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In today’s trend dominated world, consumers are dedicating an increasing amount of time to deciding which products they buy and what kind of food they put into their bodies.
As a result, businesses are dedicating a significant time and resources reacting to consumer feedback and tailoring their products to the whims of the market.
In an attempt to address rising consumer demand, two of the world’s largest meat producing companies, Tyson Foods, and Perdue Farms, have introduced a new line of blended meat products. The companies claim their new line of products are compromised of a 50/50 blend of beef and plant-based proteins.
We’re expanding our position as a global protein leader to meet growing demand for plant-based protein with our new Raised & Rooted plant-based nuggets and blended patties. We’re #RaisingExpectations for just how good plant protein can taste. Learn more https://t.co/EEdnG0ByYh pic.twitter.com/wmqiyPu5pt
— Tyson Foods (@TysonFoods) June 13, 2019
Although the move is lauded by many, it has understandably been criticized by the many meat-lovers who argue that meat should be exactly that, meat and nothing more. As with any product, there will always be supporters and haters, but in this case, the naysayers have a strong point.
While the companies may claim the product is designed to cater to consumers that are open to either completely replacing meat with plant-based alternatives or using a plant-meat blend, the real reason might be much simpler — profit. Although plant-based protein sources are cheaper than those from meat, it is likely that the new blended meat products will have a premium price tag.
Though Tyson and Perdue are open about the content of their new products, there are numerous stories of mislabelled and dubious products hitting the markets, where the contents are far less certain, including a recent scandal where a UK supermarket sold “meat-free” products containing meat.
Whether someone is a meat lover or a pure vegan, a consumer should have the right to buy a product purely based on how it is made, and what it is made from. Although this is currently enforced by food labeling regulations, many food manufacturers are not always telling the whole truth when describing the products they sell.
One innovative way to tackle this problem could be through the implementation of Blockchain technology. So far, early food traceability solutions have largely failed due to the huge costs involved, making it difficult to reliably track the source and quality of ingredients. However, blockchain could finally make this feasible for even smaller food manufacturers.
This is why startups like TE-FOOD, OriginTrail, and large IT companies like IBM are using Blockchain based solutions that are to create farm-to-table food traceability systems. In time, these systems will be used to help mitigate food fraud, ensure provable ethical sourcing and better inform customers about the quality of the products they spend their money on.
Do you think blockchain technology is needed to solve food fraud and traceability issues? Or is there a simpler way? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
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