Lab-Grown Meat? WTH?

Lab-grown meat

“Eating is an agricultural act.”
– Wendell Barry

I heard about lab-grown meat for the first time a couple weeks ago and I had a visceral response. Like the hairs on my neck literally stood up. I have to ask, why the hell is this even necessary?

One of my main purposes as a nutritional therapy practitioner is to promote a whole food diet. Lab-grown (or cultured) meat does not fall into that category. I’ve read all the pros and why a few top chefs are making the switch. But there are a few major issues with it.

Issue No. 1: Ranching

Agriculture is a hard business. To me personally, lab-grown meat seems like an abomination and a slap to the face of those ranchers working hard to do things right. It goes against everything natural. Lab-grown meat is supposed to be better for animals and help curb environmental impact. But I see this as simply a band-aid for a gushing wound. We need a real fix to the agricultural system that doesn’t require more human intervention or a laboratory.

We need restorative ranching that improves the soil, ethically raises animals that are allowed to eat their natural diet, and enhances (instead of stripping) the ecosystem. Thankfully it’s in practice in the US and around the world. This is amazing stuff! Why is this not making national news?

Issue No. 2: Connection to Food & Earth

One thing I continue to see as a ‘pro’ of lab-grown meat is not having to slaughter an animal. Sigh. For thousands of years, this has been the deal. It’s not new. Humans are omnivores, we require meat for the nutrition it provides. We are from the land and live on what it provides. But it seems to me we are getting further out of touch with what it means to be human. That deep connection with the land has been lost and everywhere we look fake food has taken the place of real, whole food that actually grows on or roams the earth.

So what’s the cost of that distance? Literally everything. Our social, mental and physical health, the health of animals, and a planet that isn’t doing so great.

“If you want things messed up, invite a human.”
– Unknown

Issue No. 3: Humans

Traditional ranching and agriculture is incredibly destructive, no doubt. But when humans get out of the way, ranching can be restorative to the land. We seem to think we have all the answers, but in truth, it’s a bit out of our control. What we can do is stop trying to ‘fix’ everything, let nature work her magic and follow her guide. We know from many years of observation that animals do best on their own diet and in wide-open spaces. This should be the blueprint.

The good news for us is that restorative ranching has gained ground and it’s available to you. We can get out of the way, stop trying to manipulate nature, and reap the benefits of cleaner air, cleaner soil, and healthier animals. It absolutely can be done and select ranchers are proving it.

I’m providing a few links regarding restorative agriculture (and how to buy) in the links below. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section!

PS: Italy is trying to ban lab-grown meat to protect their food heritage. I hope more countries join them. You can read more on that here.

Regenerative Local & Online Sources:

Compton Family Wines
Force of Nature
Regeneration International
Regenerative Farmers of America
Regenerative Pastures
Tabula Rosa Farms

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