Did you know that printing meat on a 3-D printer is currently in the works? Modern Meadows is spending millions of dollars trying to figure out how to replicate beef. The hope is that they can take cells from a cow and replicate an edible prototype that would be a "meat replacement." This will take years but it's something to think about. Right about now you might be asking yourself 'why?'
The argument is that a cow or a person would not be harmed in the making of this meat. Here are a few rationals behind that statement:
1. Demand: The demand for beef is growing globally. It is projected that by 2050 the demand in beef will double. By printing beef the masses can be fed, and probably for a fraction of the cost.
2. Environment: Feedlots give off air pollution. The pollution is caused from the enormous amount of animal waste and dust. This can cause lung issues, eye irritation, headaches, respiratory diseases and other problems for humans. It is speculated that the air pollution plays a key role in global warming. Not only is it bad for the air, but so much animal waste is created and it runs off into water sources causing contaminated water. Not to mention, hundreds of cattle each day are processed at these feedlots in the midst of all of this mess. The meats can be contaminated and then in turn passed on to the consumer.
3. Humane Treatment: Most of society's beef comes from cattle that live their lives crammed in a feedlot. The cows live in filth, mud and cow waste. This causes diseases which in return call for antibiotics. The cows are fed grains, corn and hormones that cause bloating and an unhealthy cow. Usually cows in feedlots can live more than a year and when they are taken to be processed the cows are on the verge of death... due to a poor quality of life. Then after a short life of being pumped up with unhealthy, unsafe foods, the cows are sent to be processed in an unclean facility.
Those arguments seem somewhat legit but do you still want to eat a "beef replacement?" I'm pretty sure that is code for artificial... not real beef. I think I will stick to my grass-fed and grass-finished beef. Here is how I rationalize the arguments listed above.
1. Demand: Yes, the demand for beef is growing. That is why ranches like ours are beginning to supply healthy beef options to consumers. It's important to support these local ranchers so that they can supply more beef from happy, healthy cows.
2. Environment: Grass fed cows do not impact the environment in the same way that cattle in a feedlot do. Because our cattle are free to roam and there are not hundreds of thousands living on top of each other, the waste is not such a huge problem. It's in fact natural and actually helps provide nutrients to the grass. We also do not have the same issue of animal waste running off into our water sources, once again because we do not have cows living in such tight quarters.
3. Humane Treatment: Our grass fed and grass finished cows do not spend a single day in a feedlot. They live a longer life roaming in open pastures and eating grass. These animals were meant to eat grass and the grass does not cause health issues. Because our cattle roam, there is really not much chance for diseases. In turn, no antibiotics are needed. Our cattle are taken to a clean and well trusted processor who processes the cow in the most humane way possible.
Grass fed and grass finished beef does not have the same issues that beef from feedlots have. Grass fed cows are treated much better and live a much happier life. Printing beef sounds like a good alternative to the feedlot beef, but really.... do you want to eat fake beef? Would this meat even be healthy? Grass fed and grass finished beef like ours is the way beef is supposed to be, real (not to mention healthy, tender, juicy and full of flavor).