China’s appetite for meat is fading…


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Over the last couple of years, after many years of rising meat consumption by China’s expanding middle classes for whom eating pork every day was a luxurious sign of new financial comforts, the green shoots of a vegan meat revolution have begun to sprout. Although China still consumes 28% of the world’s meat, including half of all pork, and boasts a meat market valued at $86bn (£62bn), plant-based meat substitutes are slowing carving out a place for themselves among a new generation of consumers increasingly alarmed by food crises such as coronavirus and African swine fever.

China’s most cosmopolitan cities are now home to social media groups, websites and communities dedicated to meat-free lifestyles. VegeRadar, for example, has compiled comprehensive maps of vegetarian and vegan restaurants all across China. According to a report by the Good Food Institute, China’s plant-based meat market was estimated at 6.1bn yuan (£675m) in 2018 and projected to grow between 20 and 25% annually…

…In 2016, as part of its pledge to bring down carbon emissions, the Chinese government outlined a plan to cut the country’s meat intake by 50%. It was a radical move, and so far very few other governments around the world have included meat consumption in their carbon-reduction plans.

You can ignore the diet conservatives who say “It can’t happen here!” American consumers are also discovering the Yellow Brick Road to a healthier body…and climate. “Meat” based on plant protein isn’t something relegated to the curiosity counter in Whole Foods or Trader Joe, anymore. The phenomenon is spreading to the Targets and Walmarts of America. Guess what? The prices come down a bit more, as well.

Since the menu in my life has always been open to trying something new, our household was one of the first to trial – and then adopt – plant-based protein purchased at our local grocery stores. I’m impressed. Convenient packaging, great flavor as far as my own palate is concerned…costs equivalent to or less than ingredients walking around on four feet a week ago…have diminished our meat consumption by half…a portion still growing as producers catch on to a dynamic new market and offer consumers more alternatives..

Growing Marijuana in a vertical farm


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South Korean startup Farm 8 Co. is among a proliferation of indoor urban growers that saw sales jump during Covid-19. It’s looking to increase sales by almost 50% to 90 billion won ($79 million) this year, partly by boosting production of medical and cosmetic-based plants such as ginseng, centella asiatica and artemisia campestris, Chief Executive Officer Kang Dae Hyun said. In August, the company joined the country’s first regulation-free zone for medical cannabis, growing and processing hemp for cannabidiol (CBD)…

Other vertical farms are also using the technology to meet rising demand for stringent quality control in medical and cosmetic applications, such as Denmark’s International Cosmetics Science Centre, Poland’s Vertigo Farms and California-based MedMen Enterprises…

Farm 8 currently grows about 1.2 tons of salad greens per day on less than an acre (0.5 hectare) of land, spread across locations in three cities in South Korea, including in a busy subway station in South Korea’s capital. It’s one of the top local lettuce producers for fast-food chains including Subway Restaurants, Burger King Corp. and KFC Corp. Sales rose 30% last year…

South Korea became the first country in East Asia to legalize cannabis for medical use in 2018, and in August 2020, the government set up a free trade zone for industrial hemp in the southeastern city of Andong to develop and extract cannabidiol for medical use with private companies. Marijuana remains illegal for recreational use in the country.

Just like the culture wars here in the GOUSA, the political powers-that-be in South Korea are sidling up to legalizing weed across the board. And like the candyass pols running things here, agonizing over electoral politics with a last century outlook is more important than medical and scientific reality.

I suppose the traditional relationship of cash over Christianity will continue to win out, albeit slowly. The legal weed bill here in New Mexico passed through the representative side of our state legislature and is sitting and waiting for action on the Senate side. The average glacier moves forward faster than so many “modern” political institutions.