By Dennis Sun, Wyoming Livestock Roundup
We live in a capitalist’s country, so generating dollars is what our lives are all about. We promote and sell our products with pride and honesty. We hope our products will be of value to our customers, and in turn, they will help promote our story and livelihood.
As we know, those in agriculture are known for their hard work, honesty and their distaste of dishonesty. Such is the case of alternative meat products.
These alternative meat products have many names, such as plant-based meat and other names which include “meat” on the label. These plant-based products not only have meat on the label, but are also labeled as eggs, milk, shrimp, veggie burgers and tuna.
Some of the wealthiest people in America are investors in these products – even some of the biggest meatpackers – so they must feel there is a future for these products. The concerning issue is, along with telling the positive story of their alternative products, they tell an inaccurate story of the products they want to substitute.
I think they have really pulled the wool over the consumers’ eyes and wrongly hurt the meat industry. I have never heard of anyone who has tried to sell an alternative Ford pickup or any other product like that.
I can see why they are picking on milk and meat – the demand for both is huge. Milk has really been hurt by all of the alternative products out there. I don’t know why they call it the milk case anymore with all of the fake milk products. These fake products shouldn’t be in the milk case.
I don’t have a problem with these companies promoting their products, but they are spreading misinformation on meat and milk to get the consumer to buy their alternative products. These companies claim their products are healthier and rather than saying they taste better, they say they taste just like the real meat product.
I can’t imagine all of the additives they mix into their products to achieve the desired sensory characteristics of meat. Their labels may list over 20 ingredients for flavoring, coloring and binding. They also have insect imitations of meat products.
The part that really disturbs me is when the alternative meat companies say their products are more environmentally safe, don’t harm our planet and help with climate change. Nothing could be further from the truth. These claims put a guilt trip on consumers not to use real meat and milk, and it is working. Some consumers have really bought into what they are saying and it is just wrong.
I really don’t think those who own these alternative meat companies are all too concerned about the environment, but rather are concerned about making money for themselves. Some have done quite well. We have to give them credit, though, as this is working with some consumers.
This is one of the big reasons livestock producers and agricultural organizations need to get the word out on the truths of raising livestock and the positive aspects of eating real meat for both the environment and our bodies. It is again the reason we need a strong Beef Checkoff to set the record straight.