Eating Full: How Turning to Offal Offers Benefits that Extend Beyond the Environment
Too many around the planet, consumption of organ meats is a daily occurrence. After all, the foods are readily accessible from livestock, and are hyper-packed with proteins, minerals, and other compounds that benefit any diet. Yet the choice to consume beyond just standard muscles is one with environmental impacts as well—consumption of organ meats has been shown to reduce food waste and animal emissions by up to 14%. Yet despite the evident benefits, the idea of eating offal can't quite take off in the United States. In fact, national consumption of organ meats has even dropped dramatically in recent decades.
The decline is attributable to the colossal marketing campaigns of traditional meat manufactures, who have grown market shares and even lobbied to have their products promoted as healthy. To disrupt such established titans, offal-oriented startups need to be exceptionally creative and, more importantly, frictionless. Beyond simply creating healthy, tasty products, entrepreneurs must combat generations of cultural stigma barring their produ
cts from receiving fair attention. They also face the challenge of infusing offal products into everyday food items. The less clash these foods have with our existing concepts of food, the more they are likely to be integrated into diets.
On a parallel note, the decline in the plant-based and lab-based meat industry in recent years also highlights the importance of creating products that are not only healthy and sustainable, but also taste good and are appealing to a wide range of consumers. After indulging in market-generated health hype, the popularity of these products has waned in recent months due to a variety of factors, including pricing, market saturation, and unclear health benefits. By contrast, organ meats are a natural and sustainable source of protein that have been enjoyed globally for centuries—they are a proven health-bomb.
All this said, it is very possible little progress can be made for alternative animal products without a cultural-economic weakening of the existing meat industry. Such a paradigm shift may come hard, but in a growingly conscious and intelligent world, it may be the only path forward. For our sake, and for our planet's.