Now, you may think ‘Oh, what a lovely gesture on his part’ – and it was – but for this semi-vegetarian (no red meat for two years), the thought of eating a chunk of steak – medium rare, nonetheless – caused my stomach to flip-flop.
After dousing a small piece in A1 sauce, I ate the obligatory bite and told my date that the salad, potato, and malted barley and hops beverage would fill me up. Of course, things changed, including the addition of lean beef in my diet, once I married him and moved to the farm.
I thought about that date this morning while watching a Today segment. Scientists culled cattle stem cells, combined the cells with other ingredients, and grew what the scientists are calling environmentally friendly meat.
Made in a Petri dish.
Would you eat what some food experts are dubbing a “Frankenburger”?
Dr. Mark Post of Maastricht University in the Netherlands spearheaded the experiment. Cattle muscle stem cells were mixed with a broth made from a calf blood product. The experiment cost $325,000.
Post and his colleagues served the first batch of burgers in London on Monday. The meat – or is it a meat alternative? – was mixed with beet juice, saffron, caramel, and bread crumbs, and then cooked.
If I’m going to eat a burger, I want it All-American style: garlic, onion, salt, and pepper mixed with it. Toss it on the grill and sizzle the moo right out of it! Add a slice of pepper jack cheese and a thick slab of tomato. Yup, that’ll do.
In a presentation, Post touted the experiment as environmentally and ethically friendly. He lists three reasons to back up stem cell beef production.
First, he reports that livestock produces 20 percent of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. Isn’t the actual rate closer to nine to twelve percent? My farmer says, “So? Where’s the beef?”
Second, Post says forests are being destroyed to make room for grazing. Perhaps he’s bundling this theory with reason #1, because the United Nations reports GHG emissions are over 20 percent when you include deforestation and land use changes.
Third, he claims cattle keep food out of the food chain, food which humans should be consuming instead. Well, last time I checked, my diet wasn’t corn-, hay-, grass-, or soybean-based.
The Today segment reports each American spends $270 on beef yearly and consumes an average of 61 pounds.
Now, think about the economic impact of those sales, especially in Nebraska. Math isn’t my strong suit, but if you take 1.7 million Nebraska residents and multiply that by $270, that’s a $459 billion industry in the Beef State. That’s a hefty sum flowing into local businesses.
When a large portion of our state’s economy centers on agriculture, why would we choose a faux beef product over Nebraska-raised, high quality beef?
I know I wouldn’t.