|From: zax||8/23/2019 11:20:14 AM|
|The Amazon is burning because the world eats so much meat|
(CNN) While the wildfires raging in the Amazon rainforest may constitute an "international crisis," they are hardly an accident.
The vast majority of the fires have been set by loggers and ranchers to clear land for cattle. The practice is on the rise, encouraged by Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil's populist pro-business president, who is backed by the country's so-called "beef caucus."
While this may be business as usual for Brazil's beef farmers, the rest of the world is looking on in horror.
So, for those wondering how they could help save the rainforest, known as "the planet's lungs" for producing about 20% of the world's oxygen, the answer may be simple. Eat less meat.
Brazil is the world's largest exporter of beef, providing close to 20% of the total global exports, according the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) -- a figure that could rise in the coming years.
Last year the country shipped 1.64 million tonnes of beef, the highest volume in history, according to the Brazilian Beef Exporters Association (Abiec), an association of more than 30 Brazilian meat-packing companies.
The growth of Brazil's beef industry has been driven in part by strong demand from Asia -- mostly China and Hong Kong. These two markets alone accounted for nearly 44% of all beef exports from Brazil in 2018, according to the USDA.
</snip> Read the rest here: cnn.com
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|From: zax||8/25/2019 4:31:10 PM|
|Veggie burgers were living an idyllic little existence. Then they got caught in a war over the future of meat.|
By Laura Reiley
August 25 at 2:35 PM
Tofurky wasn’t keeping cattle ranchers awake at night.
For decades, veggie burgers were the token offering to vegans at the backyard barbecue, and Tofurky was the Thanksgiving benediction to the meat-free loved ones in our lives.
But as plant-based meat goes from an afterthought to a financial juggernaut that aims to change how most people eat, the opposition has suddenly awakened: Many of the country’s 800,000 cattle ranchers have declared war on newcomers Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat, which use technology to make products that hew closely to the taste and texture of meat, and now “first-generation” veggie burgers and similar products are caught in the crossfire.
In 2019, officials in nearly 30 states have proposed bills to prohibit companies from using words such as meat, burger, sausage, jerky or hot dog unless the product came from an animal that was born, raised and slaughtered in a traditional way. Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota, South Dakota, Oklahoma and Wyoming have already enacted such laws. In Missouri, the first state where the ban took effect, violators incur a $1,000 fine and as much as a year in prison. Mississippi’s new law is sweeping: “Any food product containing cell-cultured animal tissue or plant-based or insect-based food shall not be labeled meat or as a meat product.”
The states, in most cases backed by cattlemen’s associations, claim consumer confusion as the driving force for the laws. The newest offerings, they say, cross a line when they make unsubstantiated health claims (many have long lists of processed ingredients and are high in sodium) and when the packaging is unclear.
“Beyond Meat Beefy Crumbles has a picture of a cow on the front and says ‘plant-based’ in very small lettering at the bottom,” said Mike Deering, a cattle rancher and the executive vice president of the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association. “I’m a dad and I’m going through the grocery store before one of my boys has a meltdown, and [if] I pick up that package that says beef with a picture of a cow on it, I’m going to buy it.”
This isn’t quite a David vs. Goliath fight. The cattle associations have enormous political power, and several of the top veggie brands such as Morningstar Farms and Boca are owned by food giants such as Kellogg and Kraft Heinz. Notably, the major meat processors — Tyson Foods and Smithfield Foods, for instance — aren’t taking sides, relying on the ranchers for traditional meat but also investing heavily in these new alternatives they believe consumers increasingly desire.
The future of ranching faces a big threat if plant-based meat, thought to be much better for the environment, becomes a mainstay of the American diet.
Traditional animal agriculture is looking to the lessons learned by the dairy industry, which saw cow’s milk sales dwindle by $1.1 billion last year, much of that business scooped up by alternative milks such as almond and oat. And as the stock price of Beyond Meat, which went public this year, has soared, some of the biggest retailers and restaurants in America have got on board with plant-based alternatives.
In September, Impossible Burgers roll out in grocery stores. Subway has announced meatless meatballs, Carl’s Jr. and sister company Hardee’s have gotten on the meatless meat wagon, Dunkin’ introduced its Beyond Sausage breakfast sandwich and Burger King expanded the reach of its Impossible Whopper to all franchises.
On July 22, Tofurky joined forces with the American Civil Liberties Union, the Good Food Institute (a nonprofit that promotes plant-based meat) and the Animal Legal Defense Fund to file a lawsuit claiming Arkansas’ new labeling law, which went into effect July 24, violates the First and Fourteenth amendments.
“If we lose, there’s something wrong with our judicial system,” said Tofurky chief executive Jaime Athos. “The first thing to get out of the way is that people are confused. It’s all [the cattlemen’s associations] can come up with to censor speech.”
</snip> Read the rest here: washingtonpost.com
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|To: Alex MG who wrote (111)||8/25/2019 8:05:39 PM|
|From: Glenn Petersen|
|Alt Meat Trounces Animal Meat's Massive Inefficiencies |
August 19, 2019
Ranchers have to forecast some three years into the future. Clean meat producers need only a couple weeks.
Daniel Acker/Bloomberg/Getty Images
One of the strongest selling points of plant-based and clean meat is the efficiency of production: The conversion of inputs to outputs is vastly more streamlined than cycling calories through an animal. Lesser appreciated, but perhaps more economically compelling, is also the improved market efficiency: far less time and waste and far greater responsiveness to consumer demand for a range of products and species.
1. Supercharged timesaver: No pregnancy, no birth, no raising, no slaughter
Imagine the predicament of a cattle rancher trying to decide how many cows to impregnate this season. Current market conditions—the price of beef or feed—do him no good. He’s forced to look into a crystal ball and predict demand fully two or three years into the future, after his heifers’ nine-month pregnancies and the 16 to 24 months it will take to raise his calves from birth to slaughter. Since overall supply will affect prices, he must also somehow anticipate every other rancher’s possible calculations.
It’s little wonder that the livestock industry has historically been riddled with boom and bust cycles. While more sophisticated prediction models are being developed, this market inefficiency is not circumventable; it’s inherent in the biology of the animals.
Even the fast-maturing chicken is subject to these relentless cycles. Today’s chickens reach slaughter weight about six weeks after hatching, but the lag also needs to account for time in the shell and the hens’ laying rate, meaning the broiler supply must be predicted 18 to 24 months in advance.
In the animal agriculture industry, once the production clock starts ticking, it can’t be stopped. You can’t put a barn full of chickens on pause at five weeks of age until the price of chicken rebounds, and you can’t ask your hens to temporarily stop laying. This ingrained volatility has also powered the consolidation of the meat industry: Only the biggest companies could weather the troughs, and these companies quickly bought up competitors who didn’t have enough financial buffer in hard times.
Compare this years-long lead time with that for plant-based or clean meat, where a manufacturing facility can have finished product rolling off the line in hours or days. For plant-based meat, the raw materials (protein isolates, flours, flavorings, etc.) are typically dry powders with high stability and can be stored inexpensively for extended periods of time, ready at a moment’s notice for on-demand use. The entire process from pre-treatment (soaking) of the dry ingredients to finished product takes only a few hours. Even products with more complex post-processing like smoking or marination will be ready to ship to retailers within just a few days of starting the production line.
The same will be true for clean meat (created by growing meat outside of an animal from a small cell sample, also called cultured meat or cell-based meat) once it is available through large-scale production, which many analysts expect will happen within the next decade or so. The main raw materials are also dry powdered nutrients that can be stored for relatively long periods of time. Vials of frozen cells used to produce the meat can be thawed and begin dividing within hours. Most industry insiders estimate that producing a batch of thousands of kilograms of meat will require three to five weeks start to finish. If production facilities are operating the seed train continuously, they could harvest the finished product within a week.
Both plant- and cell-based meat face far less formidable forecasting challenges. Manufacturers can rev up production lines in essentially real-time response to demand, meaning the system has far less waste and greater profitability because manufacturers aren’t contending with flooded markets driving down prices.
2. Solving the carcass balancing problem
In the meat industry, the carcass balancing problem describes how animal bodies are not proportioned to the ratios of products that humans actually demand. In fact, our culinary traditions have evolved to make disproportionate use of undesirable parts of the animal.
Chicken breasts, for example, are the most versatile and meaty parts of a chicken, but we’ve developed cultural traditions around chicken wings, even though they entail much greater inconvenience to obtain a relatively small amount of meat. Likewise, while most consumers would likely prefer a sirloin to a burger, nearly 50 percent of a cow’s carcass weight makes its way into ground beef, which comprises odds and ends after the finer cuts are trimmed away. Wings and burgers have become such an integral part of American cuisine that many would argue for their inherent value, rather than see them as acquired tastes by virtue of their abundance.
But even with this cultural adaptation, millions of tons of meat, organs, bone, and other undesired carcass fractions are forced into extremely low-value sectors, such as animal feed and the chemicals industry (gums, glues, etc.). Some edible carcass parts can be matched with receptive buyers overseas (containers full of chicken feet from US slaughterhouses are shipped to China), but this leaves the industry vulnerable to geopolitics and trade disputes.
Simultaneously, several of these parallel industries are innovating away from animal-origin materials and finding much higher-performing alternatives. For example, Geltor has commercialized animal-free gelatin, and an increasing number of pet food brands are now offering plant-based formulas.
Imagine how cuisine would change over time if consumers were at liberty to make their meat product selections based purely on the cuts they truly demand. The slaughter of a single cow produces only about 28 T-bone steaks, 10 sirloins, and eight filet mignon. So the order of the 29th T-bone or ninth filet would drive the slaughter of an entire additional cow. But plant- or cell-based meat manufacturers can produce meats in the exact ratios at which they are selling; there is no carcass to balance.
3. Adapting swiftly to shifting demand across species
Meat companies large and small typically specialize in one to three species (chicken, cows, and pigs). This lack of diversity is due in large part to the fact that the production and rendering process for each of these species is radically different. Everything from feed composition and barn layout to transport vehicle configuration, slaughterhouse equipment, and staffing is different for chickens, turkeys, cows, and pigs. A single barn or slaughterhouse cannot switch from one species to another, not at the scale at which the meat industry currently operates. Even for a fishing fleet, the navigational capacity and range of the vessel, the types of nets and hauling machinery on board, and the downstream processing look quite different when harvesting salmon versus tuna versus anchovies. Those who control the meat and fish industries have a vested interest in maintaining consumer demand for the particular species in which they have specialized, and in ratios that match their current facilities and infrastructure.
But for plant-based and clean meat, the difference between producing beef or pork or even salmon is comparatively minuscule. For plant-based meats, the major ingredients are likely to be quite similar or even identical in some cases, while the differences will come down to subtle changes in the flavorings and production equipment settings that dictate qualities like firmness and juiciness. A single production line can switch from a shredded chicken product to a flaked tuna product with relatively little adaptation or downtime. This allows for a wider product range from a single company and, yet again, much greater responsiveness to consumers. If there’s a spike in plant-based ground beef for Fourth of July barbecues, facilities can increase the number of lines cranking out this product for just a few weeks before. Cell-based meat is designed to be similarly nimble.
The potential flexibility of plant- and cell-based meat producers to switch from one product to another within a species category (from loin to spare rib) or between species much more fluidly and inexpensively than conventional meat producers translates to substantial market advantages. Add to this a shorter production cycle that facilitates real-time response to demand, and it becomes clear that plant-based and clean meat producers are well-equipped to make judicious use of their production lines and to operate more consistently within their ideal profit margin. While the planet arguably benefits the most from these meats’ higher production efficiencies, the market efficiency gains will be hugely beneficial for the bottom line.
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|To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (120)||8/25/2019 10:32:16 PM|
|From: Alex MG|
|This is all pretty much true... but on the other hand we live in a world where we just recently elected the LEADER of our country who says wind power causes cancer and says Hillary Clinton may have murdered Jeffery Epstein for political reasons while in fact our POTUS was very chummy with the child rapist|
So... unfortunately, facts are becoming less relevant
The factory farming of animals is very disturbing, not just for the environmental reasons, but because animals raised and forced to live in small quarters and cages until they are slaughtered is very cruel. Animals suffer such cruelty in these conditions as do humans, it's pretty obvious
hopefully D J Trump will be reincarnated very soon as a chicken born in a Mississippi slaughter house, where his head will be chopped off by a migrant worker and his remaining body parts will end up in the mouth of Mike Pence via a fast food chain
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|From: zax||8/26/2019 1:06:39 PM|
|Beyond Meat, Inc. (BYND)|
154.47 +7.62 (+5.19%)
KFC turns to Atlanta for Beyond Meat fried chicken test
KFC is joining the plant-based meat craze, saying it will test a vegan fried chicken in metro Atlanta.The fried chicken chain said it will become the first national U.S. quick-service restaurant to introduce a plant-based chicken – Beyond Fried Chicken – in partnership with Beyond Meat, with a test August 27 at its restaurant on Cobb Parkway, near SunTrust Park in Atlanta.
The options will include chicken nuggets or boneless wings.
KFC, owned by Yum! Brands Inc. (NYSE: YUM), said it will consider feedback from the Atlanta test as it considers a potential national rollout.
“KFC Beyond Fried Chicken is so delicious, our customers will find it difficult to tell that it’s plant-based,” Kevin Hochman, KFC's president and chief concept officer, said in an announcement.
The fried chicken chain said it will become the first national U.S. quick-service restaurant to introduce a plant-based chicken – Beyond Fried Chicken – in partnership with Beyond Meat, with a test August 27 at its restaurant on Cobb Parkway.
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|From: zax||8/29/2019 8:01:35 PM|
|Today, I had some burgers for dinner made from The Meatless Farm Co, "Meat Free Ground", which was on sale at Whole Foods.|
Apparently, the packaging / product name has recently been slightly altered since this image off the web was put up - "Mince" has been changed to "Ground".
While the product in its packaging seems to have been designed to look very much like ground beef, when cooked the burgers look a bit too dark red. It tasted good, but it did not taste like meat. IMO, this product is wholly inferior to the Impossible burger, which gives one a very strong "meat" experience when eating it.
IMO, this product in its current form is not a viable contender in the meatless meat wars. It tasted good. It didn't taste good enough, or like beef. Carnivores won't give up meat for this.
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