The New York Times recently ran a story about blind taste testing six top contenders of fake meat and plant-based burgers.
There are quotes reiterating the belief that it's better for our health and the environment if consumers eat one of the "other burgers" instead of a real meat burger. These types of stories are literally everywhere right now but one quote from this story in particular caught our attention. It was from Isa Chandra Moskowitz, the chef at the vegan restaurant Modern Love in Omaha, where her own burger is the most popular dish on the menu. She states, "it’s better for people and for the planet to eat one of those burgers instead of meat every day, if that’s what they are going to do anyway.”
Her quote addresses one half of two of the major issues with this meat versus plants/factory debate. It does so in this way:
- We're not advocating that you eat meat every single day. It doesn't have to be one or the other. It can be a simple adjustment to your diet if you're seeking that type of dietary change. We're also not advocating that you don't eat meat every day, which leads us to the second issue...
- If you're eating meat, just choose the right meat - natural, grass fed, local, humanely raised using regenerative agriculture, hormone and GMO free.
Why do we continue to make these arguments? It can seem biased because of our relation to the industry, obviously. But there is scientific evidence to support it. Be wary of the media that goes black or white. There IS a grey area and it's not a bad area for us to be in as an industry.
You can run taste tests all you want but we can't forget about the other factors in play here. These factors are the ones that get overlooked in the grey area.
- How do new factory meats effect our economy?
- How do they effect our environment?
When we skip from black to white, we often don't make the connection. The truth is communities can (and will) crumble from something like this and our planet will be negatively impacted over time.
Please don't forget about the small farmer, running their operation responsibly, nurturing the land and enriching the local economy.