Jeff Broin’s $1.1 million dollars didn’t buy enough votes to stop Wholestone Farms from stinking up his neighborhood with a new slaughterhouse. The proposed moratorium on slaughterhouses in Sioux Falls failed last week on a narrow 48%–52% vote.
Central Sioux Falls city councilman Curt Soehl puts on his old seed cap and says agri-business über alles:
“Sioux Falls is open for business,” Soehl said. “We look for good businesses to move to our city, and if you follow the rules, we’re gonna support you – I think that’s the message going forward. Sioux Falls is still an ag community, and we support agriculture, especially value-added agriculture” [C.J. Keene, “Proposed Meatpacking Plant Clears Hurdle After Ban Vote Fails,” SDPB, 2022.11.14].
Hey, Curt: the whole reason Sioux Falls has boomed over the past generation while the very similar Sioux City has not is that Sioux Falls has embraced the idea of being something more than an ag community, of diversifying its economy to invite workers whose talents and interests do not affirm the obsolete image certain pols keep promoting (with bothersomely persistent success) that real South Dakotans consist exclusively of sodbusters and cowpokes.
Besides, butchering living creatures for meat is (a) gross, (b) environmentally unsustainable, (c) prone to child labor abuses, and (d) quite possibly on the verge of becoming completely unnecessary thanks to science:
Instead of raising livestock on farms, Uma Valeti, a cardiologist, and co-founder of Upside Foods, dreamt of a way to “grow” meat in a production facility, by culturing animal cells.
The concept for what’s now called “cultivated” meat came to Valeti when he was working with heart attack patients at the Mayo Clinic more than 15 years ago, growing human heart cells in a lab. It should be possible to grow meat with similar science, he realized.
Scientists could extract cells from an animal via a needle biopsy, place them in tanks, feed them the nutrients they need to proliferate, including fats, sugar, amino acids and vitamins, and end up with meat.
It has taken years of experimentation by a crew of biologists, biochemists and engineers to turn that concept into a product ready to eat. Now the company is awaiting a greenlight from the Food and Drug Administration to begin selling its first cultivated meat products, including a chicken fillet.
After four years of talks with regulators at the FDA, Valeti anticipates this could happen “in the very near future.” When it does, Upside’s production facility in Emeryville, Calif., will be able to produce over 50,000 pounds of cultivated meat products per year [Allison Aubrey, “From Science Fiction to Reality, ‘No Kill’ Meat May Be Coming Soon,” NPR, 2022.11.14].
If Jeff Broin doesn’t move out of Sioux Falls in a fit of pique at the very capitalist shruggery that helps him run fragrant ethanol plants near suffering populations., perhaps he can invest in Dr. Valeti’s meat breweries to give Wholestone Farms hog slaughterhouse some futuristic competition.