by Diana R. H. Winters
Recently there has been a lot of interest in plant-based meat substitutes and their potential role in reducing global meat consumption and the environmental impact of meat production.
This week’s Economist discussed how plant-based meat can reshape the market, and its environmental potential. The article, under the headline of “Fake Moos“, explains, however, that companies marketing plant-based meat substitutes must radically increase their reach to make much of a difference.
In today’s New York Times, David Yaffe-Bellany discusses how this may happen in “The New Makers of Plant-Based Meat? Big Meat Companies.” This article explains that Tyson, Smithfield, Purdue, and other meat producers are moving into the meat-substitute space. The oddest product being introduced? A “blended” product introduced by Purdue and Tyson, which combines meat and vegetable protein. Weird.
And last week, Tad Friend at The New Yorker profiled Impossible Burger, and its founder’s ambition to “wipe out all animal agriculture and deep-sea fishing by 2035.”
Why the sudden fascination with bleeding vegetable protein? Perhaps it rings a hopeful note after last month’s bleak climate news, providing a way forward for individual action. But first, we have to stop flying these burgers across the Atlantic…..