United States Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue recently visited plant-based meat-maker Impossible Foods at its Southern California production facility. Perdue tasted the Impossible Burger, stating that it was “very good” and that it closely mimicked beef. “What were you doing touring a fake meat place when surely you represent some beef farmers, too, don’t you?” Fox Business Commentator Stuart Varney asked Perdue. “Well, we absolutely represent a lot of beef farmers but when the motto of the United States Department of Agriculture is to do right and feed everyone, we are here in Southern California looking at all of the innovation techniques and Impossible Foods is one of those,” Perdue responded. Perdue said his takeaway from the visit is that Impossible Foods’ products are “not for me” and explained that his job at the USDA is to assure that food is safe and not to dictate what consumers should or should not eat. “Are you a little surprised at this sudden deluge of news about fake meat and the huge acceptance of the marketplace? Is that surprising to you?” Varney asked. “Well, I think it is surprising, a little bit faddish, but we’ll see,” Perdue explained while holding two strawberries as he stood in a field. “Obviously, there are people that have ethical reasons for choosing plant-based meat. I don’t think that’s the majority of people.” Perdue expectedly trailed off to pander to the beef industry, stating, “Most everyone likes a good steak and a good beef hamburger,” before returning to a more neutral tone. “It’s not up to me to choose but it is our responsibility to keep people safe.” Impossible Foods is currently ramping up production to keep up with incessant demand for its plant-based burgers and working its mission to replace all animals used for food with plant-based alternatives by 2035.
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