Myth: Using Machines and other Technology to Process Meat is Unnatural
By 2050, we will need 100 percent more food to feed our growing population, but the Earth is not growing to give us more farmland. According to the United Nations, 70 percent of the food that we need will simply have to come from new technologies that enhance our efficiency and productivity.1
Machines that help us better remove meat from carcasses are among the many food technologies used for efficiency, safety and cost. In the old days, oranges were squeezed to deliver orange juice. Today, we have automated that process for the most part. But we still call the juice that results from machine squeezing orange juice.
The same goes for meat. USDA has very technical definitions of meat. It’s defined by its chemical and nutrition composition and even something called cellular structure.
If the meat that is derived from a machine is comparable to the meat that is derived by knife trimming, it’s simply called beef or pork.
There are many benefits to utilizing technology to process meat. At the plant level, it benefits workers by reducing the intricate trimming that is required to remove meat from bones and can require a lot of repetitive motion that can cause worker injuries.
Also, when an animal gives its life to feed us, we want to be sure that we use all that it can offer and waste as little as possible. Ethically it is the right thing to do.
Preventing waste also reduces the number of animals needed to feed people which reduces environmental impacts and keeps meat and poultry affordable and meat’s nutrition accessible to more people.