef producer, I cannot in good faith try something that I know is a direct attack on my industry. I also do not believe that it is a “healthy alternative” to real beef. (I don’t know if there is a maximum number of words or phrases allowed in quotes, but if there is, I’m guessing I’m going to exceed it in this post)
These plant based burgers are very highly processed. They include: Potato protein, Methylcellulose, cultured dextrose, Soy-protein isolate, soy leghemoglobin (Isnt that the capital of a European monarchy?), yeast extract, and more than 15 other ingredients. Compare that to just one ingredient in a real burger: ground beef. There is no need to add Vitamins B, C, and E to ground beef because they are already there!!
Creators of the Impossible Burger claim that it is both better for your health and the environment. Leslie Kelly at “High Heels and Canola Fields” writes an excellent article squashing both of these stances. I’ll add my stance and say that we are focusing on the wrong thing in regards to the foods that adversely affect our health. We are focusing on meat being the problem when, in fact, it is refined sugars and carbohydrates that are the most detrimental to our health.
So this brings me to my stance on how to combat this new fake meat trend. Government is not going to save us with ultra regulation of these products. Smearing these products on social media only gives them free publicity. As a staunch supporter of free market economics, I believe the best way for us as producers is to prove that our product is better. Talk up our product. Show how our beef is raised and sent to market. Have folks who are curious about where their food comes from out to our farms and ranches to showcase what we do. Then we let consumers decide which is superior with their wallets.
There is nothing I despise more than attack ads before elections. However, when we smear animal activists and fake meat companies on social media, we are producing the same sort of effect. So lets choose instead to highlight our own strengths in these trying times. I believe in the future of agriculture and hope my producer colleagues can do the same.
Tell me your thoughts on the new fake meat craze. Have you tried a fake meat patty? Is it worth the extra dollar? Or do you want a product that was raised in a healthy, sustainable fashion.
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Until the next time!