Outrage Fatigue: Get a Grip, Cattlemen

The latest threat to liberty.

As the Denver Post’s Nic Garcia reports this burger-grilling Labor Day:

Gov. Jared Polis has rattled some farmers and ranchers with his suggestion that Colorado help its agriculture industry get a foothold in the burgeoning plant-based meat alternative market.

Beef is big business in Colorado. It’s the state’s largest export, totaling nearly $4 billion. So the mere idea that the state could put resources toward the competition has upset industry leaders. What’s more, it’s not a practical idea, some experts say…

“What we can’t and shouldn’t change is that Colorado is a very unique place for beef production,” said Terry R. Fankhauser, vice president of the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association. “To have a governor make any sort of reference that we shouldn’t embrace and support that is problematic.”

2019 has been the year in which Colorado Republicans have positively thrown the kitchen sink at Democrats from Gov. Jared Polis on down, seeking to gin up outrage after Democrats triumphed in the 2018 elections leaving the GOP with its rumpiest of rump minorities since the era of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. After Gov. Polis and the Democratic majority in the legislature destroyed the oil and gas industry, taught your children to go gay, and passed a law so that anyone who doesn’t like your car’s bumper stickers can take your guns–of course Polis is coming for your beef burgers next. Of course he is!

Here in our safe space for reality, though, where we know that the oil and gas industry is doing fine, the kids are whatever they’re born to be, and the state’s new extreme risk protection order law absolutely does not target anyone over their choice of bumper stickers, when somebody says that Gov. Polis is trying to destroy the beef industry by supporting agribusiness’ pursuit of meatless protein products like the “Impossible Whopper,” we’re more than a little skeptical.

This might seem obvious to you, but it’s apparently not to the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association so we’ll review: in an era when the global consumption of beef along with food of every kind is skyrocketing and billions of new hungry people are being born, food production is not a zero-sum game. There is a market for every single juicy all-beef patty produced by Colorado cattle feedlots and for all the meatless protein made by funky genetically-engineered yeast (look it up) the world can produce too. And there will continue to be a burgeoning market for all of these products for the rest of our lives unless something very bad happens.

So do you think, maybe just once, Gov. Polis could do something completely inoffensive like promoting Colorado agriculture and not have a bunch of Republicans in cowboy hats freak out? This endless over-the-top drama gets really, really tiresome. It was tiresome six months ago.

Maybe after the recall fails things will become less silly.


68 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. VoyageurVoyageur says:

    If the gov really wanted to hurt the cat tle lobby, he'd start promoting Popeye's chicken!

  2. Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

    …"not have a bunch of Republicans in cowboy hats freak out?"…

    Short answer….no.

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      I learned all I ever needed to know about men in cowboy hats from Blazing Saddles . . . 

      First, the came for Jerry’s Whopper . . . 

      . . . I’m pretty sure Polis won’t be finished with his plot to destroy Dumphuckistan until the Sonnenbergs are enjoying eating tofu quiche and cheap dog food, with chopsticks, while watching Teletubbies reruns with their electricity supplied by hemp-plastic wind turbines . . .

  3. Awen says:

    The photo you're using is copyrighted by Colorado Politics. Please provide proper attribution.

    • Colorado PolsColorado Pols says:

      Having seen the photo on social media, we were unaware of its origins and have removed it.

      • bullshit!bullshit! says:

        Good. I'm sure Anschutz Inc. thought it was unflattering which is why they published it to begin with.

        I personally wish Impossible Burgers were more filling. 

        • JeffcoBlueJeffcoBlue says:

          I wish they weren't Frankenfood. I haven't worked up the nerve to eat one yet.

          • MADCO says:

            Impossible Burger
            five main ingredients:

            • Water
            • Soy-protein concentrate
            • Coconut oil
            • Sunflower oil
            • Natural flavors.

              2% or less

            • Potato protein
            • Methylcellulose
            • Yeast extract
            • Cultured dextrose
            • Food starch, modified
            • Soy leghemoglobin
            • Salt
            • Soy-protein isolate
            • Mixed tocopherols (vitamin E)
            • Zinc gluconate
            • Thiamine hydrochloride (Vitamin B1)
            • Sodium ascorbate (vitamin C)
            • Niacin
            • Pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6)
            • Riboflavin (vitamin B2)
            • Vitamin B12

              Now, I don't know what any that means, and I don't see "bacon" or pork byproducts (you know that's anus and snout, right) so it can't be that good. But it looks no worse than most breakfast cereal.

            • DENependent says:

              Saying a food is no worse than breakfast cereal is like saying a politico is no more corrupt than the average one in Louisiana.

              There are two boxed breakfast cereals that are not atrociously unhealthy, shredded wheat and puffed rice. People ought to be honest with themselves and just eat a couple cookies for breakfast. I exaggerate only very slightly.

              • RepealAndReplace says:

                Ah, cookies. Washed down with a can of Pepsi or Coke (diet, if one wishes) to get that more caffeine rush.

              • MADCO says:

                Take that back.
                Quaker Oats!? The one with the picture of Barbara Bush on the box?
                It's just food. Pure and simple food.


                I should have been more clear in my comparison – that the description has less than 2% of stuff no one knows what it nor why it's in the food.

                • DENependent says:

                  Are you talking oatmeal? I would not really count oatmeal as a boxed cereal. It has to be cooked. But if you are thinking of “Quaker 100% Natural Granola” (does granola get the same marketing stuff at the oatmeal?) the amount of bad stuff is quite high.

                  And the bad stuff in cold cereals can have a lot of names, but it is more than 2%. Sometimes it is “malt favor” and others it is “agave nectar” or “evaporated cane juice”. One I am particularly amused by is “fruit juice concentrate”. I am joking when I compare the average breakfast cereal to cookies, but not by a huge amount. I once worked out that my mom’s oatmeal cookies were only about 50% more sugary than granola. Even my beloved Cheerios have more sugar than I am comfortable with in a breakfast staple. I was quite disapointed when I actually read the ingredient list at age 22. I have eaten oatmeal (without sugar or honey) ever since.

            • Diogenesdemar says:

              Aha!! The zinc gluconate lobby strikes again . . .

              . . . shoulda’ known!? Not surprised, really, to find they have Polis in their pocket, too.

            • notaskinnycooknotaskinnycook says:

              Oops. They lost me at soy-anything. I'm wonderfully allergic to the stuff; and when vegbeterians grouse about processed food, somehow they always overlook what is done to soy to make it anything other than a bean.

            • kwtreekwtree says:

              Then there’s the “unnatural “ ingredient “heme”, which is a lab-produced yeast extract that gives the impossibles their meaty flavor and red color. The Organic Consumers Association warned at the Natural Food trade show that marketing the  GMO derived impossibles as “natural” is deceptive marketing.

              I’ll try an impossible sometime – it’s improbable, if not impossible, to eat all organic, natural, healthylocal  products all the time- and it may give struggling soybean farmers a boost to their markets. But , like others have said, it’s worth paying for good meat, if one is carnivorous. 

              My nephew, just returned from Japan, says that most of their meat, even in junk food, is higher quality than what we eat here. 



          • VoyageurVoyageur says:

            They are pretty good, taste about like whoppers, though less greasy.  Calorie count is only a bit lower though, because of all the mayo.

            Regular whopper 660 calories.
            Impossible 630 calories.

        • Awen says:

          Polis invited Joey Bunch to have an Impossible Burger with him in his office.  You can put that on Polis.

          • spaceman65 says:

            So what?  Impossible burgers are delicious and beef production is an environmental problem.  It's on Polis, and I give it a thumbs up.  

            • MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

              It’s not the cow, it’s the how.  If we finished cattle like the Constitution Bible Yahew had intended they’d be on grass to the end, dry aged for five weeks and we’d get the added bonus of enhanced soil carbon through managed grazing.  Now that would be a unique system.  But then we’d have one less thing to be enraged about. 

              • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

                Good point, Michael.

                As we (my cat and I) have evolved into eating less and less beef, we eat better beef. At home, it is grass fed only, preferably organic. 

                Protein can be produced and consumed in better ways than the current arrangement.

                We, as consumers, drive that bus.

                • MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

                  You’re right, Duke, consumers are driving this bus, much to the chagrin of some agricultural interests.  Trends are shifting away from CAFO-produced meats and towards plant-based proteins and organics. It’s the fastest growing sector of the food supply; there’s a reason Cargill, Tyson and others are making investments in this space.

                  The consumer is increasingly rejecting crops subjected to glyphosate; they want transparency in the supply chain and authentic brands. 18 of the 20 largest CPGs (Consumer Products Groups) have had a new CEO in the past two years.  It turns out that invisible hand of Adam Smith is causing these shifts in ways quasi-protectionism of the old system via the farm bill and (and other federal policy) couldn’t.  

                  Like you, I eat less beef, but when I do it’s grass-fed.  I can support ranchers that share my values on land stewardship, soil health and a good product with my dollars.

                  I know of a group working on an Impossible-like burger, only using hemp-based proteins instead of soy.  To Polis’ point that started this conversation: why shouldn’t Colorado farmers benefit from this new opportunity?  

                  This new campaign is as non-productive and useless  as their War on Rural Colorado campaign over renewable energy mandates. 

            • Awen says:

              That was a response to someone else's comment, not yours. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

        • MADCO says:

          Add bacon bits.
          No joke- bacon bits make everything feel more "filling"

          • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

            Love bacon bits on pizza.

            That said, my actual meat consumption has diminished dramatically in recent years. I only occasionally eat beef, preferring pork and chicken.

            I am unlikely to eschew my status as an omnivore, but I am very committed to the notion that EACH and EVERY ONE of us need to keep climate change front of mind.


  4. Awen says:

    Deleted duplicate comment.

  5. The realistThe realist says:

    I stopped eating beef, pork, and chicken years ago. [If you want to stop "cold turkey" so to speak, just watch the film Food, Inc – did it for me.]

    I have had an Impossible Whopper a couple times – they're quite good. The second time I ate one I could have sworn it was a beef burger. Next time I'm in Burger King I'm going to ask them to SHOW me the Impossible burger box from which it came – because I'm much happier eating a veggie burger than a beef burger.

  6. MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

    My pet peeve: putting very ahead of unique. No, Colorado isn’t ‘a very unique’ place for beef production. We have grass ✅ feedlots (foreign-owned) ✅ corn ✅ (like most states). I’m speculating the CO Cattleman’s Association has heard of the Nebraska Sandhills ? Montana? North/South Dakota? Alabama? Brazil? Texas?

    Have they figured out the math that for every pound of beef (or pork, chicken for that matter) we don’t consume domestically there is about four pounds of demand internationally? 

    I’m not anti-beef/meat – but this entire argument by CCA is Cocoa Puffs. 

  7. notaskinnycooknotaskinnycook says:

    I'm with you on that one, Michael. It drives me almost as nuts as using impact as a verb. That one makes me angry.

    • MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

      Great graph, Barnes. If we were managing those grasslands for carbon we’d be producing more meat than we are today and still have plenty of land to supply a plant-based meat sector. But again, we’d have one less thing to be enraged about.  

  8. MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

    Cargill (who slaughters a lot of beef at their plant in Ft. Morgan) is making news today in the ‘plant-based proteins’ world. Shall we all gather round the plant in FoMo and show a little outrage? 

    The key word in this headline is ‘continues’:

    Cargill continues investment in alternative proteins

    This is the future of food. The Dawson facility will not only support PURIS farmers in the U.S. with a crop that regenerates their land and that is sustainable because it provides soil health advantages but will also support the growing demand for great tasting plant-based products in the marketplace.

    • MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

      Tyson dives in with its plant-based brand Raised & Rooted:

      Is it surprising that one of the world’s largest meatpackers would enter a category that, until recently, was the domain of vegans and other meat-averse eaters? No, Tyson says, protein is protein is protein, and its experience makes it uniquely suited to respond to (and cash in on) the ballooning interest in plant-based foods.

  9. MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

    Who'd have thunk?  There's a virtual buffet of options for those who seek a plant-based diet that supports Colorado farmers.  From USA Today

    Plant-based and vegan options continue to sprout

    • kwtreekwtree says:

      Try this url : 


      I prefer the meat alternatives that tell you what’s in them: black beans, soy, peas, etc. These soy curls have a nice meaty texture for cooking.  Burger Kings “impossible burger” is a lot less appetizing ( to me, at least), once you know that the secret ingredient, “heme” is lab-grown fake blood.

      • VoyageurVoyageur says:

        Nothing secret about heme.  Your Luddite prejudice against "lab grown" ingredients probably makes you prefer " natural" coal to "lab produced" solar energy panels as a source of electricity.  But in each case, you're ravaging the planet by rejecting innovation.

        • kwtreekwtree says:

          Wow. I state a food preference, and suddenly I’m a solar-spurning Luddite who hates innovation, and is ravaging the planet. You’re special, V.

          • VoyageurVoyageur says:

            So are you, kiwi  You make a simple veggie burger an attack on capitalism.  If heme is so secret, how did we all know about it?  And if it is so evil, why is it so abundant in nature?

            Science is hard?

            • kwtreekwtree says:

              It’s a problem with labeling Impossibles as a “natural product”. Half my family either works in the natural foods industry, or has severe autoimmune problems aggravated by eating pesticide-treated or GMO foods. My brother-in-law is quoted in the article.

              When the impossible burgers were introduced at the Natural Products Expo last spring, “heme” was not listed on the ingredients, and there was no mention that this was a GMO product.

              You may not have a problem with GMO products, but many intelligent people do, especially attendees at a Natural Products Expo, members of the Organic Consumers Association, and those who try to “eat clean” for health and environmental reasons. 

              But, Natural Products Expo West attendees didn't know they were eating a GMO product. Impossible Foods' exhibit booth and literature made no mention that the Impossible Burger's key ingredient, heme, is genetically engineered.

              When asked why they weren't transparent about the burger being GMO, Halla said the recipe cards being given out wasn't appropriate literature for describing the genetic engineering process. But, a more detailed brochure at the booth also said nothing about GMO heme, only describing it as "magic ingredient found in all living things." Halla said Impossible Foods is transparent about its use of genetic engineering on its website.

              But Lampe said Impossible Foods lack of transparency at Natural Products Expo West was unethical. "Impossible Foods is legally allowed to not provide that information to consumers. Legal? Yes. Responsible and ethical? I don't think so," Lampe commented.

              Quit pole-vaulting over mouse turds, V. Your constant, absurd attacks are tedious. Eat Impossibles for every meal, for all I care. I won’t, but nobody should care about that, either.


              • VoyageurVoyageur says:

                I for one would love to hear less "Ride of the Valkyries" and more logic from you.

                do you still insist the state Democratic Convention will produce a four way primary when it takes at least 30 percent to make the ballot at the convention?

                do you still believ e House Caucus chairman is of equal rank with House Majority Leader?

                like Trump, the more glaring your blun ders the more ferociously you attack people who try to set you straight.

                but at least we know that Satan's hand is found in every veggie burger sold at Burger King.


                • kwtreekwtree says:

                  I’ve now talked with three Democratic Officials, two of whom had differing answers about the viability thresholds at the precinct, county, and state assemblies / conventions. Hopefully, one of them will allow me to quote him/her when I write my diary on the Senate candidates.  

                  I’ve also looked up the state statutes and the confusing mess that is the Democratic Colorado delegate selection plan. 

                  Here’s what I’ve found

                  At the precinct and county levels, the threshold number of delegates to move forward to the state assembly is 15%.

                  At the state level, the threshold to be on the ballot is 30%. A candidate receiving at least 10% at the state assembly  may petition onto the ballot. The number of signatures required, per Sec State site, is 1500 signs per Congressional district, so (7x 1500) = 10,500 valid signatures. A candidate may skip the assembly process and petition on directly. 

                  So my read is still that Hick won’t crack 45% at assembly. There will probably be some BS moves to nominate him by acclamation, or funky delegate counts, but this will cause a huge floor fight. Romanoff will probably get 30%, enough to get on the ballot. 

                  None of the female candidates will get 30% of the assembly delegate votes, but one or two, probably the experienced legislators Madden and Williams, will get at least 10%, and will have to decide whether to petition on.

                  Two of the remaining male candidates with substantial funds raised, but little name recognition, may petition onto the ballot, as they’ll be able to afford to pay signature gatherers: Dan Baer and John Walsh. They are reasonably good candidates; but I’d prefer a more qualified woman. 

                  So yes, you were partly right; the threshold at State is 30%. At lower levels, it is 15%.

                  Angela Williams is a currently serving Senator and former House Majority Chair. She hasn’t lost an election in 9 years. 

                  Alice Madden served in the Colorado House for 8 years, including 4 as Majority leader. She's also familiar with DC politics from serving in Obama’s DoE. She lost her last election,  and hasn’t served as a legislator since 2009.  

                  I like Ms. Madden, as I like and respect all of the female candidates I’ve met, but maintain that Williams, having the most recent legislative experience and a winning record, is more electable in Colorado now. I’ll concede the point that Madden held a higher rank in the House. 




                  • VoyageurVoyageur says:

                    Good update.
                      Your belief that Williams, who has never run in anything but a deep blue district and who barely hit 2 percent in the polls, is a hidden power house is just an opinion and you're entitled to it.

                    I see you changed your prediction on Romanoff who you used to predict would only get 20 pct when you thought 15 pct would make the ballot.  I doubt it, but again, that's just an opinion.  It would require many of the supporters to the female candidates to rally behind Romo.  That could happen, but only Trish Zornio refused to sign the letter demanding a female candidate.  Romo has many good qualities but femininity isn't one of them.

                    Williams's narrow base would make it very hard to petition on.  A fact you overlooked is that you need 1,500 in EVERY district.  A candidate could get 50,000 signatures in each of six districts but only 1,400 in, say, the fourth and would fail to make the ballot.

                    In the end, it's probably Hick alone.  Romo just isn't likely to hit the 30 pct unless the minor candidates coalesce around Romo — who has lost his last two tries at higher office.

                    Likewise, with so many women splitting the "chromosomes uber alles" vote, none of them are likely to make the ballot.

                    In your update you have Hick at 45, Williams and Madden at 10 each. That only leaves 35 percent for Romo to get his 30 pct, which is highly unlikely unless the horde of minor candidates thins further. Nor would I expect him to have the cash or the ego to petition on for a suicide run against Hick.

                    So, yes, you got some facts wrong in your earlier report, especially the 30 pct cutoff..  No shame in that, they are confusing.

                    Nor is there any shame in backing Williams. There are a dozen fine people running and any one would be better than Gardner.

                    But Hickenlooper will almost certainly be the nominee, probably without a primary.  I hope you can back him then.

      • MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

        They could extract heme from the roots of legumes; even hemp roots contain some levels of heme (apparently its a cost-factor-thing).  I've eaten a few Impossible Burgers; I find them relatively tasty (but raised on a ranch and consuming meat grown on the same ranch I'm still bias to the real thing).  There is a good hemp burger made in Canada that's pretty tasty, too, although it's hard to find here.

        For me it's not the cow, it's the how.  Anybody who has watched Food, Inc. looks at your options in the grocery store with a cocked eye.  Fifty years ago we had cattle on grass up to two years and put the last couple-hundred pounds with corn over a 90-100 day period.  With our cheap corn policy we've turned that equation upside down and it's not uncommon to have these cattle brought into the lots at 300 pounds and they spend the rest of their life in a cattle pen.  We need to get back to a grass-focused system that builds soil carbon and operates like nature intended. I'm a fan of the Savory system but there are several other good orgs as well such as Rodale, White Oak and Polyface Farms.  They are a little pricey, but Vital Farms has a great model that's growing at double-digit rates. 

        I have built up a lactose intolerance over time and my guilty pleasure of chocolate milk can now we served by a big glass of Oatley and Ripple! (with all due respect to my maternal grandfather who was a Minnesota dairy farmer, but also grew oats!)  

        • VoyageurVoyageur says:

          Unfortunately, grass fed beef produces more methane than grain fed beef, not less.  Yes, the grass itself stores some carbon but its a dubious bargain.  The nice thing about impossible burgers is they have no wheat and my celiac afflicted wife can eat them if they serve them in a lettuce bun, which they will.  But the standard, at 630 calories, is no bargain considering the meat version is 660.

          Way too many vege burgers have wheat, though there are some bean varieties.

          Like you, we raised our cows on grass, adding corn at the end primarily for marbeling.  But ruminants burp a lot of methane and methane is 34 times worse for global warming than CO2.  It has a half life of 10 years, so it will beset us for about 50 years.  CO2 is basically immortal, so pick your poison.

          It's enough to drive one to fracking fluid!

          • MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

            That's a myth that's been challenged by recent studies (and more are underway). The sad fact is that if we hadn't destroyed half of the soil carbon in our global soils over the last century we'd have the capacity to absorb CO2 at the levels we are experiencing today.   

            Can Responsible Grazing Make Beef Climate-Neutral?

            A new five-year study that will be published in the May 2018 issue of the journal Agricultural Systems suggests that they can. Conducted by a team of researchers from Michigan State University (MSU) and the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), the study suggests that if cattle are managed in a certain way during the finishing phase, grassfed beef can be carbon-negative in the short term and carbon-neutral in the long term.

            Christine Jones, an Australian soil ecologist, believes the MSU paper makes an invaluable contribution to the ongoing discussion on the role livestock can play in mitigating climate change. “The research clearly demonstrates there are no net emissions of greenhouse gas with well-planned AMP grazing, due to the sequestration of soil carbon,” Jones said. AMP grazing provides “countless other ecosystem services,” she added, “including improved biodiversity, erosion control (soil is by far America’s largest export), increased soil water-holding capacity, and greater drought resilience.”

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