Climate / Business & Technology / Food / Climate Desk

Coronavirus is accelerating the rise of alternative meat

Posted On: 25 Jul 2021   |   Posted By: Grist

This story was originally published by Wired and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.
As with toilet paper and cleaning products, you probably didn't fully appreciate meat until the coronavirus pandemic snatched it away. The distribution infrastructure that normally gets plenty of beef, pork, and chicken to American grocery stores has begun to buckle as meatpacking facilities become COVID-19 hot spots and shutter , leaving farmers with nowhere to send their animals. Those livestock are consequently growing too big to process, so farmers across the Midwest are having to gas or shoot tens of thousands of animals and throw them away, all while millions of Americans are going hungry .
The core problem behind this wastefulness is the convoluted way we consume protein. Farmers grow protein in the form of feed, which other farmers supply to their livestock; the animals convert that into new protein in the form of flesh, which is prepared in processing plants and sent to stores. That's a...

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