While there have been attempts in recent times to provide vegetarians with food that looks like meat, few if any, could claim to taste like meat.  Now, however, the Australia Broadcasting Commission reports that the ‘Impossible Hamburger’ may be close to making this a reality.

 It reports that Air New Zealand has become the first airline in the world to serve passengers the Impossible Burger, a fake meat that is backed by Bill Gates, sold in fancy restaurants and bleeds like a beetroot. The fake meat used in the burger is one of the “new generation” that go beyond squashing a few lentils and soybeans together. But neither are theyexperimental meats grown in a lab (these are said to be still at least a decade away from your local burger chain.) Products like Impossible Burger, Beyond Burger ands Bleeding Burger, which is from the UK,  are something else: delicately engineered, lab–designed combinations of plant–based protein, yeast extract, plant gums, spices and seasonings.

 Correspondents from the ABC, one a committed vegan and the other a red-blooded meat eater, both tried the Impossible Hamburger at a burger joint on Union Street in San Francisco. Both were impressed with the burger although the carnivore of the two felt that they could tell the patty was not “100% meat” but was really close. The cost was US$20.00. The surface of the patty was charred and crusted like meat, apparently the result of small flakes of coconut oil scattered throughout the mix. Unlike other veggie patties, the Impossible Burger has the same stringy texture as meat. The fibres of the patty break apart like mince.

 However not everybody is impressed with the appearance of the Impossible Burger. Air New Zealand announced it will be serving this delicacy to business class passengers on flights from Los Angeles to Auckland. Its decision was criticized by NZ’s beef and lamb industry, which see fake meat as a looming threat.

 In spite of an Impossible Burger requiring only 5% of the land and 1/4 of the water that a beef burger does, and producing only an eighth of the greenhouse gases (according to the company that makes them), the Australian meat industry was not impressed either. (probably for the same reason).  In Australia, Woolworths launched plant–based meat in the meat section of their supermarkets  in June. Deputy Prime Minister, Michael McCormack of the National Party, told the ABC ‘Mince is mince, mince is meat. That’s my interpretation of what mince is.” The product in Woolworth’s meat section is called ‘Minced’.

 However, the Deputy PM may have a point here: all such products must be labelled clearly and honestly as to exactly what they are so that the consumer can make an informed choice. The question arises as to whether the same words used for real meat, should be used with fake meat?

 As the article records, whether farmers like it or not, Australian are eating less meat. In 2016, 11% of Australians - about 2.1 million people had vegetarian or mostly vegetarian diets.  The figure had gone up 2% in four years.   So….. coming to a supermarket near you!

 Material for this article was taken from the following source:-

https://www.abc.net.au/triplej/programs/hack/we-tried-what-many-say-is-the-best-fake-meat-burger-in-the-world/9940746

 ABC Rural: Daniel Fitzgerald

Wednesday 4th July, 2018 5:36pm

BUT ON THE DOWN SIDE:

Rat feeding study suggests the Impossible Burger may not be safe to eat.

Rats fed genetically modified yeast-derived protein soy leghemoglobin - the key ingredient of the ‘fake meat’ Impossible Hamburger - developed signs of toxicity. Claire Robinson and Michael Antoniou, PhD explain the findings of a feeding study commissioned by the burger’s manufacturer, Impossible Foods.

 Reference: GMWatch Review 404, 5 July 2019

AND TO ENSURE THAT PEOPLE DO THE RIGHT THING WITH REGARD TO FOOD:

‘Enemies of the nation’: Bangladesh considers death penalty, life imprisonment  

as a punishment for food adulterators in the country.

 In a press conference, Bangladesh Minister of Food, Shadhon Chandra, said that the government has adopted a “zero tolerance policy” towards food adulteration, deeming these perpetrators to the “enemies of the nation”. “The level of punishment will be increased to stop food adulteration.  If needed, we will make provisions for capital punishment or life imprisonment by amending present food safety legislation, Majumder told The Independent newspaper.

 The Ministry’s suggestion on increasing punishments for adulterators received support from former Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Mohammed Nasim, who called for the capital punishment during an Iftar (fast breaking) event. According to the Dhaka Tribune, Nasim said, ‘Those who push the countrymen to death by adulterating food, are enemies of the country as well as the nation. Capital punishment should be executed against them.”

 At present, some 15 food safety laws have been established in Bangladesh to guide and enforce food safety in the country – but the wide variety and high frequency of food adulteration has painted a picture of limited success. Known adulterants include arsenic, formalin, dyes, fertilizer, metals, poor quality raw ingredients and more - applied across a near unlimited range of food items including fish products, fruits, dairy, beverages and biscuits. Milk and milk products adulteration in particular has been exceptionally rampant in the country.

Credit:  https://www.foodnavigator-asia.com/Article/2019/06/11

Author: Pearly Neo

Source: © 2019 - William Reed Business Media Ltd.

Note:  The full text of both articles can be found in the references.

Posted
AuthorRay Dennis