FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT reports on the food revolution underway in the US that could change the way we eat
Foreign Correspondent: HIGH STEAKS
Series Return: Tuesday, August 6, 2019
In this series return, Craig Reucassel asks: Is Silicon Valley killing the American cowboy? And what does a $100 chicken nugget taste like? He crosses the US to find answers, meeting the cattlemen, lawmakers and west-coast startups who are locked in a high stakes battle over the future of our food.
Opening the winter season of Foreign Correspondent, Craig Reucassel reports on the food revolution underway in the US that could very well change what we eat, forever.
It is coming from the ultimate disruptors, Silicon Valley, where scientists and entrepreneurs are cooking up new types of foods which threaten to take a big bite out of the profits of the multi-billion-dollar meat industry.
On the menu are burgers made from plants which ‘bleed’, and chicken nuggets grown in labs from animal cells.
Critics call it ‘frankenfood’ but the substitute meat industry claims it wants to feed the world and save the environment. And it’s backed by big bucks, with investors such as Bill Gates and Hong Kong magnate Li Ka Shing putting their money where their mouth is.
In one recent float, a meat-less meat company’s share price almost tripled on its first day of trading.
But the West isn’t won yet. It’s fighting hard to preserve its divine right to make a living from livestock.
“Our farmers and ranchers grow these cattle like God intended them to be grown” explains a Missouri politician.
Many US States are protecting their cattle industries by passing laws which ban ‘new meat’ being marketed as ‘meat’.
“We want truth in advertising…we don’t want them to use the word ‘beef’”, says one Missouri cattleman. “And we don’t want them to say ‘this is a hamburger.’”
The stage is set for a mighty legal showdown as ‘new meats’ fight back.
“Plant-based meat is meat…It’s just meat produced in a different way,” argues the substitute meat lobby, which is suing Missouri for breaching the US Constitution. “It’s rank protectionism…It’s something you’d expect out of North Korea, not in the United States of America.”
In High Steaks, Craig Reucassel rides with Texas cowboys who decry the “fakery”, visits the Silicon Valley labs driving this food revolution and persuades hard core, mid-west carnivores to take a blind taste test, with surprising results.
For Craig, it boils down to one question: ‘Cattle, soy, cells or beet. Will it really matter if it tastes like meat?’
High Steaks airs on ABC TV at 8 pm AEST Tuesday August 6th & Friday 9th August 1.30pm. Also on ABC News Channel on Wed Aug 7th 5.30am, Saturday 10th at 9.30pm & Sun 11th at 5.30pm & iview.