Can’t beat the real thing, but …Can’t beat the real thing, but …
Fake meat can never replace the real thing, but it may be able to fill a protein void in some people’s diets.
March 26, 2019
I enjoy a nice thick pork chop, but only if its properly cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees F and allowed to rest for three minutes. A nice juicy steak has also been known to enter my gullet. Poultry and seafood have also found their way onto my plate from time to time, especially seafood during the Lenten season.
What I’m trying to say is: I like meat. Of course, holding my position with National Hog Farmer, I had better not come out and say that I am anti-meat. We have plenty of those people already.
Knowing my carnivorous ways, I am not a fan of Meatless Mondays or the alternative meat movement. If it doesn’t originate from something with feet, hooves, fins or wings, it cannot be called meat. Just like a liquid from something without udders (almond, soy, cashew) should not be called milk.
This alternative meat “industry” is real and it’s charging full-speed ahead. That doesn’t mean that I’m embracing it, but I am trying to take a logical look at it.
Though I would prefer that plant-based products to be masked as meat would not share a marketplace with good old pork and beef, I have heard arguments that merit that they exist. For one, there are some people with specific allergies who cannot physically consume meat. What a sad existence.
Then, there are those who simply may not have access to protein for their diet. This may be hard to believe, since we are continually trying to drive domestic demand for pork. Regardless the reason, let’s look at this aspect. Yes, we want people to eat pork, but shouldn’t we also be concerned about the health of our populace?
I do not think that meat alternatives are going to replace the real thing anytime soon. I do think that they can serve a need for those who are looking for adding protein to their diet. Let’s let them get their feet wet with the fake stuff, and then win them over with the real thing — a nice thick pork chop or a juicy pork loin.
Our pork marketing work may be a little tougher to win over this crowd, but it would be very rewarding. Rewarding for the pork industry, as well as rewarding for the recipient when that first flavorful bite of pork, real pork, hits their taste buds.
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