The way most of our meat is produced is so unethical and resource-heavy that a whole new industry is growing around the science and technology of creating “meat” that doesn’t come from animals.
By now everyone has heard of Beyond Meat and the Impossible burger, but imagine chicken nuggets grown in petri dishes; cell-based meat is a real thing that some say will transform how the world eats.
But as we’ve been reporting in our “Future of Food” series, it’s still unregulated territory when it comes to research on the impact of the new products on health, the environment, resource use and other issues.
Still: At some point soon, the burger on your plate might be coming from a laboratory near you. If you’re not quite ready for that, I have a kinder, gentler, more traditional burger. It’s tasty, easy to make and there’s no meat – real or otherwise – involved.
Made from black beans, dried mushrooms, oats, and a few condiments, it’s one of dozens of possible burger substitutes. No lab needed.
Mark Bittman’s McBitty’s Bean Burgers by PBS NewsHour on Scribd
Mark Bittman is the author of more than twenty acclaimed books, including the How to Cook Everything series. He wrote for the New York Times for more than two decades, and became the country’s first food-focused Op-Ed columnist for a major news publication. He has hosted two television series and been featured in two others, including the Emmy-winning Years of Living Dangerously.
Megan Thompson shoots, produces and reports on-camera for PBS NewsHour Weekend. Her report "Costly Generics" earned an Emmy nomination and won Gracie and National Headliner Awards. She was also recently awarded a Rosalynn Carter Fellowship to report on the issue of mental health. Previously, Thompson worked for the PBS shows and series Need to Know, Treasures of New York, WorldFocus and NOW on PBS. Prior to her career in journalism she worked in research and communications on Capitol Hill. She originally hails from the great state of Minnesota and holds a BA from Wellesley College and a MA in Journalism from New York University.
Melanie Saltzman reports, shoots and produces stories for PBS NewsHour Weekend on a wide range of issues including public health, the environment and international affairs. In 2017 she produced two stories for NewsHour’s “America Addicted” series on the opioid epidemic, traveled to the Marshall Islands to report on climate change, and went to Kenya and Tanzania to focus on solutions-based reporting. Melanie holds a BA from New York University and an MA in Journalism from Northwestern University, where she was a McCormick National Security Fellow. In 2010, she was awarded a Fulbright scholarship in Berlin, Germany.
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