Beyond Meat burgers are pretty good

I saw them in a grocery store:

and made them the next night:

and can report back that Alex Tabarrok is right: they’re pretty good. Like him I’ll buy them again.

There actually isn’t much to say about the burgers, which is good news. They taste good. They’re easy to make. Nothing gets killed in order to make them. They’re a drop-in replacement for conventional burgers. Sometimes “not much to say” is the best news of all; that was true of the Priority Classic bike and it’s true of the Beyond Meat burger.

Right now lots of venture capitalists and companies are exploring lab-grown meat. That’s great news. In the meantime Beyond Meat is a small but noticeable step in the right direction.

By the way, I also tried Soylent (another thing that might be called “non-traditional food,” although I don’t think the category has a proper name) and found it, if not vile, then at least unpalatable. I bought more of it than I should have and ended up dumping the majority.

Links: Identity politics are bad, SpaceX, online shame, cheating, and books, books, books

* Why identity politics are bad for the left and everyone else, featuring Mark Lilla.

* “Meet Gwynne Shotwell, the Woman Who Could Take Us to Mars: The SpaceX president sees no extraterrestrial challenge too big to tackle.”

* “Who should be shamed, and who not?” We’re not thinking very hard about this.

* “America, Home of the Transactional Marriage,” though it strikes me that there may be more going on here than the author describes.

* “The Books We Don’t Understand;” I especially like the paragraph about The Fermata. Smut, literary and otherwise, is also underrated by many literary mandarin types.

* What We Can Learn from Women Who Cheat. Relatedly, maybe, “Assessing Female Mate Preferences: Answers to Ten Common Criticisms of Evolutionary Psychology.”

* “William Gibson Has a Theory About Our Cultural Obsession With Dystopias.” I like this: “Seriously, what I find far more ominous is how seldom, today, we see the phrase ‘the 22nd century.'” Still can’t get into graphic novels in most cases, however.

* Are You a Carboholic? Why Cutting Carbs Is So Tough.

* Concerns About College Costs Mean Fewer Luxury Dorms. Also in academia, “The Tenure Track Is Too Rigid to Help Diversity.” Tenure reform is one of the major ways we could make academia more humane.

* “In ‘Campus Confidential,’ a Professor Laments That Teaching Is Not the Priority of Teachers.” Seems so obvious that I’m surprised an entire book had to be written on the subject.

* Aging Parents With Lots of Stuff, and Children Who Don’t Want It. In an age of lots of cheap stuff, holding onto anything that’s not being actively used doesn’t make any sense.

* “How Seattle morphed from bikeshare failure to industry leader in five months.”

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