How Super is Super Meat?

What? I’m talking about meat? What’s going on? No, I’m not out of my mind, I swear.

So I heard about this particular kickstarter a couple of months ago, but I figured I would give my take on the whole matter. For those unfamiliar with Super Meat, it’s a revolutionary new concept for how to produce meat. And by produce, it literally is a production. By using animal DNA, scientists can use fancy methods the genetic material to create meat. No joke. Check it out here.

Rather than taking up all of the geographical space for livestock, along with the ethical and environmental side effects, Super Meat is simple and smart. For people who just cannot give up meat in their diet, this method deserves some attention and consideration.

Now for people like me who already gave up animal products, I know I will personally never consume Super Meat. I wholeheartedly support it for those who still enjoy meat. They still get to see some of veganism’s widespread benefits without revamping their entire lifestyles. Sounds like a win-win, right?

To an extent, at least. The product is still meat. That means people are still subject to the health consequences involved with eating meat, including heart disease and diabetes. Eating Super Meat isn’t even truly necessary, as we can still receive all of our protein and nutrients from plant-based sources.

Also, Super Meat doesn’t help in the dairy and egg industries. We’ll still be mass-producing animals to make these products, still leading to ethical and environmental damage. Unless we come up with a fancy experiment for creating milk, that part is still iffy. Except plant-based milks are everywhere on the market. From soy, almond, rice and coconut, you should be covered. Personally, I started drinking soy milk long before I ever considered veganism.

Might I add that meat substitutes are continually improving. Sure, most started out as very…questionable in taste and texture. Brands like Boca and Gardein have stepped up their games dramatically to be almost scarily accurate to the real thing. These products are also expanding to more and more locations. Dare I say they taste better?

Personally, I was never someone who really enjoyed meat. I tolerated it. I grew up with it at every lunch and supper, and my family tended to use some leaner varieties like chicken and turkey. But once I started college, the overnight decision to try vegetarianism was probably the easiest change I’ve ever made. I know for others, especially living in the Midwest where hunting and fishing is a traditional popular pastime, giving up meat is more difficult. I didn’t just give up meat because I didn’t like the taste. Heck, sometimes it tasted really good (spaghetti and meatballs, anyone?). For the sake of other living organisms, the environment, and my own well-being, I had to give it up.

Also on the note of the Midwest, many families around my home support themselves primarily on ranching and farming. They make a pretty penny doing it, too. What happens to them if we somehow all convert over to Super Meat? Hopefully in response to Super Meat, we can create more jobs supporting the new industry along with jobs to expand green energy and diets. The kickstarter still has about $300,000 to go to meet their quota, so we probably won’t see anything about it soon, but if we do start the process, we need to plan and consider all of the areas and disciplines affected, which is virtually all of them. I’m actually in a class right now that is discussing food research, and you wouldn’t begin to believe the repercussions food has on every aspect of life, much beyond our personal health and daily living. Super Meat is a small decision bound to change the big picture of America and the world for years to come.

So do we really need Super Meat? In my opinion, yes. This is from an everyday consumer’s perspective, as I know absolutely nothing about science. There will always be those standouts who refuse to consider anything beyond the conventional American diet. Cultures who thrive on meat-based cuisine (I’m German, so it’s either beer, meat or dough) are difficult to recreate without the original products. I’m sure people will still be weary about eating meat made in a laboratory, especially older, skeptical generations. But I think the idea is a great step in the right direction. The research is out there about animal agriculture. I’m glad someone is taking the initiative to make a change. A small change, but a change nonetheless.

If meat eaters begin buying Super Meat, think of all the benefits the world will see. I don’t think we will ever all convert to veganism, no matter how hopeful the movement is, just knowing how the people around me think and live, it’s something that might never cross their minds. But the idea of Super Meat is different. It’s a project that probably wouldn’t change anything in their lifestyles. They’d still be eating burgers and steaks and jerky, no cruelty or extra land required.

Who knows what might be next in regards to innovating the food industry. We have been stuck in our ways for decades. But with the money already raised for Super Meat’s cause, I’m hopeful we will continue our forward thinking and innovation. Every change counts. I can’t wait to see what people come up with next to support not only our hungry bodies, but our futures.

Take care, and keep the faith. -Allie

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