I’ve been thinking back to just a few years ago: It was a simpler time, when, at a nice family dinner, my conservative dad could reasonably scoff at the veggie option on the menu, and I, a worldly college sophomore, could reasonably look down my nose at the menu’s meat. It was an era of balance and harmony, when animal and plant proteins fit neatly into their own categories, and God looked down on it, and it was good.
Then along came the Impossible Burger, a veggie burger that bleeds. And when my college co-op ordered them in bulk, raw and frozen, my frantic attempt to cook one — WHY was it still PINK!!! — left chunks of plant goo hopelessly crusted onto a previously well-seasoned cast-iron pan.
So began an era of food-group-bending products that would lead us to today’s screwy world, which includes meat grown in laboratories and “full-muscle steaks” made out of mushrooms. And, try as I might to understand that there’s nothing creepier than mass animal slaughter and planetary devastation in the name of continuing to eat Big Macs … all of this not-quite-meat business is really creeping me out.
Thinking about cultured meat or full-muscle mushroom steaks makes ... Read more