The job of the plant-based 'Impossible Burger' that Air New Zealand is serving on flights to Auckland from Los Angeles is to help make it possible for the airline to stay in business. It is not, as some politicians suggest, a kick in the teeth from the national carrier towards New Zealand's grass-based animal industries.
It is rather business-as-usual from Air NZ, which generally stays ahead of the curve in finding innovative ways to promote itself. The appearance of meatless burgers on services from California fits this model.
The politicians would have been on firmer ground had they questioned the wisdom of Air NZ adding a novel item to its menu when the burger has not completely cleared all the American food regulatory hurdles.
According to reports, the United States Food and Drug Administration has yet to complete a safety review of a "magic" ingredient in the pattie which, the makers claim, means the veggie burger tastes, feels and looks like beef.
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In a sense this is semantic because the Silicon Valley start-up company which spent about $120 million perfecting its recipe has sold truck loads of the burgers. The FDA delay in giving the product the full all-clear seems as much to do with a push by the nervous US cattle industry to regulate "clean meat" as with any food safety concerns.
The grizzles about Air NZ have a similar resonance. The reality facing the New Zealand agriculture sector is that competition from synthetic biology is only going to get bigger.
The ingredients in the burgers on Air NZ's business menus will, sooner rather than later, be on the shopping lists of consumers going to their local supermarkets. The livestock industry knows it faces disruption and is looking at ways to innovate and adapt. Will it always be impossible for some of our politicians to follow suit?