Do You Really Want to Eat That Fried Cauliflower Sandwich?

February 16, 2023

One particularly interesting “take” on the sandwich release came from a social media account called Libertarian Party Mises Caucus:

“The globalists got Chick-fil-A” they state rather bluntly. The statement appears to have received a heavy mocking online, with the statement above from Brad Polumbo being rather typical; “It’s just a vegetarian sandwich. It’s not that deep bro.”

It is of course “just a vegetarian sandwich” in itself, and not one that looks particularly appetizing at that. If there is truly no more to this than an attempt by a company to meet a perceived customer demand, then the story ends in one of two ways; The sandwich will either succeed and expand to more locations, or it will fail and be scrapped. Personally I would put my money on “scrapped,” at least this version.

I don’t know how serious the Libertarian Party Mises Caucus account was being with their comment, or what precisely they were alleging regarding “globalists” “getting” to Chick-fil-A. There is a particularly large perceived contrast between “Christian” Chick-fil-A and other fast food establishments so this ideological aspect to the story probably has something to do with it if it is assumed they are less likely to give in to the “woke” trends people most likely to be called “globalist” favor. This trend towards more vegan/vegetarian alternatives to meat and even the possibility of an explosion of lab-grown meat into the market however is one that ought to be looked at “deeper” than consideration of meeting mere market demand alone. It is a trend compatible with the desires of certain powerful interests in government and industry alike that, if implemented fully, would have a real impact on the future price and availability of real meat in the market among other consumer choice changes. It would also shift yet another aspect of food production away from smaller producers and towards larger patent holding corporations. This may be undesirable to many that are interested in maintaining natural, diversified food options. Of course, if/when this occurs, it will not have been done immediately, or directly by any one single entity, and it will have been done only with the best intentions advertised (which is why it is usually a good idea to look a bit deeper at things).

Given the concern among environmentalists and policy experts in governmental and non-governmental organizations around the world regarding the promotion of more sustainable practices and lifestyles headed into the future, and given that these same people almost universally identify meat production as a “dirty” agricultural practice (especially cattle) that needs to be reduced and/or drastically altered for the sake of the environment and health, it is not much of a stretch to consider them hostile to the status quo choices of consumers when it comes to meat consumption. This begs the question, what role, if any, are these types of people and their allies throughout society, industry, and government playing in shaping the choices of consumers today in preparation for the policy of tomorrow? Does organically-derived consumer demand always lead to market supply and policy that fosters this dynamic, or can outside forces shift, or “nudge” preferred products and practices into the favor of consumers gradually? If such entities may be doing this, wouldn’t you like to know about it? Or are you ok with remaining blind to their self-imposed paternalism?

Could any of these entities have “got” to Chick-fil-A and other traditional meat-heavy food outlets? What “trusted voices” in the media and the culture may have been paid to promote such products or suggest to their audience the benefits of going meatless or reducing their meat consumption? Let’s not even start on the possible lobbying efforts in government. All this seems possible, but this is sort of missing the point. None of what I am referring to requires some direct, elaborate “conspiracy,” rather it is just indicative of how these types of things work in society and in the markets over time. Change in certain preferences is often inevitable, we only ought to be weary of that which may unjustly limit choice, abuse government power, or present dangers to important goods. Of course not everyone that promotes vegan/vegetarianism or thinks we ought to have more sustainable practices in agriculture is acting from such a selfish ulterior motive intent on causing harm to some for a perceived greater gain. Much of the current trend towards these meat-free products is certainly in reaction to real demand at the moment, but how much of that perceived demand is genuine, and how much is “nudged?” Do people really want to eat a piece of cauliflower fried in peanut oil pretending to be a chicken sandwich? To each their own, or to each the “nudgers” own, I suppose.

Dismissing this type of thing as mere fuss over a sandwich may be good for a laugh and it may be trendy. But sometimes considering and rejecting trends that seem disingenuous and may present threats to traditional systems and practices long-term is worth a deeper look. And sometimes it is just as easy to laugh at and reject disgusting-looking food in favor of delicious meats. What’s the matter with that? -“It’s just a little criticism, bro!”

Also try KFC’s plant-based fried erasers

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: