TGIF Restaurants launched Beyond Burgers nation-wide.

That’s a vegetarian burger made from pea protein, that when it’s cooked rare is pink inside. The texture is made to fool people into believing they are having a beef patty.

Just think about that. Although the company, Beyond Meat, was founded in 2009, The Beyond Burger was just launched in 2016.

Pretty heady stuff, going from Beyond Chicken strips sold in natural foods stores to mass market in less than two years.

And lately, I’ve been following with interest Clean Meat, meat cells grown in a lab from real chicken and beef cells. Grown from stem cells. No slaughtering. Earth-friendly. Engineered.

Here are my questions:

  • Aren’t these just processed foods? It’s taking commodity products, like peas, and making them branded products like Cheerios (oats) or Pop-Tarts (wheat and fruit preserves).
  • Will Americans change their eating habits more than 10%? Or will mostly Third World Countries be the consumers? Only 3.2% of Americans eat a vegetarian diet, although more are leaning toward occasional meatless meals.
  • These tech companies are in California. Are their factories going to be there, too? Or will they spread them around the Mid-West to offset lost farm jobs?
  • Maybe we’ll grow less chicken and beef, but we’ll need more peas, right? Will peas be the next GMO soybean?
  • What about the carbon footprint? Wrapped in plastic, packaging and cartons will be shipped across the US and overseas.

Hey, I’ve eaten my share of broccoli burgers and black bean burgers. And I’ve eaten a Beyond Burger. Meh.

I am just an observer with no skin in the game, but very curious about how this will play out. What do you think?