Meat is under attack
August 25, 2017
I read some disturbing news in The Washington Post recently about Cargill, Bill Gates and Richard Branson investing in a startup that produces meat from animal cells. without raising or slaughtering the animals.
The company, Memphis Meats, raised $17 million from investors including Cargill, Gates and Branson, according to their website, http://www.memphismeats.com.
In big letters at the top of the website it reads, "Announcing a historic milestone in bringing real meat — without the animal — to the table."
This is scary. At first I thought, "Hummph, who is going to eat this stuff?"
Then I thought about food like tofu, turkey burgers, turkey bacon and other fairly new meat products and meat substitutes. At the time these were first introduced I wondered the same thing, who is going to eat that?
But people do and for varying reasons. Some because they like it better. Some because they are on some kind of a diet. Some because they are vegans and don't want to eat animals. And others because they think that by doing so, they are saving the planet.
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"Our goal is simple: to change the way meat gets to your plate," the San Francisco based company says on its website. "We're developing a way to produce real meat from animal cells, without the need to feed, breed and slaughter actual animals. We expect our products to be better for the environment (requiring up to 90% fewer greenhouse gas emissions, land and water than conventionally-produced meat), the animals and public health. And most importantly, they're delicious."
On their website they also feature headlines from various media outlets about their process and products.
For example, Newsweek's headline says, "Lab-grown beef will save the planet—and be a billion dollar business."
NBC News headline, "Lab-grown meat may save a lot more than farm animals' lives."
And, The Washington Post headline, "Lab-grown meat may be better for the environment and improve on several health aspects of conventional meat."
There are plenty more headlines on the website but these stood out to me.
The problem is that the meat costs about $18,000 a pound. But the company will use its new investment funds to drive that cost down.
I think it should be a wake-up call for those in the livestock industry to be especially transparent and to get their stories out there.
I don't know what this lab-grown meat tastes like but it's hard to imagine it tastes better than what is produced on the farm. And, for those who eat tofu, do they really care about taste? Sorry if I have offended any tofu enthusiasts.
I hope we don't get to the point where we have to refer to farm-raised, slaughtered meat as traditional meat. ❖