Nebraska launches ‘beef passport’ program for meat eating
Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts ramped up his crusade for the meat industry on Wednesday by endorsing a new “beef passport” program to promote meat eating, a few weeks after he blasted Colorado’s governor for a resolution encouraging its residents to eat less.
Ricketts, a Republican, cast meat as essential to his state’s economy and the nation’s food security. He criticized “radical environmentalists” and Bill Gates for promoting alternatives, such as synthetic, lab-grown meat, and for arguing that the current global meat production system isn’t sustainable.
“If you do away with the beef industry, it’s going to be devastating to Nebraska,” Ricketts said at a downtown Lincoln steak house, where he issued his annual proclamation of May as “Beef Month.” “It would have a huge impact on our small towns and rural communities.”
Ricketts said meat is nutritionally dense and “part of a traditional, healthy diet.” He said three ounces of beef has more protein than three cups of quinoa.
“Farmers and ranchers are committed to producing high-quality protein in the most sustainable way possible,” said George Cooksley, chairman of the Nebraska Beef Council.