Is beef new coal?More and more climate-friendly meals

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Eleven Madison Park, Manhattan’s top restaurant, runs out of meat. The Epicurious cooking site has stopped posting new beef recipes. The Culinary Institute of America promotes a “plant forward” menu. Dozens of universities, including Harvard University and Stanford University, are shifting to a “climate-friendly” diet.

If this continues and Boston Consulting Group and Kearney believe the trend is growing globally, beef is a new coal, shunned by elite taste makers over rising temperatures, and an increasingly cheap alternative. You may be overwhelmed by the product.

Anthony Raycellowitz, director of the Yale University Climate Change Communication Program, said: “The secret to the death of coal was the change in market power. This is the same here. It will be a change in consumer tastes and preferences, not regulations.”

Americans claim they want a shift. According to a 2020 survey by food market research firm Datassential, 70% say they want to lose meat and 58% want to eat more fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains. In addition to the long-standing health concerns of lean meat, there are many climate concerns.

Still, while long-term trends are driving change, US beef consumption actually increased slightly during the 2020 pandemic to £ 55.8 per capita. After plunging during the 2007-2009 Great Depression, it has risen slowly since 2015. According to the USDA, last year’s consumption was 11.4% below 2006 and nearly 40% below its peak levels in the 1970s.

Taste makers are promoting. Popular cooks, including chef Jamie Oliver, promote a plant-based diet. Bill Gates is urging developed countries to abandon traditional beef altogether. Many school and corporate cafeterias drop all beef patties for “blended burgers” made from one-third of the mushrooms.

Meanwhile, there is growing opposition among Republican local politicians who give off a new battlefield scent in the partisan culture war. In a large area of ​​Heartland, rows of corn grown for cattle and animal feed are central to livelihood and identity. Beef cattle run more than one-third of US farms and ranches, making it the largest segment of US agriculture. You’ll be able to bake burgers on countless backyard barbecues.

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts got a suggestion from the neighboring Colorado Democratic counterpart that state residents would cut lean meat a day to counter the “meat on the menu” day. Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds surpassed him and declared “Menu Month Meat” during April. Fox News later spent days promoting false accusations that the Biden administration had launched a “beef war.”

That’s not the case, but the fact that beef is a villain of the climate cannot be escaped. The cattle ruminant digestive system ferments grass and other feeds in multiple gastric compartments, belching methane, a greenhouse gas that is 25 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. Cattle have a relatively long lifespan compared to other sources of meat, which has a greater impact on the climate.

Globally, 14.5% of human-led greenhouse gas emissions come from livestock production, with cattle accounting for two-thirds, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.A 2018 analysis of the journal’s global production shows that per gram of protein, beef production has more than six times the climate impact of pork, more than eight times that of poultry, and 113 times that of peas. Science.. Livestock producers in the United States generally emit less than the world average because of production efficiency.

Cattle producers address environmental criticism by facilitating the role of ranchers as land managers in an attempt to unattractive competing fake meat products under state law banning the use of common meat terms. did.

Kaitlynn Glover, Executive Director of Natural Resources at the National Beef Cattle Producers Association, said:

So far, the emerging global middle class in China and elsewhere has strengthened global demand for meat and forage grains used in livestock, improving export opportunities for American farmers and ranchers. I am. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said the Biden administration’s climate change initiative does not cover meat consumption.

Investors are rushing to plant-based cultivated fake meat start-ups. A March Boston Consulting Group report heralded the beginning of “protein conversion” and predicts that meat substitutes will account for 11-22% of the global protein market by 2035. According to Kearney’s research, global meat sales will begin and will decline by 2025. 33% by 2040 as alternatives take market share.

Just as lower costs for natural gas, wind and solar power were the driving force behind the closure of coal power plants that were cursed by environmentalists, agribusiness consulting and researched when notebook decisions became important. Kearney’s partner, Carsten Gerhardt, who co-authored the article, said. He said the trend suggests that alternatives are on track towards “equivalence” of taste and texture, quickly surpassing traditional meat in price.

Burger King’s Impossible Wapper, a plant-based alternative, is already on the mass market. Dunkin’Donuts and Starbucks offer plant-based sausage patties. Even Tyson Foods Inc, the largest meat processor in the United States, joined its own 100% vegan meat product line this month.

Cultivated meat is also advancing. In December, Singapore became the first country to approve the commercial sale of such animal cells.

According to Lisa Feldman, more than half of the approximately 350 school districts in the United States offered by food service giant Sodexo SA have switched from all-beef to blended beef mushroom burgers, and many businesses and healthcare customers have also turned the blend into tacos. We use for lasagna. , Recipe management director. Corporate customers employ a “choice architecture” to guide their employees to a lean diet.

A consortium of 41 universities, including Harvard University, Stanford University, and Kansas State University, has participated in the “Menu of Change” to transform students into healthier, more climate-friendly diets. At Harvard’s dining hall, the “Bistro Bowl,” which is rich in vegetables and grains, is on display. The University of North Texas has a “Mean Greene” vegan dining room. In 2019, 19 member agencies reporting data reduced meat purchases by 9.4% year-on-year, despite increased overall food purchases.

Sophie Eagan, co-director of the University Collaborative, said the initiative was aware that young people shape their food preferences during a time when most people are more adventurous and form lifelong identity and taste. Said that it is targeted. Students are often particularly open to dishes inspired by global dishes that use less meat.

“We know that trends start with the youngest generation,” Eagan said. “They come to the cafeteria three times a day, sometimes for years, which will shape their food identity over the years to come.

Taste alone cannot convince Americans to replace beef with plant-based burgers

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Is beef new coal?More and more climate-friendly meals

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