Page 8 - Barbecue News Magazine SEPT 2020
P. 8

 bbq proposal
 Ardie Davis
aka Remus Powers BBQ Hall of Famer
A Modest Proposal
We’ve seen some of the largest brands in the world spearhead major collaborative initiatives to promote innovation in plant- based proteins, flavors, manufacturing technologies, and more. Likewise, influential life science and biotechnology leaders have positioned themselves as go-to technology development, sup- plier, and service provider partners for the cultivated meat indus- try.
- Liz Specht, Ph.D.
We don’t need more nutrient-poor human “feed.” What we need to know is how to produce more nutritious food, and how to do this in better ways. And while many celebrities and investors from silicon valley think that lab meats are the answer, I question this solution, and I’d like to explain why it’s so delusional.
- Diana Rodgers, RD
There is a crack, a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.
- Leonard Cohen, “Anthem”
The world is going vegan!
Like it or not, believe it or not: the world is going vegan. If you live for another decade, a revolutionary global transition from omnivore to vegan will happen in your lifetime. The vegan transi- tion will not be 100% complete in ten years or in a hundred years. Raw animal meat has been in the human diet for millions of years; cooked animal meat for an estimated 800 thousand years. Humans, especially barbecue aficionados, are inherently con- nected to meat, fire and smoke. It’s in our DNA.
Is a major cultural change from omnivore to vegan impossible? Not if we’re paying attention to current consumer trends and rev- olutionary research in the field of plant-based and laboratory- grown meat.
People who aren’t into barbecue—yes, there are some—will find it easier to accept the vegan transition than the millions of us who love barbecue. Casseroles, tacos, burritos, salad bowls and other prepared foods are already available with plant-based “beef” or “chicken” that is hardly noticeable from animal meat. Barbecue, however, is a challenge yet to be addressed in the alternative meat industry. It may never be addressed, except for taste tests on the All-American backyard favorite grilled hot dogs, brats and burgers unless we speak up now. If millions of consumers accept rectan- gular boneless extruded pork meat that simulates a small bone- less rib rack smothered in barbecue sauce as real “barbecue,” will
that be the established standard research scientists use to replace the bones, fat and meat that we prize today as our iconic barbecue symbol?
The hunter is now the hunted!
We’re a far cry today from the days when our ancestors hunted, killed, butchered and ate animals for food, clothing and tools as a matter of survival. Most of our modern meat comes from factory farms. From there to the slaughterhouses where tens of thou- sands of animals are killed, cleaned, cut up, packaged and shipped to retail and wholesale outlets daily.
Our hunting and gathering today consists of pushing a shopping cart along supermarket aisles laden with a cornucopia of fresh produce and packaged food products. Packaging is designed to get our “Buy this!” attention. Junk food competes with food that promises healthy guilt-free nutrition. The hunter dynamic has been reversed: now the food hunts us. The kill is at the cash regis- ter or online checkout.
Simple, easy, 1-2-3
A product developer in the food industry once told me that the best-selling foods give the consumer a simple 1-2-3 cooking rou- tine. In that vein, easy cooking methods have been developed by the barbecue industry. It started with a post-Great Depression 1930s “outdoor suppers” boom and grew larger in post-World War II 1950s suburbia. Ironically, we’re living in the era when barbecue has reached a new all-time high in popularity, while at the same time a vegan revolution is at our doorstep.
Racking butchered whole animals above hardwood coals in trenches is for the most part a relic of the past. Open or closed labor intensive old fashion pit barbecue is being eclipsed by load it/set it/forget it commercial and backyard pits fueled with gas, electricity or a combo of same with wood smoke from chunks, chips or pellets. Backyard, competition and professional cooks can shop for a candy store variety of new tools and gadgets that promise smarter, better, easier barbecue.
Larger, smaller, interdependent planet
Ironically, as our world gets larger in population growth, it gets smaller. Our dependence on one another and our interaction with land, sea, fresh water, plant and animal life becomes increasingly interdependent. A malicious virus can start anywhere and rapidly go global. - 8

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