As we are approaching our hottest year yet and historical climate talks, meat-free diets are still a political taboo. Even the official sustainable menu of COP21 has eschewed opening this Pandora’s box. Yet, animal agriculture is one of the greatest contributors to global warming and resource overuse. How long can we keep up the pretense? An … Continue reading Please Don’t Stop the Moo-sic: Is Less Meat Still No Option?
The Protests Smoke billows up between the sleek high-rises of the European Quarter in Brussels. The European milk farmers are angry, very angry. Many of them fear for their survival. After 31 years, the European Commission decided to end milk production quotas, to the dismay of many small and mid-scale producers. What with the Russian … Continue reading Quo Vadis, Quota? The EU Milk Protests
“In a highly publicized move, Russia is destroying tons of food that was illegally imported from Western countries. […] As The Guardian reports, the order from President Vladimir Putin includes a requirement that the food “must be destroyed in front of witnesses, and the act should be captured on video, to preclude corruption.” NPR The destruction … Continue reading Russia’s Import Roulette
By Helena Robling It’s always sensitive to touch upon people’s meat consumption. As a topic for discussion it’s comparable to religion or party politics, everybody has an opinion, standpoints are usually quite firm and not seldom extreme. Saying YES or NO to meat can be as decisive for social identity as religious or ideological convictions, … Continue reading Going controversial about the burger bind: how about a meat tax?
… how would you finish that joke? Unfortunately, for Costa Rican farmers, this issue is no laughing matter. Rather, it’s a conflict that pitches two of the largest agricultural communities of the country against each other in a perpetual feud. It’s the yeoman-versus-rancher battle you’ve never heard of. But new technologies might offer a solution … Continue reading A Pineapple, A Cow and Thousands of Flies Meet in Costa Rica…
Whenever food policy analysts talk about meat consumption in the future and the environmental impact associated with it, the most fearful projections circle around China. While meat consumption is plateauing in many of the developed countries (though at unsustainably high levels), per capita consumption in emerging economies is rising, as it is associated with higher … Continue reading “In China, Every Year is the Year of the Pig”…
I hope you had a jolly Christmas season surrounded by your loved ones! As we segue into normal life again, I am lucky enough to have a continued break until the beginning of January, which makes for a lot of time to read, reflect, and practice Spanish 😉 I have a trifecta of interesting news tidbits … Continue reading From Soils to Plates
As I was standing up from my desk yesterday at noon, took a stretch and packed my sandwich in my bag, I was so excited to get outside and see something different. I’d seen that Via Campesina Europe was organizing a “Farm in the City” event on Place Luxembourg, one of the main squares at … Continue reading A Farm In The City: Via Campesina Event Review
(this one)… Apparently McDonald’s is looking into more non-meat alternatives with Tofu McNuggets debuting in Japan this week! Not quite lab-grown meat, but a step into the right direction for sure. Sadly they do contain fish though, so not a truly veggie option, alas. According to Take Part, Tofu Shinjo Nuggets strongly resemble the bits of breaded … Continue reading Funny Follow-Up to our McDonald’s Post…
Relying on the internet as your main source of information is great for the wealth of knowledge at your fingertips, but can in some cases lead you astray. Let’s play a game, right? I will present two news items related to fast food giant McDonald’s, both with quotes and links, that came to my attention in the last weeks. However, only one seems to be true once you trace the articles back to the original source. Let’s see whether you can figure it out!
In China, McDonald’s afficionados are having a hard time: last week, “video footage of a U.S.-owned meat processing plant in Shanghai showed workers reprocessing expired beef and chicken, picking meat up off the floor, and throwing it right back on the line.” In the wake of the scandal, a massive recall of the meat provided by the processing plant (that also supplied KFC and Pizza Hut in the country), many McDonald’s in the country, including in Beijing and Shanghai, cannot offer any products that include beef or chicken. I guess now they are realizing they have a pretty pithy vegetarian selection, since, as this picture below (that was tweeted on July 25) shows, the only thing they are currently able to supply in their menus are fries and drinks. Though the Wall Street Journal reports (hilariously) that they seem to be aggressively pushing fish burgers, the only protein they have on offer. According to a spokesperson, a full menu “is not expected in restaurants until early August, while some outlets may need more time.”
However, this precariousness could soon be a thing of the past, as McDonald’s has recently committed to researching and developing lab-grown meats to its menu in the form of ‘chicken’ McNuggets. In May, it announced that they will ‘grow’ their own chicken McNuggets in special laboratories across New Jersey. This step forward is expected to significantly reduce its need for real chickens across its 35,000 outlets worldwide, and is seen by environmentalists as an impressive innovation in terms of its corporate responsibility toward the climate and animal welfare. The company’s CEO Don Thompson is quoted as saying that “with climate change raging out of control, we decided that it doesn’t make sense to use water and feed to keep real chickens alive anymore. Plus, animal rights activists have been on our case for a long time about how chickens are treated. This should put their concerns to rest.” However, PETA, though welcoming this first step, feel that more could be done, as explained by its president Ingrid Newkirk: “Although we think it’s bizarre that future McNuggets will be grown in a lab, we’re relieved to know that chickens no longer have to be sacrificed to feed McDonald’s customers,” Newkirk said. “But we won’t truly be happy until the company stops selling real beef burgers too, since cows suffer in disgusting feedlots across the United States.” Well, one step at a time, right?
So, what do you think? Which one is true, which one is fake? Is it obvious or not? The revelation is after the jump!