Non-meat meat coming to a restaurant near you

I was reading in the local newspaper a few weeks ago, and I read that Sir Richard Branson has teamed up with Bill Gates and Cargill to manufacture vegetarian beef.

I know that there are many people who think that those who eat vegetarian diets are healthier than those who frequently eat meat.  You can listen to my views on vegetarianism on my podcasts:    My new question is, why would a vegetarian want a food product that tasted like a product he was banning from his diet?   If you want beef, just eat beef.

This new meat substitute was produced in 2013 at a cost of $325,000.00 for a burger.  That is a pretty rich price tag!  I have purchased vegetarian ‘meats’ as I am ‘pork free’ and I like a breakfast meat.  I have been very dissatisfied with both the taste and the texture of these substitutes.  Additionally, most of these products are soy-based.  I am not happy with soy because most of the soy grown in the US is GMO, and soy is a phytoestrogen.

Their company called Memphis Meats is producing meat products by culturing animal stem cells in a Petri dish to artificially produce the same tissue that naturally grown on a living creature (    I am not sure of their motivation, but I am assuming that they are trying to produce beef without killing the animal to get it.

I also read that KFC is considering a chicken-free chicken. JUST, a food company, is working on a cultured chicken that they grow in a plant-based growth medium.  They have a ‘chicken’ product ready for release, but have not worked out the details on how to ‘declare’ what it is so that the public knows it is purchasing in-vitro meat,

“Lab grown meat puts us in an uneasy postion, because we don’t know if it’s alive or dead.  It defies our categories, and it is very troubling from a human perspective,” according to Adrienne Rose Bitar, post-doctorate associate in History at Cornell University.

If being healthy is one of the reasons people are backing away from animal protein (saturated fats, humane farming), is there any difference in the food if it is grown in a lab?  I am not comfortable with this.   I prefer to shop for my food, naturally grown, (organic, no antibiotics, no hormones) which have been alive and feeding on the nutrients that the earth provides.  I have to trust that animals are smart, and they will only eat what is natural for them to eat, especially if they are free range/pasture fed.

In London England, there is now the option of vegan fish and chips.  One restaurant proudly proclaims, “There is no fish in our fish.”  This vegan fish is made from banana blossoms marinated in seaweed and the sea plant samphire to give it a fishy taste when fried.  Vegan prawns (shrimp) are made of Japanese potato starch, battered and fried.  (  October 11-17, 2018)

I just don’t know….. I think I will pass.   I like my fish and chips to be made out of real white fish.  I like my steak to have been raised on the hoof.  What are your thoughts?

Until next time….

Dr. Polly