by Viv Forbes, with help from our editors
Wandering recently through an arcade popular with the green smoothie set, I saw a sign boasting: “Plant Based Meat”.
Someone should advise those nutritional dunderheads that all real meat is plant-based. Real beef and lamb are built from live plants like grasses, lucerne and mulga, plus salt, minerals and clay; the best chicken is built mostly on seeds and shoots of wheat, corn and grasses plus a few worms, insects and gizzard-grit; and when I was a kid our bacon was built by porkers from pollard, whey and vegetable scraps.
Cattle, sheep, pigs, goats, deer, bison, rabbits, turkeys and kangaroos have a long history of providing meat for our ancestral hunters and farmers. In tough times the gatherers and gardeners collected and cultivated survival foods like wild onions, seasonal fruit, cabbages, tubers and grass seeds. But there was always a celebratory feast when the hunters returned with high-nutrition meat.
Fake “meat” is usually made from denatured soy beans, peas and wheat, all grown using diesel fuel for cultivation, planting, harvesting and transport – a huge carbon footprint. Then they add meat glue, binders and fillers to hold it together, and artificial flavouring and colouring to make it look and taste right. It is not natural, not green, and less healthy than the worst feed-lot meat.
Sustainable plant-based meat is made when cattle, sheep, goats, camels, deer and pigs graze natural free-range pasture which gathers solar energy via their green-leaf solar collectors. These grazing animals harvest plant biomass without using diesel and they also spread valuable plant fertiliser onto the ground and into the air.
Real meat is greener and healthier than any fake “meat” manufactured by green alchemists.
Viv Forbes has tertiary qualifications in Chemistry, Physics, Geology and Maths. He and his wife have spent a lifetime learning how to raise healthy cattle and sheep from perennial natural pastures.
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