Plant-based proteins are nothing new and are extremely popular in many locations. However, here in Montana, there has been a lot of objection to the idea of plant-based proteins because it isn't the real deal. If you were to ask the average Montanan whether they would prefer a 100% beef burger or a 100% plant-based burger that looks like beef, they'd likely choose the real beef. With a new plant-based protein program in Europe starting to take root, the question to Montanans now becomes this: Has science gone too far?

The Newest Trend: 3-D Printing Your Steaks?

A video from Reuters has been making the rounds on Facebook detailing an Israeli-based company called Redefine Meat. They've struck a deal with a European meat distributor to import cuts of steak they've called "New Meat." What's new about them? They've been 3-D printed using plant-based ingredients including soy, chickpeas, and coconut fat.

This is definitely a new and unique take on the plant-based meat idea, but it definitely needs a lot of refinement and work. If they are indeed successful at 3-D printing a plant-based cut of meat that both looks and tastes like a cut of beef steak, I wonder how much it would affect the farmers who raise cattle. Well, plant-based meat has already caused much concern among farmers in Montana.

Is This Something We Could Expect in Montana in the Future?

It completely depends upon whether or not it's going to be profitable, however, I think public opinion will take precedence. When Merissa Underwood became Miss Montana USA in 2020, there was a lot of public backlash because she represented Montana as a vegan, including a post from the Montana Stockgrowers Association refuting her claims that ranchers don't treat their livestock with respect. So, if it does come to Montana, it's probably going to be long after everybody else has experienced it.

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What do you think about the "New Meat" process; does it look appealing to you? Do you think it will cause harm to the farm and ranch economy in Montana? Let us know on Facebook.

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