Overview magazines

Food Inspiration Magazine is the online magazine for foodservice professionals in search of inspiration and innovation. With the magazine we collect, enrich and spread inspiration. The free subscription magazine is published eight times per year and is an abundant source of inspiration for food and hospitality professionals. Our readers can be found in the U.S., Northern Europe, Latin America and Asia.

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Big Meat, veganism, and other alarmisms

Big Meat is killing our planet. Something must be done! Join us. Go vegan and save the world. Or, perhaps, don’t. There are other options.

 Jelle Steenbergen Xiao-Er Kong

T

here is nothing wrong with veganism. A plant based, health-conscious diet is nothing if not a good thing. If everyone adopted just that, the world would probably be a better place.

But that’s not going to happen. We’ve been eating meat (and fish) since long before recorded history, and while there is an undeniable movement happening towards a plant based future, we’re not anywhere near eliminating our desire for meat. Why would we want to? Meat is good for you, in moderation. There is a reason it has been a central part of a diet since forever. And it tastes good, which counts for something. The global market for meat substitutes is predicted to be heading north of $7 billion by 2025, so there is no denying there is a demand for the flavor.

It’s possible to be a responsible carnivore

T

he problem isn’t meat, though. It’s Big Meat. Our industrial food system is simply unsustainable. Graphic, gruesome portrayals of the cruel injustice with which too many animals 

are treated are numerous, inescapable, and undeniable. Rather than rail against the system by radically eliminating an entire food group, however, we could look beyond the - clearly broken - system to heritage farmers and other initiatives that show us that meat doesn’t equate to murder. That it’s possible to be a responsible carnivore.

A

n interesting example of this shift beginning to take place in the public mindset is the recently released documentary Eating Animals, based on the 2009 book of the same name. Rather

than yet another lurid, shock-focused exposé filled with the kind of unmitigated uncomfortable imagery that these types of documentaries have become famous for, the film offers a thoughtful perspective that encourages us to take a moment. A moment to stop and think about where our meat comes from, and how different things can be. The film’s most powerful moments come from seeing the raw emotion on the faces of the traditional farmers when they talk about their animals. These people care, and we should too.

Photo by: Rahi Rezvani

These people care, and we should too

A

t the risk of proselytizing too much, being a responsible carnivore is about being a good person. Food in our society has long since outgrown being about sustenance. It’s moved 

past being a symbol of social status. It’s even beginning to leave behind nutrition and physical health. Slowly but surely food is becoming a source of emotional and spiritual wellbeing, a facilitator of personal progress, and a means to becoming the best version of ourselves. In that universe, the entire impetus behind our current food system vanishes into thin air. The notion of Big Meat is anathema to this new philosophy.

C

hange is hard. It takes time, and it always faces resistance. This change will be no different. In fact the sheer scale will likely mean more challenges. It’s easy to condemn the industrial

food system, but at the same time it has given us plentiful affordable food. All these alternatives like heritage farming, lab grown meat, or a fully vegan diet are admirable, but to enact real, significant change they need to be above all accessible. It’s not enough that each of us has the individual choice to be a responsible carnivore. Our entire culture needs to be. Swearing off Big Meat means nothing without a sustainable replacement.

Swearing off Big Meat means nothing without a sustainable replacement

A

nd we’re not there yet. Not by a long shot. But the only way to get there is one step at a time. Stop trying to start a revolution. Stop thinking meat is an all or nothing issue. Promote, support,

and pay attention to all alternatives to our industrial system, not just the most radical ones. They’re not hard to find, those small scale farmers holding on the old ways. They just don’t advertise. People all over the world have been doing the right thing for millennia. All we need to do is give them a chance to shine.

Offline: This content can only be displayed when online.

Photos by: Rahi Rezvani

Offline: This content can only be displayed when online.

Big Meat, veganism, and other alarmisms

Big Meat is killing our planet. Something must be done! Join us. Go vegan and save the world. Or, perhaps, don’t. There are other options.

 Jelle Steenbergen Xiao-Er Kong

T

here is nothing wrong with veganism. A plant based, health-

conscious diet is nothing if not a good thing. If everyone adopted just that, the world would probably be a better place. But that’s not going to happen. We’ve been eating meat (and fish) since long before recorded history, and while there is an undeniable movement happening towards a plant based future, we’re not anywhere near eliminating our desire for meat. Why would we want to? Meat is good for you, in moderation. There is a reason it has been a central part of a diet since forever. And it tastes good, which counts for something. The global market for meat substitutes is predicted to be heading north of $7 billion by 2025, so there is no denying there is a demand for the flavor.

It’s possible to be a responsible carnivore

T

he problem isn’t meat, though. It’s Big Meat. Our industrial food

system is simply unsustainable. Graphic, gruesome portrayals of the cruel injustice with which too many animals are treated are numerous, inescapable, and undeniable. Rather than rail against the system by radically eliminating an entire food group, however, we could look beyond the - clearly broken - system to heritage farmers and other initiatives that show us that meat doesn’t equate to murder. That it’s possible to be a responsible carnivore.

A

n interesting example of this shift beginning to take place in the

public mindset is the recently released documentary Eating Animals, based on the 2009 book of the same name. Rather than yet another lurid, shock-focused exposé filled with the kind of unmitigated uncomfortable imagery that these types of documentaries have become famous for, the film offers a thoughtful perspective that encourages us to take a moment. A moment to stop and think about where our meat comes from, and how different things can be. The film’s most powerful moments come from seeing the raw emotion on the faces of the traditional farmers when they talk about their animals. These people care, and we should too.

These people care, and we should too

A

t the risk of proselytizing too much, being a responsible carnivore is

about being a good person. Food in our society has long since outgrown being about sustenance. It’s moved past being a symbol of social status. It’s even beginning to leave behind nutrition and physical health. Slowly but surely food is becoming a source of emotional and spiritual wellbeing, a facilitator of personal progress, and a means to becoming the best version of ourselves. In that universe, the entire impetus behind our current food system vanishes into thin air. The notion of Big Meat is anathema to this new philosophy.

C

hange is hard. It takes time, and it always faces resistance. This

change will be no different. In fact the sheer scale will likely mean more challenges. It’s easy to condemn the industrial food system, but at the same time it has given us plentiful affordable food. All these alternatives like heritage farming, lab grown meat, or a fully vegan diet are admirable, but to enact real, significant change they need to be above all accessible. It’s not enough that each of us has the individual choice to be a responsible carnivore. Our entire culture needs to be. Swearing off Big Meat means nothing without a sustainable replacement.

Swearing off Big Meat means nothing without a sustainable replacement

A

nd we’re not there yet. Not by a long shot. But the only way to get

there is one step at a time. Stop trying to start a revolution. Stop thinking meat is an all or nothing issue. Promote, support, and pay attention to all alternatives to our industrial system, not just the most radical ones. They’re not hard to find, those small scale farmers holding on the old ways. They just don’t advertise. People all over the world have been doing the right thing for millennia. All we need to do is give them a chance to shine.

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Photos by: Rahi Rezvani

Photo by: Rahi Rezvani