Meathooked

A couple of interesting quotes from an NPR piece on the book Meathooked by Marta Zaraska (HERE).

“According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), in 2011 we ate an average of sixty-one pounds more of meat than we did in 1951—that’s about 122 average eight-ounce steaks a year more, despite all the accumulating warnings about cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. … Across the world, the appetite for animal protein is on the rise. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) estimates that by 2020 the demand for meat in North America will increase by 8 percent (as compared to 2011), in Europe by 7 percent, and in Asia by a whopping 56 percent. In China, meat consumption has quadrupled since 1980.”

And this, from Bruce Friedrich, executive director of The Good Food Institute (GFI):

“GFI uses markets and food technology to transform global diets away from animal-based meat, dairy, and eggs, and toward plant-based and ‘clean,’ cultured alternatives. We are incredibly optimistic that in 25 years, more than half of all meat will either be plant-based or clean. By 2050, we’ll be at 100 percent.

“We are very close to having plant-based meat that tastes exactly the same as animal-based meat, and we are also growing ‘clean’ meat in cultures, no animals required. So while it is true that demand for meat is going up in the developing world especially, as food technologies do a better job of replicating animal-based meat with plants, you’ll see a huge shift away from animal meat and toward plant meat, which is far more efficient, healthier, and causes a tiny fraction of the climate change created by animal-based meat.

“We expect that in 10 years, clean meat will be cost-competitive with animal-based meat, and at that point, you’ll see animal-based meat go the way of the horse and buggy.”

So, in the future will “plant-based meat” replace “animal-based meat” as he predicts? On it’s face that seems bizarre. But I suppose a great deal of what we take for granted today would’ve seemed bizarre to people 100 years ago.

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33 comments on “Meathooked

  1. In summary… no. Give me meat that comes from animals.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bill says:

      If by “plant-based meat” they mean meat substitutes in traditional meat dishes, that doesn’t bother me much. We substitute veggies in lots of dishes with delicious results and I actually enjoy black bean burgers (tofu, not so much). But the so-called “clean meat” is creepy to me. I wouldn’t want to eat that kind of test tube meat, unless I was stuck on space station or something. Even then, I think I’d just rather go vegetarian.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Joanna says:

    Wouldn’t trust this as far as I can throw it – so to speak. Nothing concocted from laboratory tests for me thanks and I do have a scientific background and still prefer to know where my food has come from.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bill says:

      Yeah, I’m with you. I’m fine with eating less meat (a good idea for lots of reasons) or even being a vegetarian. But I find the idea of eating laboratory meat just too weird. I do wonder however whether that reaction is just cultural. These days we eat all kinds of weird laboratory concocted stuff that would have been disgusting to folks just a few generations ago. But I think this guy is dreaming if he thinks “animal-based meat” will be obsolete in ten years.

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      • Joanna says:

        I did chemistry for my bachelors and there is no way I would eat the kinds of ingredients that remind me of my organic chemistry lab experiences. They are okay in the lab but not in my belly 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  3. shoreacres says:

    “Plant-based meat” is an oxymoron: another example of people twisting the language for their own ends. And that “clean” meat business drives me crazy, with its implication that my hamburger is “dirty.” There’s more than a hint there of the kind of thinking that underlay the caste system in India, with untouchables associated with “dirty” jobs such as fishing and the removal of animal carcasses.

    I can’t help suspecting that the “cultured meat product” will be meant for the plebs, while the rich/elites will continue on with their truly extravagant lifestyle. While the purveyors of climate change doom continue to collect multiple mansions and fly around in their private jets, the advocates of a meatless, eggless, dairy-free lifestyle will congratulate themselves over their fois gras, Kobe beef, and elegant wines. I’m just tired of them all.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, yes, yes and hell yeah!
      Well said Linda: )

      Like

    • Bill says:

      This talk of clean and unclean meat makes me think of Leviticus. 🙂

      But in this case I assume they’re just trying to come up with a term more appetizing than “cultured meat,” “synthetic meat” or “Frankenfood.”

      You raise an interesting question about who will buy the stuff. Absent a sea change in how our culture views the morality of eating meat, I suspect their customers are more likely to be affluent–the same people who go to Whole Foods to buy “chickenless chicken” (to quote the piece I posted the other day). On the other hand, if by “cost competitive with animal-based meat” he means “cheaper than animal-based meat” I expect it would become as popular as the other food-like substances that we eat with gusto today. Especially so if they put it on the menu at McDonalds.

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  4. Susan says:

    I’d rather NOT eat meat than eat something concocted by scientists, thank you very much.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Susan says:

      I also need to add that I DO hope that meat raised on feedlots will go away. That was a bad idea all along………………….

      Liked by 2 people

      • Bill says:

        That’s where I am too Susan. Once I looked behind the curtain I just couldn’t keep eating meat from factory farms. Rather than eat that, or “clean meat” from a test tube, I’d just happily become vegetarian. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. The main problem is the phrase Food Technology. I’m not a scientist and I manage to grow my own beans fairly well. Though I might be arrested if I start saving soy bean seeds.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bill says:

      These days in our society we eat more stuff created by “food scientists” than we do by actual farmers. And if the “cultured meat” is patented (something I hadn’t considered till I read your comment) then that would be one more step down the road to surrendering our food supply to the industrial food complex.

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  6. Ok. I shouldn’t have disparaged a company I know nothing about. Please delete that last sentence. Sorry.

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  7. Animal meat vs plant meat… Really?!
    Sorry, but by my definition meat must find its source from the kingdom Animalia – as 1/3 of the plate – right alongside my two servings of veg…
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meat

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    • Bill says:

      Seems pretty basic, doesn’t it? I would hope that before this stuff ever came to market we’d be able to prevent them from calling it “meat.”

      Liked by 1 person

      • Who ARE these people, anyway???
        Talk about half-truths and obfuscation(sp?)!! ):):
        By the way, in that Wikipedia link there are a TONNE of stats about pros and cons of eating different types of meat. Meat vs PROCESSED meat. Health effects of eating as Meatatarians vs omnivores vs vegetarians vs vegans… Very interesting!

        Like

  8. dennisrenner says:

    Some one let this bright person know, it’s 2016 and the horse and buggy ain’t gone yet.

    Like

  9. NebraskaDave says:

    Bill, you really want to read some scary stuff just google 3D printed food. It’s here already with simple food dishes and in my experience once it’s invented, it only improves as time passes by. The first restaurant is in London. You can watch it being printed right before you. It kind of reminds me of that 1973 movie with Charlton Heston called Soylent Green. Blocks of protein and carbohydrates are flavored to taste like almost any thing and printed to look and smell like the real thing. The way things are headed in the food industry, who knows if eating real meat will even remain legal. Sounds really far out there doesn’t it. At the rate things are changing in the world any thing is possible in the next 20 or 30 years. Well, that is if we’re still alive as a species.

    Have a great venison steak Day.

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    • Bill says:

      Thanks for reminding me of that! I recall reading about it. Just mind-boggling. I’ve read in a lot of places that 3-D printing is going to usher in some amazing changes. I have trouble getting my mind around it. A lawyer I used to work with just wrote a book about the revolutionary changes that are going to come with that technology. Although it come at the cost of even more jobs, I admit that I like the idea of being able to print out a replacement part for my tractor when I need it. I read that in the near future we’ll print out our clothes too. But food? I push back there. But if the technology exists to make food that tastes like whatever you want, available dirt cheap and on demand, then I feel confident that most people will eventually embrace it. There will always be some folks who prefer to grow their own the old-fashioned way though, and I expect that I’ll remain part of that group as long as my health allows. We live in very interesting times.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I know I am a little off subject here, Bill, but ultimately we are talking about our population problems. “Meat” grown in huge vats may be the only solution to a starving planet. Not a happy thought… I too love my meat, but I have come to eat it in moderation, along with lots of fruits and veggies. –Curt

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    • Bill says:

      I suppose that is theoretically possible, but I’m of the opinion that there isn’t any realistic danger of a starving planet. We actually have a huge food surplus in the world today and the number of food-insecure people in the world is dropping dramatically. Populations are increasing unsustainably in the developing world, but those population gains tend to level off once societies achieve a basic level of education and, especially, empowerment of women. I don’t worry that we’re in any danger of running low on food. Having said all that, as income levels continue to rise in the developing world, so does the demand for meat. If everyone in the world ate as much meat as we do in the US, then we’d need to raise and kill vastly more animals to meet that demand. That may be a great marketing opportunity for the CAFO/corn industries, but it would be bad news for farm animals. Having these meat substitutes as a way to satisfy demand for “meat”, but without having to come up with that many more chickens, pigs and cows, may make sense, but I find the notion of synthetically generated animal flesh (sans animal itself) unsettling.

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      • Thanks for your thoughtful comments, Bill. I like your optimistic view on population growth. May it be so. Overpopulation brings all sorts of bad things along with it. Don’t know about the vat stuff in the future. But I am with you on preferences. –Curt

        Liked by 1 person

  11. avwalters says:

    Most of the plant-based meats are made of soy, which I cannot tolerate. Soy is also one of the glyphosate foods–which I refuse to support. So, for now, I’ll reduce, but continue my animal meat. I’m skeptical that I’ll ever be able to “print up” my protein portions.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bill says:

      I don’t care for it either. If I became a vegetarian, I’d try to get my protein without eating soy. There are organic soy meat substitutes, of course, but they’re probably harder to find and more expensive. The “food printer” thing sounds like something right out of Star Trek. When that kind of stuff becomes commonly-accepted as “food,” I just hope that I’ll still be physically able to garden!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hang on a sec, Replicators on Star Trek were the ultimate in the 3R’s – used waste materials as fuel – rearranged the basic elements (carbon, hydrogen, oxygen) to build something new. Once they figured out how to rearrange cells at the molecular level for transport, creating anything was a piece of cake: )

        Like

  12. jules says:

    I believe I will just keep on keeping on raising my meat rabbits. At least I know where and how they were raised, and what they ate. And I can eat me alot of rabbit before I’d get tired of it.

    Like

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