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Can you enjoy summer without a burger? It's worth a try

Illustration by Hanna Barczyk.


At lunchtime during the collision conference that took place in Toronto this week, one had to fight through the long line of people waiting to buy a hamburger to get around , were denounced in Hamburg. The hamburgers smelt delicious and I almost stopped buying one. But I ignored the siren song and brought my growling stomach to the Planet Tech stage where the Burger Bashers preached.

"Stop eating beef," said Terry Tamminen of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation off the stage. "Do it today." He talked about the piercing shriek of a fire alarm, which was another handy metaphor: the climate crisis, he said, "is the equivalent of a smoke-filled room in the news every day." [1

9659004] The message from speaker to speaker was the same. Do you love the planet? Stop eating meat. If you can not – if Striploin is your favorite, if you crave lamb – eat less of it. "I became a vegan two years ago," said Roger Royse, a lawyer who talked about innovation in agriculture in a panel, "and I'm from North Dakota."

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Josh Tetrick brought his vision of a chicken-free world on stage, or at least a world where chickens live fearlessly around the neck. Its mung-based egg substitute, Just Egg, stirs like the original and is available in high-end grocery stores. Evan Williams, the Pescetarian co-founder of Twitter and a man who has become even richer thanks to his investment in the plant-based meat substitute Beyond Meat, spoke about the benefits of "world-positive-investing".

Peas are the new gold, and the streets of Silicon Valley are paved with them. The tiny legumes form the basis for the delicious Beyond Meat Burger patties through alchemy conjured up in a food science lab. And I do not mean yummy, as in "Pretty good for something you've scraped from the bottom of the compost bin," but actually entertaining in seconds. Earlier in the month, a group of financial analysts in the CNBC panel, who looked like they had fled The Wolf of Wall Street marveled at the double surprises of Beyond Meat's outstanding IPO and that a meal without Meat could be tasty. "I was shocked at how tasty it was," one of them said.

These were people who looked like they would normally eat Rib-Eye with Peter Luger, so I was also shocked to hear that. It echoed what Mr. Royse said: If a guy from the heartland of a country that eats on average 26 kilos of beef per person per year, where beef is next to piety – if that guy can go vegan, anyone can. 19659004] We have to eat less meat to save the planet. As the World Resources Institute puts it: "Beef production consumes 20 times the soil and expels 20 times more emissions of beans produced per gram of protein." Joseph Poore, the scientist who pioneered a study "A vegan diet is probably the greatest way to reduce the impact on planet Earth, not just greenhouse gases, but also global acidification, eutrophication, land use, and water use." said the newspaper "The Guardian".

The new Canada Food Guide, in its restrained Canadian manner, suggests putting more plants on the plate. The invention of meat substitutes is a license to print money, as the experience of Beyond Beef shows. Convenience is no excuse either: this summer, there are faux sausage pies in many branches of Tim Horton and a vegan pizza in the Calgary Stampede.

Yet, there are many cultural hurdles that stand in the way of a less carnivorous world. An emerging global middle class wants animal protein, as The Economist recently summarized: "In rich countries, people become more vegan in January and pour oatmeal over their breakfast cereal. The trend is reversed all over the world. In the ten years to 2017, global meat consumption increased by an average of 1.9 percent per year and consumption of fresh milk by 2.1 percent.

Add to this the challenges of a culture that equates meat eating with a certain kind of meat old-fashioned masculinity. A "meat and potato type" is a type you would grill on the grill. On the other hand, a "soy boy" is the insult of the threatened man to a guy who's just too fond of vegetables and other girly things. In the United States, the battle for the revolutionary Green New Deal has been reduced to a caricature in which Pinkos invades the fridges of patriotic Americans who just want to enjoy a meat patty, damn it. "They want to take their hamburgers," said Sebastian Gorka, former assistant to the White House. On a strange hill, hacked cow seems to die, but here we are.

The story continues under the ad. 19659007] Social conventions are constantly changing, influenced by factors that may be unclear to us. We're leaving for our day, orbiting the thoroughfare and going through dinner. Today's Ribfest is tomorrow's portabellopallooza, and it does not seem strange at all that the young people there are humans, maybe not surprisingly, more open-minded when it comes to nutrition. Nearly 10 percent of Canadians are vegetarians or vegans, according to Dalhousie University research – and the majority of those are younger than 35. Young people are also more opposed to the idea of ​​eating meat from the lab.

Many of the rest of us are "flexitarians" who want to limit the intake of animal protein – a third of Canadians said they wanted to eat less meat in the next six months when Dalhousie researchers asked them in 2018.

This is the season in which tests take place the Flexitarianer's resolution. Are you afraid of a meat-free summer? Are you afraid that the mind is ready, but the smell of grilled meat makes it weak? I am also. But I'll try to do better, one pea at a time.

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