Green Weenie of the Week: Meatheads

You know how the leading edge of environmental scolding targets beef, because caw farts and water and alfalfa and something something. Lately there has ben considerable research, and early stage production, of artificial meat. (Winston Churchill predicted this, by the way, in his 1931 essay “Fifty Years Hence”: “Synthetic food will, of course, also be used in the future. Nor need the pleasures of the table be banished. That gloomy Utopia of tabloid meals need never be invaded. The new foods will from the outset be practically indistinguishable from the natural products, and any changes will be so gradual as to escape observation.”) I have a couple of adventurous friends who have sampled lab-grown burger meat, and they give it an enthusiastic thumbs-up.

Well guess who is against this potentially game-changing innovation? Surprise! Environmentalists, of course. From Bloomberg:

It’s possible you’ve heard of the Impossible Burger. Heralded as a bleeding veggie patty that looks, tastes and even sizzles like meat, the product is sold in almost 2,000 restaurants—stretching across the bun-slinging continuum from Bareburger to White Castle.

But not everyone is in cheeseburger paradise. Environmental organization Friends of the Earth, which claims 1 million U.S. members and activists and is part of an advocacy network spanning 74 nations, raised a red flag about the speedy advance of such food technology. Specifically, the group pointed to companies including Impossible Foods—maker of its eponymous burger—as well as Perfect Day and Memphis Meats, which develop animal-free dairy and lab-grown meat, respectively.

The nonprofit group warned in a report Wednesday that the advent of genetically engineered proteins and lab-made meat hasn’t been accompanied by enough research, and that increased safety assessments, regulations and transparent labeling should be put in place. . .

The growing debate over lab-grown and fake meat has placed environmental groups such as Friends of the Earth in a strange position. As an environmental organization that’s long fought intensive meat production, it now finds itself right alongside traditional agribusiness in questioning these innovations.

Not so surprising at all. There’s a clear bootleggers and Baptist angle to this, but the simpler explanation is probably closer to the matter: Friends of the Earth hates modern living, and wants us all to be as miserable as they are. Talk about meatheads!