‘He said the meat is fake, but the movement is real’

Bill Packard: Fake meat

Tue, 09/24/2019 - 10:00am

Sometimes I stumble onto news items that make me scratch my head.  I see it all the time, but only see a few that prompt me to write about it.  Fake meat.

Before I go any further, it seems like the industry could have found a better description of what they produce, than fake meat. There are several catchy provider names, but the industry calls itself fake meat.

There seem to be many different reasons to eat fake meat.  Some folks feel that meat is bad for their bodies or their doctor has told them so. Saving the environment appears to be the main reason. The methane gas from the cows that provide the real meat is contributing to global warming and fewer cows mean fewer cow farts, means less global warming. Probably sounds like a legitimate argument to some, perhaps many.  Here we go.

If people choose not to eat meat, why wouldn’t they just not eat meat?  Choosing to eat something that is called fake meat seems weird to me.  My feeble research tells me that some “burgers” are made from peas and others from soy.  Wouldn’t it just make more sense to eat peas and soy rather than have companies build factories and create fake meat made from peas and soy?

As it would happen, I entered a conversation with a friend recently about this subject.  I shared that I didn’t really take this fake meat movement seriously. 

My friend said, “This is real.” 

I replied that you’re saying that fake meat is real? 

He said the meat is fake, but the movement is real. 

I couldn’t help but wonder if after consuming fake meat, one would have a fake movement. The conversation went downhill from there.  I asked him how a real movement could be connected to a fake product.  He said the product was real, but it wasn’t really meat, it was fake meat. 

When I asked what the difference was, he informed me, and I’ll share that this is how I get spoken down to quite often, today.  He told me that I just didn’t understand.  His tone indicated that I was way too stupid to comprehend the concept and I agreed.

I have no issues with vegetarians or gluten free folks. Anybody can choose to eat what they want and it’s fine with me.  What I can’t wrap my arms around is eating fake. 

Back many years ago, the generic food movement began.  The grocery store had items on the shelves in white boxes with black bar codes on them.  It was fake food. Made no difference what you bought; it all tasted the same. If you bought generic Cheerios, they tasted just like generic spaghetti. 

I thought there was some big factory somewhere churning out some sort of product and sometimes they made it into breakfast cereal and sometimes they made it into spaghetti. It was all fake food and it died out.  I can’t help but think the same thing will happen with fake meat.  Being a simple guy, it would seem to me that if people didn’t want to eat meat, don’t eat meat.  Eat chicken, or fish, or veggies.  I can’t help but get a vision of people who are so proud of themselves because they have figured out how to eat meat without eating meat.

I honestly don’t know a thing about gluten, but I know it’s an issue for a lot of folks.  It’s not that they don’t want to eat the food that has gluten, but the gluten in the food is their issue, so they seek out gluten free products.  They don’t look for products that have fake gluten in them. 

By the way, I don’t just right these things on the spur of the moment. There is research and analysis that go into some or them.  I went back to my friend that tried to explain the fake meat movement and asked about gluten.  I suggested that foods that were gluten free actually were fake gluten food.  He quickly corrected me that no, these foods did not have fake gluten. They did not have gluten at all, so they were gluten free.  That was different.  I couldn’t help myself.  I asked if there was meat in the fake meat.  He said no. Then I asked him why the fake meat wouldn’t actually be meat free?  He tried to explain that you couldn’t have meat that was meat free, but you could have food that was gluten free.

When I asked about the movement again, he lost interest one more time, gave me that look and said I didn’t understand.

I don’t.

Bill PackardBill Packard lives in Union and is the founder of BPackard.com. He is a speaker, author, small business coach and consultant.