The Fake Meat War: A Battle for Palates
Many people are aware of the pitfalls of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) — unnatural diets of GMO grains, crowded conditions, inhumane treatment, excessive pollution and rampant spread of disease. CAFOs are bad — but the new fake food era is going to be even worse.
Fake food now includes lab-grown meat, animal-free dairy and plant-based meat — high tech marvels of the food world that are supposed game changers for how we eat. But despite the hype, a cursory glance behind the curtain reveals a sordid tale of lies, greed and nutritional corruption.
Plant based burgers are already semi-established. We’re told they’re just like an old-fashioned veggie burger, but in reality, we’re staring at a chemical nightmare. Contrasting real meat with plant based meat shows there are “large differences” in vitamins, amino acids, fat types and other important building blocks of your body’s biochemistry, according to a 2021 study in the journal Scientific Reports.
For the sake of brevity, we’ll focus on one company: Impossibe Burger. It’s an ultra-processed food containing these ingredients:
As you can see, it’s mostly soy protein, as well as preservatives, salt, flavorings, and fillers to enhance its taste, shelf life, and texture. It also contains glyphosate made from genetically modified (GM) soy, thanks to being sprayed with Roundup from Monsanto. The State of California stated that glyphosate is known to cause cancer while the World Health Organization says it is “probably carcinogenic to humans.”
Also Impossible Burger contains 27 percent new proteins never before found in the human body as a result of the fermentation process used to make Soy Leghemoglobin (referred to as “heme”). Dr. Michael Hansen, senior scientist at Consumers Union, mentioned that "none of these proteins have a formal safety assessment.
The health effects of GE heme are unknown, but this didn't stop the U.S. Food and Drug Administration from approving soy leghemoglobin in 2019. The Center for Food Safety (CFS) filed a lawsuit challenging the approval, which they called "unusually rapid" and risky for public health.
So essentially, saving the planet causes a massive forfeiture of human health. Nice! Next, let’s check out the newest variant of meats: the lab grown variety.
Lab Produced Meat
“Farm-to-table” has long been a sought-after designation for food—but “lab-to-table” might be the next trend for your favorite animal protein. Lab produced meat, also known as cultured or in vitro meat is said to be biologically the same as traditional meat.
Lab-grown food is already available to the public, being approved for sale in Singapore and San Francisco-area restaurants.
The California startup UPSIDE Foods became the first to get FDA approval for its cultivated chicken. Eat Just’s GOOD Meat branded lab-grown chicken was also approved for production in Singapore
Curiously, this meat has already been deemed safe for human consumption by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). On November 16, the FDA stated it had “no further questions” regarding the production of cell-cultured chicken by California’s Upside Foods.
In brief, the FDA’s ruling means that Upside’s lab-grown chicken is safe for humans to eat because it doesn’t differ from regular chicken on a cellular level. That’s a curious stance, since there were no human trials conducted to determine if lab-grown meat is safe for human consumption. Instead, the FDA simply evaluated data provided by companies such as Upside Foods. In short, the fox gets to tell us the hen house is safe.
Let’s examine why eating this food may be a really bad idea!
Here’s the official explanation of how it’s made:
The cells are housed in a medium that contains the nutrients needed to grow the meat. The cells are kept in an environment that maintains the right temperature and oxygen level for them to multiply. Through this process, tissue forms that can be harvested once it has grown big enough. (Verywellhealth.com)
Fairly benign right? Here’s another (clearer) way to look at it:
Lab grown meat is made from animal cells grown in a lab tank (mixed with a cocktail of growth factors) to create a steak or chicken breast. You basically get a processed food full of manmade nutrients and other unsavory ingredients, says Slate.com. If that doesn’t harm you, then the possible use of antibiotics in cell cultures, as well as fungicides, hormones and growth factors will.
The giant vats cells grow in may also present a problem with contamination from bacterial or fungal growth, mycoplasma, growth factors, serums and antimicrobials, Researchgate tells us.
There is no publicly accessible science that proves this new junk food is not a tragic health gamble. Why not just purchase meat from farms with open fields, where grass-fed livestock walk under the eyes of honest, local farmers?
You can’t fake health. The flavor of real meat is born in the pasture and this connection to soil is crucial for us.