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An Impossible Argument

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I’ve been wanting to try the Impossible™ Burger and will have to wait.

I met a group of friends at a restaurant Friday where Impossible™ was printed on the menu. Since Burger King® decided to offer the plant-based burger nation-wide, smaller restaurants haven’t been able to get it according to our server.

The kitchen did have a Beyond Burger®, which I tried and was satisfied by my pub grub-style meal of a burger, coleslaw and Stella Artois®.

The reason I mention this is the American Farm Bureau Federation was running down products like these burgers for being “ultraprocessed.” In a June 4 blog post, author Teresa Bjork invoked reality to straighten people out,

In reality, meat and milk imitators are ultraprocessed foods. They are made from a long list of ingredients, including sodium and added flavors and colors, to improve their taste and nutrition.

One suspects increased availability of veggie burgers, and the Burger King® marketing decision, is taking a bite out of cattle producer market share. Likewise, the reason ovo-lacto vegetarians like fake meat is not for the salt content, but for how it fits into our lifestyle as comfort food. No matter how bad things may get for us personally, we want the sensation of eating foods that are traditional in our culture. Let’s cut to the chase.

The single biggest way to reduce our impact on Earth is to avoid consuming meat and dairy. Maintaining herds of livestock is a land use policy that encourages the ongoing mass extinction by taking land thus depriving other species of habitat.

“Meat and dairy provide just 18 percent of calories and 37 percent of protein, (using) the vast majority – 83 percent – of farmland and producing 60 percent of agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions,” according to the Guardian.

We can do better than that.

It’s no secret people should consume less processed food, particularly simple sugars and carbohydrates, for dietary reasons. For the Farm Bureau to favor meat and dairy production of their members is also not surprising. What is fake here is not the burgers, it’s the straw-man argument to protect what Farm Bureau sees as its own interests.

From time to time many Iowans crave a tasty burger. Getting one without politicizing it may be impossible.

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