Maryland legislation recently proposed a bill pressuring all plant-based “meat” products to be labeled accordingly in order to protect the meat industry and the actual burger!
In an environment with a growing interest in “plant-based alternatives” and emphasis on food labeling, it’s encouraging to see a push for division between faux meat and actual meat.
This recent bill (188) proposed in Maryland, requires any foods made of animal tissues cultured outside of the original animal, or made from plants/insects to be labeled accordingly…NOT as meat.
This bill will officially add Maryland to the list of states that have joined forces to enact meat labeling restrictions within their respective states.
By labeling these “Franken-meats” as veggie, vegetarian, plant-based, etc. we not only meet the demands of a food industry obsessed with transparency and other aspects of labeling.
BUT we also are better able to protect the meat industry from being diluted with this “wolf in sheep’s clothing”.
Despite it’s look, alternative meat burgers, such as the Impossible Burger have an impossibly large amount of ingredients jam packed into a 4 ounce serving. 21 ingredients to be exact, seen below.
Water. Soy protein concentrate. Coconut oil. Sunflower oil. Natural flavors. Potato protein. Methylcellulose. Yeast extract. Cultured dextrose. Food starch, modified. Soy leghemoglobin. Salt. Soy-protein isolate. Mixed tocopherols (Vitamin E). Zinc gluconate. Thiamine hydrochloride (Vitamin B1). Sodium ascorbate (Vitamin C). Niacin. Pyridoxine hydrochloride (Vitamin B6). Riboflavin (Vitamin B2). Vitamin B12.
Do you know how many ingredients a regular beef burger has in it? (Hint: I just gave it away).
That’s right. A regular beef burger has just 1 ingredient in it.
Now, veggie burgers and beef burgers have co-existed in our society for many years.
And frankly it’s been a fairly neutral relationship. If one chooses the vegetarian/vegan lifestyle and opts for a veggie burger, that’s fine. Just don’t push me to give up my meat-eating ways.
However, the issue that comes up with the introduction of these impossible whoppers and beyond meats is not that its another option for consumers, but the aggressive marketing approaches, as well as anti-meat campaigns from some of these companies, that I have a ‘beef’ with. (All pun intended!)
For example, in an interview between CBS and Pat Brown, the scientist and founder of the Impossible Burger:
“And once I started looking into it very quickly I realized that the problem was the destructive environmental impact of our use of animals in food technology.”
On top of Brown’s blunt callousness to the meat producers of the world, this interview article also goes on to state that: ‘Meat production is a leading cause of deforestation, with more than a quarter of all the usable land on the globe used to graze livestock. On top of this, about a third of all cropland is used to grow crops to feed livestock.’
I find these statements to be “slightly” out of line, and yet another case of misinformation in today’s food and agriculture industries. The arguments that livestock are destroying the planet have been proven false many times over (read more info here).
It also can be pointed out that on average in 2019, the agriculture industry employed 25.62% of the global population.
In a world that is home to approximately 7.7 billion people, agriculture is kind of a big deal. And without it, our unemployment rates would soar and world hunger would rage.
Brown’s anti-conventional meat interview fails to mention his own use of genetically engineered ingredients in this faux burger. So I ask, where’s the truth in advertising that?
If we’re concerned about making sure the consumers know that they are getting their organic bananas or non-gmo tomatoes, then it seems only right that we are able to protect the our meat industry, by labeling meat as actual meat!