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To the Editor:

As a fourth-generation cattle farmer, I take pride in raising nutritious, high-quality 100% real beef. My family raises cows and sells the calves after they are weaned.

I’m concerned that consumers are being misled into believing that imitation beef made out of plant-based alternatives is superior to real beef. Consumers can feel confident about choosing real beef that is healthy, tastes great, and is raised by responsible Illinois farmers.

The perceived nutrition of imitation beef and its manufactured ingredients cannot compare to the 10 essential nutrients and protein content of natural, sustainably-raised beef. The ingredients of an imitation hamburger are many and include manufactured components such as potato protein and methylcellulose. In comparison, the list of ingredients of a real hamburger is 100% real beef! Which one would you rather feed your family?

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Illinois cattle farmers have a long-standing commitment to caring for our animals and providing families with the safest, highest-quality beef possible. I care about the beef that I raise and that care cannot be duplicated by a lab technician growing cells for imitation beef.

We live in a country where consumers have an endless supply of food choices thanks in large part to the success of production agriculture. I want to assure consumers who are tempted to choose plant-based substitutions that they can feel confident in their decision to choose real beef that is responsibly, sustainably raised by real farmers. Don’t be faked out by the imitators.

Ed Billingsley

Goreville

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