Service of Medium Rare Synthetic Burgers and Steak

March 1st, 2021

Categories: Climate Change, Environment, Fast Food, Faux Food

People of a certain age would never have believed the impact that Michael Bloomberg would have on cigarette smoking in NYC and the world.  In addition to making the habit socially unacceptable in many circles, the Smoke-Free Air Act of 2003 nixed puffing in restaurants, bars and most workplaces. The ban has moved to beaches, parks and more recently to many apartments in NYC in both public and private spaces in co-ops, condos and rentals.

Dana Rubinstein reported in politico.com that only Turkmenistan had such a ban in ’03 but, said Bloomberg in a speech 10 years later, 49 other countries had joined up.

This is why steak houses had best pay attention to Bill Gates. Nicole Lyn Pesce reported on one of many points he made in his new book “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need.” She wrote in marketwatch.com: “And among his calls to action: switching to synthetic beef to reduce methane emissions, aka the gases that cattle and sheep release when they belch or pass gas.” She continued “it’s simply a biologic fact of life that the bacteria in the digestive tracts of livestock releases methane as it breaks down food.”

Companies such as Burger King tried to quell the gases by adding lemongrass to beef feed and researchers in Maine and New Hampshire are studying the impact of feeding seaweed to cattle.

Pesce quoted Gates from a piece in Technology Review: “You can get used to the taste difference, and the claim is they’re going to make it taste even better over time. Eventually, that green premium is modest enough that you can sort of change the [behavior of] people or use regulation to totally shift the demand.”

She quoted a Morningstar forecast that by 2029 plant based meat sales will hit $74 billion as compared to $12 billion last year. She reported that McDonald’s and chains Taco Bell and KFC plan to “roll out plant-based sandwiches and other alternative meat items this year.” We’ll see how well they sell. McDonald’s stopped selling salads in 2020.

Bloomberg’s detractors called his a “nanny state.” Gates has arrows aimed at him as well. Wrote Pesce: “Some other critics also questioned why Gates should dictate what countries should do to address climate change when a new report in the Nation named Gates as one of the world’s top carbon emitters. It notes he lives in a 66,000-square-foot mansion outside of Seattle, and his private jet consumes 486 gallons of fuel each hour it flies.”

I wrote in “Service of Healthy Frozen Desserts–But is it Ice Cream?” that I’d rather go without than eat an ersatz treat. On the other hand who knows–maybe the burger made of weeds will remind me of the ones we got in school that bounced if they fell on the floor and weren’t reminiscent of anything I’d eaten before. But I got used to–and even fond of–them.

If you’ve eaten faux meat how did you like it? Will you switch to chicken, pasta and grilled cheese sandwiches instead if synthetic beef and lamb is all that’s available? Will we need to worry about pesticides in our “burgers” if they will be necessary to ramp up growth for increased demand for greens? What will happen to cattle ranchers and their land? Are you concerned about potential climate disaster? What are you doing to mitigate it?

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2 Responses to “Service of Medium Rare Synthetic Burgers and Steak”

  1. Lucrezia Said:

    No, no, and no! Nature intended us to eat real food, not synthetics, Bill Gates notwithstanding. What next? Feeding cattle synthetic grass to ameliorate farts? Killing them all for 0 farts? There’s no doubt Gates not only means well, and hits a bullseye on most occasions, but yesterday’s suggestion is a clear miss.

    Yes, I watched the interview.

  2. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Lucrezia,

    When I was first married my dad gave me what looks like a little hammer with a square head with two sizes of protrusions. The purpose of such a hammer as a kitchen tool is to, among other things, “tenderize” meat. Given the limited budget many young couples have he didn’t want me to use meat tenderizers that were a big thing in the day. Goodness knows what was in those concoctions and knowing him he knew that the ingredients were unnatural and up to no good.

    I thought of him and wonder what additions–healthy or not–the synthetic meats will include to add taste.

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