USDA invests $ 10 million in “cultured meat”

For years there has been a program to eliminate meat from the dinner table. We’ve sounded the siren over and over again, but it seems no one wants to believe that meat, dairy, and eggs would one day be inaccessible to the average American citizen.

Still, let’s go back to some actions our government has taken over the past 40 years, and tell me if you see a trend.

In 1980, the USDA and the HHS introduced the United States. Diet guidelines for Americans. Since then, the recommendations have been updated every five years, and with each new edition, we are witnessing the emergence of a trend which pushes us to consume more foods of plant origin and to avoid proteins and fats. animals, or to consume only very lean, low-fat or fat-free options.

In 2012, Meatless Mondays were approved by the USDA. In a newsletter to employees, the agency wrote: “A simple way to reduce your environmental impact when dining in our cafeterias is to participate in the Meatless Monday initiative. “

The agency then withdrew this endorsement due to a setback. Yet Meatless Mondays have been implemented in many public schools, universities and other institutions since then.

For example, in 2019, New York City’s 1,800 public schools decided to follow a meatless Monday diet. The growing trend claims environmental benefits and places the burden on the young people of the Big Apple.

Notably, 75% (780,000 children) in New York City are entitled to a free or reduced price lunch. As a result, school lunch may be their only decent meal in a day, and politicians and government workers find it appropriate to tackle climate change by mistakenly eating high-protein foods like meat on school lunch platters. .

Shameful.

And when it comes to nutrition advice from government entities, we are seeing an evolution from simple advice focused on nutrition and a greater emphasis on other topics outside of health and wellness. human nutrition. Suddenly things like animal welfare and climate change have become part of our discussions about food, which I think are easily corrupted by political ideologies and personal biases.

It is from this perspective that I find the most recent USDA decision highly questionable.

The agricultural agency recently announced a five-year, $ 10 million grant to Tufts University to develop more alternative proteins – meat derived from cells grown in bioreactors.

According to Isaac Nicholas and Mike Silver for Tufts University, “The team, led by David Kaplan, the Stern family’s engineering professor, and his team of graduate students, will combine the efforts of engineers, biologists, nutrition researchers and social scientists at Tufts and other universities, with the aim of improving food sustainability, nutrition and safety.

“Cultured meat production is emerging as an alternative source of sustainable protein to help address nutrition and food security for consumer choices. Kaplan, professor emeritus at Tufts and chair of the biomedical engineering department, and his team led some of the early fieldwork.

“He says this new industry could provide nutritious and safe food while reducing environmental impact and resource use, with a goal of significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions, land use and of water use compared to traditional meat production.

“To achieve these goals, interdisciplinary teams will also work together to assess consumer acceptance of cultured meat, measure the environmental impact of the manufacturing process, assess economic viability versus agricultural production and prepare the next generation. labor force in the industry. “

Some would argue that fake meats – made from plants or in a petri dish – simply provide an alternative source of protein to feed a starving planet; however, from my perspective, our government should not pick winners and losers in the marketplace. Fake meat companies should also not be allowed to claim their products are more “sustainable”.

Let’s compare apples to apples when we talk about nutrition and environmental impact, and let consumers choose the products they prefer. If the government gets out of our way, I’m betting all my chips on the real deal – Hoof OX.

What do you think of this new USDA initiative to further develop Petri dish proteins? Please give your opinion in the comments section.

About Keith Johnson

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