Plant-based and cultured meat producers see themselves promoting sustainability, promising healthier options in a world that demands convenience and good taste. But it’s not clear yet how universally accessible these products will be. Plant-based burgers made by Beyond Meat are now for sale in a number of grocery stores (including Safeway), for instance. But at about $12 a pound, they’re still much more expensive than conventional ground beef, which costs around $3.50 a pound, and even more than some higher-end ground grass-fed and organic ground beef, which sells for around $10 a pound.
Residents and activists in so-called food deserts are still calling for investments that provide access to fresh vegetables and create local economic growth. Alternative meat producers insist prices will come down once their supply chain improves, but only a concerted plan to promote equity will stop the venture-backed food-tech industry from reinforcing these types of longstanding nutritional and economic disparities.
In other words, if the biotech boosters are really interested in dialogue, it’s important for them to engage with critical histories of food and technology, which will help them understand why earlier promises to sustainably feed the world have fallen short. Equity should be at the center of their work and addressing the concerns of the most vulnerable eaters and food producers must be part of their bottom line.
The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Why We Should Make Room for Debate about High-Tech Meat