By Staff Writer: Harvey Fewings January 2020.
When is meat not meat – an Anomalous Meat Pie.
Having spent a great deal of my younger life in the bush surrounded by pastoral operations, growing beef cattle for protein for humans, I became quite intrigued the other day, while wandering through a major supermarket, to find a display of products that were not meat but were presented as a meat substitute.
This food was mainly hamburger patties, packaged and presented as “ just like real meat “….Huh?
I then checked a few sources I knew, including the Australian Meat and Livestock Corporation, to clarify what market forces were at work here and, what, if any, customer demand existed.
The story goes back some time, into Europe and the USA, in the early 2000s.
False meat or fake meat had its genesis in the climate alarmist stable; where it was decided, who knows by whom, that methane ejected by animals was a threat to the global atmosphere and therefore the elimination of the industry of producing beef protein for human consumption was necessary to save the Earth.
I thought about this for a while and decided that enough words had been produced, by all stakeholders, to equal the efflux of animal methane into the atmosphere and that anything that I said in the context of the climate alarmist shouting match would simply be irrelevant.
But, being a country boy at heart, I decided to find out a bit about this fake meat, so I purchased some from a major supermarket.
The product was presented as a beetroot burger -which was OK. No attempt to hide its origin or its purpose; it was fake meat.
It contained large amounts of highly processed food matter. About 18 ingredients in all – including pea protein, soy protein, coconut and canola oils, rice protein, potato starch and beetroot juice extract for colouring. Other fake meats use an iron-containing compound from soy called heme, which is used to enhance the meaty flavour.
A plant derivative called methylcellulose is also widely used in fake meat products to bind the material together when it is cooking; otherwise it may well fall apart.
So, what have we got so far?
Well, compared to a real beef hamburger patty the fake meat has similar amounts of protein and calories, with a lot less saturated fat and virtually no cholesterol.
Which is good.
When compared to real meat the sodium content of the fake meat is much higher. An uncooked real meat hamburger patty has about 75 milligrams of sodium compared the fake meat hamburger patty of similar size which has an average of 380 milligrams.
That is a huge difference – probably to enhance flavour.
I have eaten both on the same day – and trying very, very hard not to let any bias cloud my judgement, I concluded that real meat was juicier, tastier and more satisfying to eat – although it was a close run thing!
I wonder if you can all see the anomaly here.
The sole purpose of creating fake meat is to destroy the real meat industry because the methane produced by cattle is destroying the world. So, the logical extension to that is eating fake meat is better for humans in a general sense but there is the added bonus of the noisy, rattling vegan carriages being clamped onto this weird train thus providing another marketing option.
Vegans and climate alarmists are pretty consistent in their message about natural processes and healthy food being part of the solution to saving the world.
This fake meat, however, is some of the most highly processed food ever consumed by humans, huge amounts of energy must be expended to make it… and it has a very high sodium content.
On the one hand, we have cattle grazing in a rural setting, eating grass and turning it into protein for human consumption. The effect of this protein conversion process inside the cattle is the production of methane gas from cattle farts and this methane gas floats about the place causing mayhem?
On the other hand, we have huge crop production activity, with all the associated diesel consuming machinery and fertilizers plus the enormous amount of energy required to turn the eighteen plus ingredients and chemicals into highly processed foods. The CO2 gas produced from this broadacre farming and the associated manufacturing process is a far higher volume of gas than the methane from cattle farts.
And CO2 gas is the enemy.
So, as I see it – we are producing more CO2 gas to make fake meat so that we can save ourselves from the methane emitted in cattle farts from making real meat!
Huh? Where is the logic in that?
Seeking logic in this matter is futile. My Aristotelian Logic process tumbles wildly as I struggle to make sense of this….
We don’t like real meat because its production threatens our atmosphere with methane from cattle farts, and so, we are not going to eat it! OK so far.
However, we like the taste, the appearance of real meat and the protein we get from it; so we are going to create large volumes of CO2 gas to create fake meat that looks and tastes like real meat but makes us feel good by eating it because it is not real meat!
In December 2019, The New York Times, a paper which closely follows these global saving trends, reported that “ millennials are gobbling up fake meat like there is no tomorrow. “
My observation to that little gem is this – Millennials have expressed the view that we, our generation, have buggered the whole place up and they can't wait to take over running the place so they can make it right: well good for them, but if they are gobbling up the fake meat in volumes as reported in the New York Times, their sodium intake will far exceed the norm, their collective arteries will harden, they will all perish and we shall be left running the bloody show when we are all 145 years old plus because we eat healthy real meat.
Is that a good deal?
Einstein commented that only two things are infinite: the cosmos and human stupidity…
Draw your conclusions.
On Australia Day, which I shall celebrate on 26 January 2020, because I am a proud Australian and proud of our collective achievements, I shall hold a large barbecue of lamb for two reasons.
One, you know we all love it!
Two, apart from New Zealand, none of us know much about sheep farts.