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 “The Impossible Burger is a plant-based burger, the key ingredient of which is a protein called soy leghemoglobin (SLH), derived from genetically modified yeast. SLH is the substance that gives the burger its meaty taste and makes it appear to bleed like meat when cut. The FDA initially refused to sign off on the safety of SLH when first approached. After a rat-feeding study was constructed, the results suggest that the agency’s concerns were justified. Rats that were fed the genetically modified yeast derived from SLH developed unexplained changes in weight gain, changes in the blood that can indicate the onset of inflammation or kidney disease, and possible signs of anemia.” GMO Science. “Rat Feeding Study Suggest the Impossible Burger May Not Be Safe to Eat” 

One of my biggest concerns when it first came to the table of discussion was simply, who is going to be monitoring it?  If the Impossible Burger is going to be used and marketed as a meat substitute, it should be abiding by the same rules and regulations as meat. USDA and FDA have very different regulations and I am concerned that if this is not regulated or monitored as closely as it should be, the safety of this product will be compromised. 

Most of the people that I see being excited about this product are typically against GMOs. The vast majority of this product is genetically modified and has been developed in a laboratory. Those who stand against GMOs should heavily research this product and the ingredients that make up it’s chemistry. I find the ingredients list troubling if you are searching for a “healthy alternative”. I find it interesting that people are trying to replicate beef but don’t want to eat beef and that the alternative is something that has shown negative effects in the testing stages. Something to consider. 

I have spoken to our senators and congressmen about the impossible burger and I want to be very clear that I did not speak against having alternatives. One of my biggest passions is finding ways to be able to feed the world through safe, healthy, and affordable food. I spent time in Uganda and saw a child die of starvation. I understand the severity of world hunger and I will always advocate towards finding solutions for it. I also believe that everyone is entitled to their opinion and how they feel about certain topics. Just because I will refrain from buying or consuming an Impossible Burger does not mean that I think you are wrong for choosing to do so. I just want to see that the alternative is a safe one. 

From a marketing perspective, they have done an incredible job marketing this product. But we all know how influential marketing can be. In the agriculture industry we have been saying for years that ranchers need to speak up about what is happening on our ranches and with our animals to really show people the truth behind the steaks they see at the grocery store. We have to advocate for ourselves rather than be reactive within our own industry. Our focus has to shift to really talk to the consumer directly and bridge that gap. 

I will choose beef every time, and I will encourage you to choose beef every time.And if you have questions about the beef industry, please ask. The vast majority of us love explaining to people what we do and how we do it because it’s our family’s passion and we consume what we raise. We care for our animals like they are our family because they are what keep the lights on and what puts food on our table. 

I hope this was helpful and as always please let me know if there is anything you’d like to see more of or have questions on that we can help you with! 

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