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posted by janrinok on Friday December 06 2019, @03:12PM   Printer-friendly
from the can-i-have-ketchup-with-that dept.

"A meat-eater with a bicycle is much more environmentally unfriendly than a vegetarian with a Hummer."
--Dr Mark Post

The world's largest food concern, Unilever, has opened a new research lab at the world's most prestigious agricultural university, the University of Wageningen (the Netherlands). Unilever will locate all elements of its foods R&D there. A spokeswoman on Dutch radio stressed plant-based meat alternatives as an important research subject.

Wageningen University has strong credentials in that respect, with the development of shear cell technology.

Shear cell technology strings plant proteins together in tightly controlled fibers, resulting in a meat substitute where texture (fibrousness, bite, mouthfeel) can easily be controlled, and changed at will. This, combined with 3D food printing, offers the possibility of creating multiple meat (substitute) variations in future.

Unilever's food campus is open to startups, innovators and partners. One of the first to have build its own lab on the same grounds is Symrise, an industrial flavours and scents group.

About half of Dutch people call themselves 'flexitarians'. This means that they don't eat meat with their main meal at least three times a week. The proportion of vegetarians is stable, at just under five percent of the Dutch population.

Wageningen researchers believe, however, that feeding 9 billion people with animal meat will not be sustainable for the planet.


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  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 06 2019, @04:08PM (18 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 06 2019, @04:08PM (#928896)
    It's kind of difficult to market. Staunch (read: moral superiority complex) vegans are reluctant to accept anything branded as meat. They also believe veganism should be the aspirational path of any alternative diet eater, as if it's the means to nirvana. The general public would be wholly dissatisfied with extruded "expeller pressed chicken analogue" and plant-based meat, while strange it is among the best, if not the best option.
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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by DannyB on Friday December 06 2019, @04:17PM (3 children)

    by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 06 2019, @04:17PM (#928901) Journal

    The general public would be wholly dissatisfied with extruded "expeller pressed chicken analogue"

    If it is the unpleasant truth, then how about truth in advertising. But then there is Subway Chicken. Also I don't think "the general public" is who is demanding this. As you say this is to satisfy a minority moral superiority complex.

    --
    The most difficult part of the art of fencing is digging the holes and carrying the fence posts.
    • (Score: 2) by quietus on Friday December 06 2019, @07:52PM (2 children)

      by quietus (6328) on Friday December 06 2019, @07:52PM (#929084) Journal
      Nicholas Taleb makes a note in the last part of his Incerto trilogy that it is often a [fanatical] minority which really determines what the majority will have to live with. The term 'silent majority' is a concept for a reason. If you want proof of this, check out the meat in your local supermarket: chances are that it has a mark [webstaurantstore.com] indicating either kosher, halal and, increasingly, vegan.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 07 2019, @06:51AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 07 2019, @06:51AM (#929329)

        I ask why I am paying for meat to be halal certified.
        Because 2% of the population is angry about not being able to eat outside their home country unless the process is approved by their religion?

        Sounds insane, doesn't it.

        • (Score: 2) by quietus on Saturday December 07 2019, @10:04AM

          by quietus (6328) on Saturday December 07 2019, @10:04AM (#929352) Journal

          Retail (supermarkets) run at very low profits, around 3 - 6 percent. Missing 2% of your potential market means a lot, while the general consumer doesn't notice (or care).

  • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Friday December 06 2019, @04:19PM (11 children)

    by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 06 2019, @04:19PM (#928903) Journal

    Another thought: that such a ridiculous oxymoron is necessary to even market this goop should send a loud and clear message about it.

    --
    The most difficult part of the art of fencing is digging the holes and carrying the fence posts.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 06 2019, @04:26PM (9 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 06 2019, @04:26PM (#928910)

      You literally harvest the pain and suffering of innocents and feed off it.

      • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Friday December 06 2019, @04:37PM (2 children)

        by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 06 2019, @04:37PM (#928915) Journal

        I was unaware. I'm interested in how that is so.

        --
        The most difficult part of the art of fencing is digging the holes and carrying the fence posts.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 06 2019, @04:43PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 06 2019, @04:43PM (#928919)

          Wait, do you even know where meat comes from? Please don't say the store.

      • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Friday December 06 2019, @04:47PM (5 children)

        by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 06 2019, @04:47PM (#928924) Journal

        I am dents enough to have taken a few minutes to suddenly 'get it' what you mean. You're not talking about what I write, but about the fact that I eat meat. Even in my breakfast this morning.

        People are adapted to eat meat as well as plants. People have eaten meat for as long as recorded history. I'm all for reducing our overall consumption of meat, but eliminating all meat consumption (A) is not going to happen, and (B) sounds very dystopian. Soylent Green is made of all natural ingredients -- so it must be good.

        --
        The most difficult part of the art of fencing is digging the holes and carrying the fence posts.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 06 2019, @05:06PM (4 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 06 2019, @05:06PM (#928936)

          Yes people have been eating meat for all of recorded history. How about before the fall from grace when they lived an utopic existence.

          • (Score: 2) by choose another one on Friday December 06 2019, @06:06PM (3 children)

            by choose another one (515) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 06 2019, @06:06PM (#928983)

            Before the fall we don't really know, that is the problem of "before recorded history", there are few records to go on...

            Archaeology, carbon dating and the like, shows that we (or rather our evolutionary ancestors) have been eating meat since before we were homo-sapiens (2 or 3 millions years), by some theories meat-eating is one of the changes that made us homo-sapiens.

            On the other hand if you don't believe all that claptrap about the earth being millions of years old, Genesis does give some clues from before the fall in that (at least in some translations) the animals are described as "livestock" and "wild animals" separately. I don't read ancient Hebrew well enough to determine if those are good translations, but there is no Vegan-acceptable reason for keeping livestock...

            After the fall of course we have much more information about what God wanted us to do, Leviticus 11:2 is pretty damned clear for instance: "These are the living things that you may eat...".

            We can't go back to before the fall, so I guess we just do what God instructed after the fall, right? This is only a temporary situation after all, since in the next life or after the second coming everything will eat grass (dunno what the grass did to deserve that, must be worse than the serpent or it'd be everything will eat snake), and the lion will lie down with the lamb and all that ****.

            • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Friday December 06 2019, @06:21PM

              by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 06 2019, @06:21PM (#928998) Journal

              I'm not sure the AC's question about "what about" before the fall. We are now after the fall from perfection ("... and it was good"). We can't go back until the time comes God lifts the curse.

              In the actual here and now, people eat meat.

              I get the impression from things in Isaiah that maybe there won't be carnivores when the curse is lifted. I'm all for not causing unnecessary suffering for animals. But we live in a world where suffering and pain abound for all.

              I would also point out for the AC that the fallen world required the sacrifices of animals in the O.T. Just sayin'

              It's a tough world. I (we) had to take a beloved dog to the vet to say goodbye some weeks back because he was dying of liver failure, and it was clearly time to say goodbye. That's nothing compared to things that happen on this planet this very day. Things people do to other people.

              --
              The most difficult part of the art of fencing is digging the holes and carrying the fence posts.
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 06 2019, @06:26PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 06 2019, @06:26PM (#929002)

              Pretty sketchy honestly. No germ theory and a poor understanding of the world at large and you're telling me that the divergent monkey fuckers that bred out humanity figured out that if you cook meat it doesn't kill you? You think we constantly went into smackdowns with mammoths and had good enough odds that we didn't endanger the whole of the species? I don't, we opportunistically chased some off of cliffs, maybe a handful of real hard motherfuckers speared some down a couple of times. Most were probably scavenged. This is a time when a scratch could be a mortal threat, dysentery or e.coli and you may as well be dead. Compatible parasites crawling in the skin of every member of the community. The whole model really doesn't read well to me. It was a slow and accidental process that lead us to where we are, which is maladapted for meat consumption, frankly; this is reflected in current medical literature and the massively increased incidence of disease as meat (especially red) consumption has increased, and this despite stringent rules in meat processing and retail hygiene.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 06 2019, @06:40PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 06 2019, @06:40PM (#929015)

              You can strive to perfect your bloodline, which means returning humans to the state humans enjoyed before the fall.

              Also, carbon dating, etc was calibrated to dating of Egyptian artifacts that were dated based on chronologies based on the Bible, primarily determined by Joseph Scaliger*. Besides the Bible, the other source was documents that somehow survived 1500 years before discovery by Poggio Brocciolini in out of the way damp monastaries. Interestingly, none managed to survive the next 500 years when their value was recognized to today (at least none are publicly known, perhaps there is a "collector" out there hoarding the more accurate details of history). May as well rely on the Bible directly, as flawed as it is, if you are going to do that.

              * Whos father was a famous man named Julius Caesar who had a good friend named Marc Antony and was accused of making up a false history for his family and trained his son Joseph from a young age to devise "declamations" (elaborate accounts of made up historical events)

              More sources and quotes here: https://soylentnews.org/comments.pl?noupdate=1&sid=31526&page=1&cid=842162#commentwrap [soylentnews.org]

    • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Friday December 06 2019, @07:37PM

      by HiThere (866) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 06 2019, @07:37PM (#929074) Journal

      No. That such a ridiculous oxymoron is necessary to even market this tells you only about current prejudices are. It doesn't say anything about whether those prejudices are valid.

      --
      Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
  • (Score: 2) by choose another one on Friday December 06 2019, @05:38PM (1 child)

    by choose another one (515) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 06 2019, @05:38PM (#928963)

    It's kind of difficult to market. Staunch (read: moral superiority complex) vegans are reluctant to accept anything branded as meat.

    Those staunch vegans have, IMO, do have a moral (and health and...) superiority over the people who will eat plant and chemical goop processed way more than an inch beyond its life into something not quite entirely unlike meat just so they can say "see I can have bacon (well almost) without the guilt and so could you". Why spend a bunch of time energy and money to make vegetables look vaguely like meat if you don't want to eat meat, just eat the feckin vegetables?

    Eat bacon, enjoy bacon, know that a pig died so you could eat bacon, and be happy and thankful for it.
    OR
    Don't eat bacon, eat plants, know that a pig didn't die so you could eat, and be happy and thankful for it.

    Either of those is way ahead of:

    Don't eat bacon, miss eating bacon, be unhappy you "can't" eat bacon, jump at the opportunity of eating something that pretends to be bacon but is actually mushed up plant goop and factory made chemical flavouring _just_ so you can try and kid yourself that you can eat bacon while not killing a pig.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 06 2019, @06:15PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 06 2019, @06:15PM (#928990)

      That's not how it works. Meat is more or less a universal staple most recipes call directly for some form of animal protein, it's difficult to reproduce the features of a lot of meals without some form of largely flavorless protein blob synthesized by a bio-accumulator. That's what drives the meat analogue market, not a moral superiority complex. Those who have moral superiority complexes won't eat the shit because it is labeled as analogous to meat. And compounding that they probably take issue with the fact that Kellogg and Monsanto produce some of the major "meatless" brands, and then you've got others like Tyson considering entering the market which is a whole new ball game, where a supermassive international meat distributor is putting its fingers in what would otherwise be ethical markets.

      And if you're going to whinge about goop, let's not be disingenuous, meat and meat processing is fucking disgusting. The livestock are filthy and abused, coating a veneer of communal shit while having a mystery concoction of antibiotics and odd grains and hormones injected into every facet of their development at high volumes isn't hot. Neither is the fact that the meat is bleached in ammonia.