Are you going to eat that?

Posted August 4, 2020 by Keith Seiz

I’ve eaten a lot of weird things in my life: chicken liver ice cream, cricket tacos, fish eyes and 12 Jack In The Box tacos (no lettuce). I love food; I love weird food and I’ll try anything at least once.

However, I’m struggling with the concept of lab grown meat. The part of my evolving mind and conscience that feels factory farming will be remembered as one of the greatest evils of the human race celebrates the push to produce meat without slaughtering 200 million animals a day.  

However, there exists another part of my mind that feels we should only be eating what nature provides. It’s a part of me that gets creeped out at the potential to produce 80,000 quarter-pounders through one tissue sample from a cow.

It’s a dichotomy I think about quite frequently as the inevitability of lab grown meat inches closer with each tick of the calendar. The duality of lab grown meat has played itself out before in the food industry. Take genetically modified organisms. On the negative side, we’re manipulating nature and producing something unnatural. On the positive side, that something unnatural is preventing starvation around the world.

The same goes for sugar. Yes, it’s bad for you, but it’s not as bad as the high-intensity artificial sweeteners created to be a “healthy alternative” to sugar.

The food industry is tough, especially for packaged goods companies that are under constant scrutiny from consumers who want all-natural ingredients at the same time as wanting extensive shelf lives on products.

That’s why I admire any person or company that makes its mission to feed people. It’s territory fraught with conundrums, barriers and impossible situations. But it’s also essential work, as we’ve seen during the global pandemic.

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