The Problem With Fake Meat – Part 1

We see it everywhere: fake meat! The answer to the world’s problems! No more cows, come join us, eat this fake stuff, it’s good for you and good for the planet!! While that sounds tempting, if I’ve learned anything in life, going all the way back to life as a young lad it’s that if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. And my, “sounds too good to be true” alarms have been ringing ever since fake meat busted on to the scene.

So let’s pull back the hood on this fake “meat” craze, and see what’s really going on here. 

Let’s first look at the Impossible Burger, and it’s astronomical rise to popularity and, as much as this hurts me to say, success. They’ve raised over $257 million from investors,13 who include Bill Gates, Khosla Ventures, Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz’s Open Philanthropy Project, on the guise that the Impossible Burger resembles meat “right down to the taste and beeflike ‘blood.’” Those are people who know what they’re talking about right? People who would put their money in the right places? Right??

Well, it seems like the astronomical rise of these fake meats has been propelled by a guise of being healthy and being good for the planet. This week, we’re just going to look at the health claim. 

When we look inside the fake meat burgers, we see a highly-processed mix of soy, wheat, coconut oil, potatoes and genetically engineered (GE) yeast. These lay question to the claims of health. According to Dr. Joseph Mercola, fake meat such as the Impossible Burger is nutritionally inferior to real, non-CAFO meat such as 100 percent grass fed beef, which contain a complex mix of nutrients and cofactors that you cannot recreate by an assembly of individual components.

The above argument looks at the fake meat through the lense of: “what is this stuff I’m putting into my body?” It’s also important to look through the lens of “What am I MISSING from putting into my body when I choose fake meat?” According to Daniel Payne, USA Today, human beings are part of a long meat-eating evolutionary chain stretching back millions of years; our bodies and our physiology have been shaped countless millennia of a meat-rich omnivorous diet. There is compelling evidence that eating (and eventually cooking) meat essentially created modern human beings; all of that protein gave our ancestors’ brains distinct evolutionary advantages over lower primates and other mammals.

So, looking at Fake Meat, and its success. They harp on the added health benefits, while they are really just putting out another highly processed food that is far from natural. Additionally, they are completely discounting the benefits to the body that arise from eating healthy, regenerative beef. 

Remember, it’s not the cow, it’s the how.