To The Herald-Whig:
As a fourth-generation cattle farmer, I take great pride in raising nutritious, high-quality 100% real beef.
I'm concerned that consumers are being misled into believing that imitation beef made of plant-based alternatives is superior to real beef. Consumers can feel confident about choosing real beef that is healthy, tastes great, and is raised by responsible Illinois farmers.
Consumers serious about their nutrition need to do more research before jumping on the imitation meat bandwagon. The perceived nutrition of imitation beef and its host of manufactured ingredients cannot compare to the 10 essential nutrients and protein content of natural, sustainably raised beef. The ingredients of an imitation hamburger made from plant-based alternatives are many and include manufactured components such as potato protein and methylcellulose. Imitation beef can have higher sodium levels and less available, digestible protein.
In comparison, the list of ingredients of a real hamburger is 100% real beef! The taste of a juicy hamburger made from real beef is known and cannot be replicated. Which one would you rather feed your family?
Illinois cattle farmers have a longstanding commitment to caring for our animals and providing families with the safest, highest-quality beef possible. To further that commitment, I and many other cattle farmers have become Beef Quality Assurance-certified. The Beef Quality Assurance program is a nationwide program that trains farmers and ranchers on best practice cattle management techniques to ensure the appropriate care for their animals and the environment. I care about the beef I raise and that care cannot be duplicated by a lab technician growing cells for imitation beef.
In addition, when you purchase real beef, you support farmers, who in turn support our rural community's economy.
We live in a country where consumers have an endless supply of food choices. I want to assure consumers who are tempted to choose plant-based substitutions that they can feel confident in their decision to choose REAL beef that is responsibly, sustainably raised by REAL farmers. Don't be faked out by the imitators.
President, Adams County Beef Producers