090220-tr-ott1 (copy)

Enjoy a steak on Meat Out Day.

Prepare to party like it’s 1999 on March 20. That is the date Gov. Jared Polis wants Colorado to celebrate “Meat Out Day.” Indulge in emulsifiers, fillers, and preservatives. Gulp down that Methylcellulose like it’s the last day on earth. Or, consider eating meat.

While contemplating “Meat Out Day,” remember that less is more when it comes to food labels. One can enjoy a healthy vegan diet without falling for the fashionable marketing claims about burgers and other meat facsimiles made with ingredients few can pronounce.

Manufactured “meat” is supposed to be the coup de grâce against traditional American meat products. They tell us it is healthier for humans and the environment. It is for sale at most grocery stores and fast-food chains.

Fake meat looks, smells, tastes and feels like the real deal. The major brands Impossible and Beyond make meat-like products for restaurants and stores. Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, and other investors are funding what they see as a food revolution that will move our culture away from meat.

Polis asked the Colorado Department of Agriculture in 2019 to focus on meatless options, indicating fake meat would become a major focus of future ranches and farms.

Fake hamburgers are to meat what gummy worms are to fruit. Consider the ingredients of a hamburger pattie.

INGREDIENTS: Beef

Compare that to the ingredients listed on a popular brand of factory meat.

INGREDIENTS: Water, Pea Protein*, Expeller-Pressed Canola Oil, Refined Coconut Oil, Rice Protein, Natural Flavors, Cocoa Butter, Mung Bean Protein, Methylcellulose, Potato Starch, Apple Extract, Pomegranate Extract, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Vinegar, Lemon Juice Concentrate, Sunflower Lecithin, Beet Juice Extract (for color).

Methylcellulose. Yum. Instead of a burger made of meat, this “healthy” alternative includes a bulk-forming chemical laxative, thickening and binding agent that does not occur in nature. This common junk-food additive doubles as an ingredient in mortar and glue. Methylcellulose gives fake meat a texture that fools the consumer into thinking it is real.

Burger King sells a fake Impossible Whopper that comes with 260 extra milligrams of sodium when compared to the regular product. That’s because of all that potassium chloride -- also a major ingredient in fertilizers. The Impossible Whopper uses leghemoglobin to create a meat-like taste. Leghemoglobin results from inserting soy DNA into genetically engineered yeast.

Fake meat offers less protein, more carbohydrates, and similar measures of fat and saturated fat when compared to meat.

“If you look at the ingredients, they are super, highly processed foods,” said Whole Foods founder and CEO John Mackey, a devout vegan.

“No Meat Day” resonates in Colorado like no-prayer day at the Vatican. Frozen and fresh beef combine as Colorado’s top export, meaning our economy depends on the sale and consumption of meat. It funds salaries, roads, schools, parks, and countless other aspects of the livestyles we take for granted.’

“Meat Out Day” has members of the El Paso County Board of Commissioners drafting a counter proclamation that will encourage eating meat.

“March 20 is a Saturday and that makes it a perfect day for barbeque,” said Commission Chairman Stan VanderWerf.

The commissioner hopes restaurants and stores will promote meat specials on March 20. He will ask county employees to consider hamburgers for lunch on that day.

The Weld County Board of Commissioners declared Wednesday “Meat In Day” in protest of “Meat Out Day.” The Cattleman’s Association has objected to the “Meat Out” and The National Hereford Association threatens to discontinue participation in the Denver-based National Western Stock Show.

Polis told The Gazette’s editorial board Wednesday he has no agenda against meat. He and his children eat meat at least twice a week (the first gentleman is a vegan) and his favorite part of the pandemic lockdown was having time to slow-cook brisket. The governor’s brother is a small-scale Virginia cattle rancher.

Polis told The Gazette the controversy resulting from “Meat Out Day” will be good for Colorado.

“This has led to a grassroots movement of people celebrating Colorado beef, and I’m a big supporter of Colorado beef and Colorado Lamb,” Polis said.

Fair enough, but go positive next time. Consider “Hug a Vegan Day” or something that celebrates plants. Promote a world in which carnivores and vegans will hold hands and pray for enough food, farmed or manufactured, to end world hunger for good.

Load comments