… “cows are killing the planet” propaganda becomes essential...
In this file:
· ‘Unlike The Cow, We Get Better At Making Meat Every Day’
... A business model that targets just 3% of American consumers is destined for failure, which is why Impossible Foods and other faux meats must find other benefits of faux meats. That’s where the “cows are killing the planet” propaganda becomes essential...
· Move to meatless meals will affect livestock producers
… Canadians are still overwhelmingly meat eaters. It might not seem like it from the attention devoted to them, but the number of vegans and vegetarians is small. But what surprised me in the survey was how many Canadians said they are open to the idea of reducing or eliminating meat from their diets…
· Canada’s Food Guide poised to shift focus from meat, dairy to vegetables, protein
Canada’s Food Guide is poised to reduce its emphasis on meat and dairy in a healthy diet and instead recommend consuming more plants and plant-based protein…
· Impossible burger will upgrade itself like an app until you quit beef
‘Unlike The Cow, We Get Better At Making Meat Every Day’
Greg Henderson, Drovers
January 10, 2019
"You can smell that meaty char right off the grill," Laura Kliman, a senior flavor scientist and cook for the day at Impossible Foods' Silicon Valley test kitchen, tells C/Net.com. "We are striving to get that total meat experience."
“Striving” is the key word there, since Kliman is referring to the Impossible Burger 2.0, otherwise known as the second-generation attempt at creating a plant-based burger that looks, smells and tastes like beef.
I’ll admit, the logic of spending time and resources in an attempt to create a burger-like sandwich when burgers are readily available is lost on me. But it is apparently the life goal of Pat Brown, CEO and founder of Impossible Foods, the Silicon Valley start-up whose business model is plant-based concoctions to replace meat and dairy foods.
Okay, so it’s no surprise that a practicing carnivore like me would be skeptical of veggie burgers. Not that I have anything against vegetables, or salads for that matter. Nor do I have discriminatory tendencies against vegans or vegetarians, though practicing vegans should probably be disqualified from running for public office. (No, not really. Don’t @ me!)
But here’s the thing. Brown and his followers can eat all of the ground soy and chick peas covered in beet juice they want. Just stop with the warm, fuzzy messages about saving the planet and sending all the cows to a sanctuary.
Here’s what Brown told C/Net.com:
"Unlike the cow, we get better at making meat every single day. We have figured out an entirely new approach to making meat that gives us the ability to deliberately control and make improvements in flavor, texture, juiciness, appearance, cooking properties, shelf life, handling, cost of production, nutrition -- you name it."
Okay, I’ll name it. You can’t get better than the cow at making meat, because, well, your concoction isn’t meat. You’re working ever-so-hard to make your sandwich “like meat” because you know that’s what people want, except, of course, the 3% of the population that doesn’t eat meat.
A business model that targets just 3% of American consumers is destined for failure, which is why Impossible Foods and other faux meats must find other benefits of faux meats.
That’s where the “cows are killing the planet” propaganda becomes essential. Americans don’t buy products that are “striving” to be good. If your product doesn’t quite match the competition, you need another hook.
Brown told C/Net.com that his Impossible Foods can produce a burger using a fourth of the water and less than 4% of the land -- and emit one-tenth of the greenhouse gases -- than a conventional burger...
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Move to meatless meals will affect livestock producers
By D'Arce McMillan, The Western Producer
January 10, 2019
A grocery flyer in my daily newspaper a few days after New Year’s Day caused me to raise my eyebrows.
Featuring foods such as almond and coconut drinks, gluten-free pasta, and veggie protein meat replacement products, it was dedicated to vegetarian and organic foods, protein powders and vitamins.
But it did not come from a health-food store.
It was from Safeway/Sobeys, one of Canada’s biggest grocery chains. Perhaps the company was hoping to cash in on New Year’s resolutions to eat healthier, or maybe it sees a real shift in the Canadian diet.
I am not referring to trends like those mentioned in fashion and celebrity magazines that are all the rage and then disappear just as quickly.
I mean permanent shifts in lifestyle, similar to the move away from smoking or the way parents now manage their children’s playtime.
Faculty members at Dalhousie University and the University of Guelph definitely see a long-term trend establishing.
Their annual Canada’s Food Price Report released in early December forecasts the direction of food prices but it also looks at major issues and trends affecting the food business.
The issues include the new Canada Food Guide from the federal health department, the new trade agreement with the United States and Mexico and the legalization of cannabis, specifically the expected approval of edible cannabis products within the coming 12 months.
As for trends, it highlights what it calls the “protein wars” between existing sources and plant-based alternatives.
The report references a Dalhousie online survey conducted in September asking Canadians older than 18 about their attitudes toward meat. The sample size was 1,027 people and the margin of error was estimated at three percent 19 times out of 20.
The survey showed Canadians are still overwhelmingly meat eaters. It might not seem like it from the attention devoted to them, but the number of vegans and vegetarians is small.
But what surprised me in the survey was how many Canadians said they are open to the idea of reducing or eliminating meat from their diets.
Here are the key numbers.
Almost half reported eating meat daily and another forty percent ate it once or twice a week.
Only 2.3 percent said they never eat meat.
Meat producers also should be cheered by the pleasure many take in eating it.
Fifty-four percent said they somewhat or strongly agree with the statement, “to eat meat is one of the great pleasures in life.”
Seventy percent said they somewhat or strongly agreed with the statement, “nothing compares to a good piece of steak, chicken or pork.”
However, even with this strong attraction to meat, more than half said they are open to considering reducing their meat intake.
And when asked, “specifically, in the next six months do you intend to reduce your meat consumption?” 23.7 percent said they probably would and another 8.5 percent said they fully intend to reduce meat consumption.
That suggests one-third of the population is seriously thinking about reducing meat consumption in the near future.
There are many factors influencing them in this decision, including health concerns, environmental impact, animal welfare, the cost of meat, taste preferences and weight control.
The survey shows women and younger people are more influenced by these factors.
People often do not carry through with their intentions, but the final commitment is easier if there are attractive alternatives to ease the transition.
Food manufacturers and retailers are rushing to provide those alternatives. I refer you to that Sobeys/Safeway flyer I mentioned earlier.
I expect though that people won’t give up entirely on meat. The Dalhousie survey shows that meat holds a strong emotional and aesthetic attraction that will be hard to completely sever. The meat industry here can use that in its advertising to try to hang on to market share.
However, it will become ever easier to find enjoyable meatless meals, moving people from the “meat everyday” category to the “few times a week or month” category.
This has important implications for Canada’s meat producers. For decades the domestic per capita consumption of beef and pork has gradually eroded while chicken consumption has increased…
Canada’s Food Guide poised to shift focus from meat, dairy to vegetables, protein
Ann Hui, The Globe and Mail (Canada)
Jan 8, 2019
Canada’s Food Guide is poised to reduce its emphasis on meat and dairy in a healthy diet and instead recommend consuming more plants and plant-based protein, according to a draft circulated for public feedback.
Health Canada intends to finalize and release the new version of its influential guide in the coming months, but a report containing details of a draft version suggests a significant departure from the current guide, last updated in 2007. Most notably, the draft appears to move from an existing four food groups down to three: “vegetables and fruits,” “whole grains,” and a new “protein foods” group.
The existing “meat and alternatives” and “milk and milk products” categories, in turn, appear set to be eliminated – a decision already proving to be contentious – and instead combined under “proteins." Gone too appear to be the recommendations to consume two daily servings from each of those former groups.
The proposed changes are consistent with Health Canada’s previous statements on its intentions. “The majority of Canadians don’t eat enough vegetables, fruits and whole grains,” the department said of its “guiding principles” in 2017. “What is needed is a shift toward a high proportion of plant-based foods, without necessarily excluding animal foods altogether.” A Health Canada spokesperson said Tuesday that the details in the report do not represent a complete draft, and that the guide will likely still see changes before it is released.
“The final version of the Food Guide will look different, and will reflect feedback not just from the report, but also input from stakeholders, experts and the public," spokesperson Geoffroy Legault-Thivierge said.
Instead of the current iconic “rainbow” pattern, the draft report shows three groups organized in a grid-like design. Under the heading “protein” are images of tofu, chickpeas, peanut butter, milk, fish and a pork chop. Under “whole grains” are rice, bread, quinoa and pasta. And under “vegetables and fruit” (the largest of the groups) is a variety of fresh, frozen and canned produce. No longer depicted as a “fruit and vegetable” is fruit juice, despite heavy lobbying from the beverage industry.
The draft also appears to move away from prescribing specific servings and portions. This is consistent with new guides released in recent years around the world, most notably the Brazil guidelines, which many health advocates have pointed to as the world leader. That plan is based on a list of simple suggestions, such as “limit consumption of processed foods” and “make natural or minimally processed foods the basis of your diet.”
The proposed changes will likely be met with fierce opposition. The food guide is a reference point for doctors and nutritionists, and used by public institutions such as hospitals and cafeterias in shaping meal plans. Health Canada promised to avoid meeting with industry while developing the new guide. Still, The Globe has reported on intense lobbying – often directed at other government departments – over the past few years by the meat, dairy and processed food and beverage industries.
Isabelle Neiderer, the director of nutrition and research at Dairy Farmers of Canada, said in an interview that she has concerns with the proposal for a single “protein” group. Milk products, she said, contain nutrients that average Canadians are often lacking, such as calcium. “Putting all those foods together in one food group sends the wrong message that these foods are interchangeable,” she said.
A representative for the Alberta Beef Producers, too, expressed concerns about grouping together meat with plant-based proteins. “That can be dangerous, especially if people think that they’re getting the same nutrient equivalency when they eat a serving, of, say, black beans, as beef," Tom Lynch-Staunton said.
But health advocates say the proposals are sound...
Impossible burger will upgrade itself like an app until you quit beef
By Chris Taylor, Mashable
Jan 9, 2019
The promise of the world's best plant-based meat product continues to sizzle. Soon — sooner than you think — it will taste like steak.
After its surprise announcement at CES this week, Impossible Foods is now rolling out what has been hailed as a juicier, tastier, 100% more gluten-free version of the Impossible Burger, which was already judged the best fake beef available (but used to include wheat). We put it on our best of CES list.
The thousands of U.S. restaurants currently serving it (including White Castle, purveyors of the $1.99 Impossible Slider), will make the switch by the end of February. Impossible says a retail version of the burger is coming to supermarkets sometime in 2019.
And this is just the beginning for a Silicon Valley food sciences company that plans to scale up faster than any of the tech giants surrounding it did. Upgrades will be rolled out at places like CES, every user will quickly switch to the new version (no legacy problems here!) And then it's straight back to the drawing board on how to tweak the proteins and other plant-based ingredients to make the next version even juicier, even more meat-like.
In the same way Apple and Android cast a snooty eye at each other, Dr. Pat Brown, the Stanford biochemistry scientist who became Impossible's CEO, likes to say his competition is cows. And they aren't iterating.
"Our cycle of innovation is likely to be faster than once a year," Brown told me as he exited CES when I compared Impossible's roll-outs to iPhone launches. "As soon as we feel we've got something decisively better, something that will accelerate our mission, we're not going to wait around."
The scale of Brown's mission makes companies like Uber or Amazon look modest. "We're going to replace animals by 2035," he says. It's hard not to be infected by his enthusiasm about what would happen next: food production occupies almost half of Earth's land area, so "if you could snap your fingers and make the animal industry go away, vegetation growing back on that land would bring CO2 levels down every year by itself" no matter what kinds of cars we drive.
The jury is out on whether such a scheme would work, and of course we should replace gas guzzlers with electric cars regardless. But the vegetation we currently have on Earth absorbs 50 percent of all carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. All that wild green stuff is no slouch when it comes to decarbonization, and it would love to go to town on the millions of acres currently occupied by nothing but cattle.
Brown may be impossibly ambitious, but he's not wrong. Fundamentally, the cattle industry is like the coal industry:
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