Fake Meat Has Failed: People Want the Real Deal

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Within the past ten days, both Beyond Meat and Impossible Burger have announced that they plan to lay off 20% of their workforces. Despite early media hype about how these highly processed plant burgers would “save the planet,” it turned out a lot of people just didn’t like them that much. 

Americans keep hearing that we need to eat less meat.

This may be true. I’ve had friends that hit Whataburger two or three times a day, which is probably not necessary. I love Whataburger too, but not 10+ times a week. And a quick glance at Pub Med will show many articles about research being done, trying to nudge people into making healthier food choices. The World Economic Forum openly wants to “Nudge Meat Off the Menu.”

If this was all about health, well, a lot of us could probably use it. But is it just about health? Or are other factors at play here? Let’s look at some of the alternative proteins currently being pushed. 

More research is being done all the time on plant proteins.

Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods are both companies producing a synthetic ground meat substitute that somewhat looks and tastes like real beef. The hubris surrounding these companies’ product releases was pretty amazing. 

Both companies believe their products will save the world, and for a time, they were able to attract many celebrity endorsements and investors. They believe ending animal agriculture will solve humanity’s environmental problems and see their products as a more ethical substitute. 

So, what are these magically virtuous products? Beyond burgers are mostly made of pea and rice protein, and canola and coconut oil. Impossible burgers are made with soy protein, sunflower oil, and coconut oil. Both fake meat products “bleed.”Beyond uses beet juice to achieve this, while Impossible uses heme, a flavoring created from a genetically modified yeast.

I’ve tried these myself because I’ll try almost anything food-wise. If they’re mixed in with other foods, like in a casserole or lasagna, the taste isn’t super different from ground beef. However, I had some fairly painful digestive problems afterward and have no interest in trying them again. 

Insects have also been getting a lot of hype.

We’ve discussed this before at the OP. The WEF has been promoting insect-eating so aggressively and persistently for years now that one of their newer articles comes with this disclaimer:

Help us prevent the spread of disinformation

This article has been intentionally misrepresented on sites that spread false information. Please read the piece for yourself before sharing or commenting.

The World Economic Forum is committed to publishing a wide array of opinions.

Misrepresenting content diminishes open conversations.

 So, here’s the WEF article for you to read yourself, if you need more proof that they want us to eat insects.

In sum, the above-referenced WEF article claims that:

  1. Insects produce equivalent amounts of quality protein when compared to animals.
  2. Insects require less care and upkeep than livestock.
  3. We’re actually running out of protein.
  4. Insects are part of a virtuous ecocycle.
  5. You can start small and work your way up.

As a meat producer, I could take issue with every single one of these points. But that’s not the goal of this article. I just want to give evidence that most of us plebes are, indeed, being nudged toward eating insects. 

fake meat

People are getting heated up about this from both sides of the argument.

The European Union just approved lesser mealworm larvae and crickets as acceptable for human consumption. But then, in response, Qatar’s health minister reaffirmed his country’s ban on insect eating, saying that it is not halal and thereby forbidden for devout Muslims.

And this touches on why forcing us to eat certain things is more malicious than it may first appear. I’m not Muslim or Jewish. I’m supposed to avoid meat products at certain times of the year, but other than that, I don’t follow a religion with particularly strict dietary guidelines. However, I do have strong feelings about being able to practice my religion, and I tend to sympathize with others that feel the same way. When Jews and Muslims are being misled about the contents of their food, they are not just being “nudged” to make different diet choices; they are being nudged to violate their religious beliefs. 

(Don’t want to eat bugs? Then check out our free QUICKSTART Guide to building a 3-layer food storage system.)

Whether we knowingly choose them or not, insects are winding up in our food.

Small amounts of insect parts are unavoidable when we eat food produced on a mass scale.  Heck, I eat tons of food straight from my garden while I’m working without washing, and I’m sure I’ve scarfed down my share of bugs. I could be more attentive if I so chose. 

But this has been going on more than we realize. There has been controversy for some time now about the use of insects to create red dye. Personally, these insects have been used in such small amounts for such a long period of time I am not particularly troubled by it. But the labels merely refer to the insects as natural red 4, crimson lake, or E120. There’s no way to know what it is unless you research it, which has been problematic since many people with shellfish allergies also react to insects. 

Furthermore, small amounts of insects being used for food coloring is completely different from replacing diet staples like meat patties or flour with insects. In some ways, this is similar to the nutritional issues with soy. For a long time, soy was touted as a great meat alternative because it’s high in protein. And soy foods have been used in Asian countries for thousands of years. 

However, traditional Asian societies had very specific preparation techniques for soy.

Western countries that used novel preparation techniques found out that highly processed soy products are associated with their own set of health concerns.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise. Humans have been evolving for millennia; our guts have been evolving, too, with the natural foods surrounding us. The assumption that we can dump all kinds of new crap into our systems and function just as well as ever should strike us as dangerous. 

But we keep doing it anyway, and algae is another novel food they’re trying to push on us.

As with insects, proponents claim that algae is another source of protein that grows more quickly than meat. Also, like insects, eating algae is something many people find instinctively distasteful, which means that algae will most likely continue being added to products in the form of powders.

And again, while some algal species such as nori, spirulina, and carrageenan have been used as food sources for centuries, they were not consumed as the highly processed powders being pushed on us today. Even Irish carrageenan enthusiasts admit that the processed carrageenan ubiquitous in ice cream and other dairy products has been stripped of much of its nutritional value.

There is a distinct pattern here.

Capital is flowing toward companies that take relatively obscure foods, subject them to extreme processing, and then market them as healthier and more virtuous alternatives to traditional meat. This makes me think that this is less about health and sustainability and more about consolidating food production. 

More processing means more money for the processors and investors, and nowhere is this more obvious than lab-grown meat. 

So-called clean meat is a product made from animal cells cultured in large fermentation tanks. People have been researching this for years, with the first lab-grown burger being produced in 2013 for a whopping $330,000. Costs have come down since then, but as of 2022, even fairly optimistic proponents couldn’t see wholesale prices dropping below $17/lb, which means packaged products in the grocery store cost roughly $40/lb.

Beef’s gotten expensive, but it’s not $40/lb. Not yet, anyway, though that may change. Meat prices have stabilized recently because so many ranchers sent their animals to the slaughterhouse last year. Feed went crazy in 2022 for a few different reasons (drought , fuel prices, fertilizer export bans) and so it made sense to cull herds. That’s what’s in the grocery store right now. 

However, as of February 2023, the American beef herd is at its lowest level since 1962 which means that, once we eat up what’s currently at the store, it will be slim pickings for a while. If beef does hit $40/lb (I really hope it doesn’t), then it may get a bit more difficult to choose between meat from a real animal and a cellular slurry culture grown in a tank. 

But I think those of us trying to avoid the New World Order should take heart at the general public’s loss of interest in Beyond and Impossible foods.

It’s important to see that novel foods are marketed in much the same way as fashionable clothes. Once you start looking at food trends the same way you look at bell bottoms or those giant FUBU jeans everyone wore in the 90s, it becomes easier to see through the hype and stick to looking for the foods that previous generations grew strong on. 

It’s going to be more important than ever to read labels carefully if you want to retain a diet of familiar foods. And if it’s at all possible to buy meat from a farmer who you know, that would be even better, assuming you’re not in a position to raise meat yourself. 

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If you have a diet that works for you, don’t fall for the hype.

Continue to read labels, and do your best to support farmers producing the food you rely on. It may get less easy, but your health and the knowledge that you’re supporting farmers in your area rather than giant global conglomerates will be worth it. 

And what if you want to eat less meat anyway, not because Klaus told you to but because you’ve decided your body needs a break? From Egyptian foul to Indian dal, the world is full of delicious traditional vegetarian dishes. Good old-fashioned beans and veggies taste as good as they ever have, and you don’t need a laboratory for those.

What do you think about all this? Do you like the idea of being force-fed different foods? Do you have other objections to eating bugs? Have you tried any of the fake meats on the market? If so, what was your opinion? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section.

About Marie Hawthorne

A lover of novels and cultivator of superb apple pie recipes, Marie spends her free time writing about the world around her.

Picture of Marie Hawthorne

Marie Hawthorne

A lover of novels and cultivator of superb apple pie recipes, Marie spends her free time writing about the world around her.

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  • My Bible has guidelines for what is clean and unclean, I follow that. Only one insect is considered clean, the locust. Anything else is man-made tampering and not good for consumption.

      • Well, I love lobster, shrimp and scallops. I don’t like crab, catfish, clams or oysters. I always ate flounder, orange roughie, haddock, white fish and never thought about the rest…I was raised in a Baptist Church, but my grandma never mentioned not to eat foods like pork chops or BBQ pork. etc. neither did my mom. So, I ate it all, all of these years Hummmm…I am healthy enough. Haven’t been sick with a cold or the flu or any virus (including covid) since the fall of 2007. Not real sure, but I must be doing something right. My lungs, kidneys, gall bladder, and all are good. I have aches and pains b/c of muscle weakness and a bad back, sciatic nerve pain, and my bones ache from age. I suppose also a lack of enough movement b/c of polio as a kid. So, I’m not as active as I should be, but all in all I am still living my life, driving my car and utilizing my mind of 45…Longevity to me is how young you feel mentally…IF I think I am young then I will be, but I just turned 75 last Saturday the 4th of Feb. Blessing to all…

  • My daughter and I indulge in black bean burgers at Chili’s from time. They taste great and with the usual additions there is very little difference.

  • Funny, they tell us to eat minimally processed foods, avoid hyper-processed food stuff, and then push hyper-processed non-meat food stuff.
    Eat what you want.
    Dont expect me to give up my steak, pork, chicken, or fish.

    Could be interesting though. Say you have a large group of people who only eat the hyper-processed food stuff. What would their children look like from birth to their 20s?

      • Actually I was thinking they might be on the small, thin, and frail side.
        Anemic too.
        That is under the assumption they were fed a diet of soy-based food stuff from birth.

  • As someone who has worked HARD healing my Leaky Gut issues due to overuse of antibiotics, allergy shots, bad food choices early in life…I will tell you these alternative food choices ‘they’ offer are all bad. Soy is highly estrogenic which converts to more estrogen in the body (which contributes to man boobs by the way ;)). The burgers have something like 3x the USRDA sodium suggestion as well.

    One thing I’ve learned in my extensive research/efforts, eat food as close to how God made it as possible. Choose grass fed/grass FINISHED meat, chicken, pork, free range/pasture raised eggs (organic would be 2nd choice), so you don’t become antibiotic resistant.

    Again, if the gov’t is suggesting it…run from it!

  • With the American herd being so far down from its usual size, it may be that the government is pushing alternative sources because the meat is running out. Not that they’re doing this for our own good of course. Given how hard they’ve been working to slaughter meat birds, I can see consolidation of food production being a huge motivation. Control the food, control the people. To paraphrase Damien Thorn: someone with a knife at their belly keeps their hands at their sides.

    • It’s easy–glib, in fact–to spout slogans. But HOW would “they” “control the food”? What would that look like? WHO would do it? Where? How? How much manpower to “they” have? Where can they project it? And HOW?

  • One of my neighbors raises cows. However, he is slowly getting rid of them. The market, profit, is not there. He is getting less now for a cow then he did twenty years ago. He is making more money/profit off his goats. Partly due to the increase in muslims and south Americans that have moved in. I raise meat ducks and chickens. Had to give up my dairy goats due to my husbands health. The only real way to ensure your food is safe, is to raise it yourself.

  • The entire “fake meat” industry is just another incarnation of the processed food conglomerates. Processed foods are killing the American population faster than any other cause. The “meat substitutes” are no exception.

  • Eat natural. Plenty of dark yellow yolks. Plenty of fatty beef and pork. Lard and tallow are your friend. Cheese and raw milk are good for you. Ditch the man-made carbs, seed oils, breads and pastas. Avoid sugars like the plague. Your BP will go down, the pounds will evaporate, that heart arrythmia will disappear and your blood sugar will normalize.

  • I’ve noticed that stores are offering lots of fake meat items with deep sale prices to get you to eat it. Pass. I don’t care if your “beyond meat” product costs less than ground beef. I’m still not going to eat it.

    If I want to eat “plant based” anything, it’ll be a salad or black beans. It won’t be something they’re trying to pass off as meat. This kind of stuff explains why vegans are always so unhappy!

  • I believe there is more to all this than meets the eye. Why did the USDA change the food pyramid to add processed foods? Why don’t they want us to eat meat? I don’t have the answers but now they have an Avian Flu Vaccine for poultry. What does that really have in it? We buy and eat local as much as we can and grow some fruits and vegetables ourselves. I wish I could understand what they really want to accomplish

    • The food pyramid has nothing to do with nutrition. It hasn’t for 25 years. The last pyramid and the current MyPlate idiocy are the work of the USDA and the food industry.

      After all, it isn’t like they want you to buy less stuff…

    • “Why did the USDA change the food pyramid to add processed foods?”

      Plain old graft and corruption. Big Agra has Big Bucks with which to buy up all the high-ranking bureaucrats in the FDA & CDC. I’m retire from one of those agencies, ad I have SEEN it up close.

      The cricket burgers are a different thing. Only tangentially related, if at all.

  • Cell grown meat…. in a lab… its coming… there are many usa plants getting ready, and the FDA is starting to look at it, for potential approval. Here is one company among many. No thanks.. Not what the Lord intended.

  • Marie…..the stomach issues you had were probably from the soy. As someone who has a fairly painful reaction to soy I read every label. It’s unbelievable how much soy is in our foods from infant formula to crackers to salad dressing. I’m sure that we are healthier now than before. No soy, no seed oils, lots of healthy fats like avocados, olive/coconut oil, and fatty meat. I cook most things in bacon fat. We have at least two meals a week with legumes.
    You couldn’t make me eat any of the fake meat out there, I’d rather eat boot leather.

  • These top down directives to indulge corporate interests by consuming disgusting fare reminds me of the situation at Disney, where woke board members are forcing leftist propaganda disguised as entertainment down our children’s throats – and losing billions in revenue as a result. They will try, and fail spectacularly.

  • Out of curiosity, better half and I tried an impossible Whopper. Edible with all the fixings (mayo and ketchup can usually make most things edible. And the fixings were really all we tasted besides the bun. I avoid fake stuff – I eat ice cream occasionally and it is the real thing, not DQ, Mickey D’s etc. I don’t feel well when I don’t eat enough meat, especially red meat. I pony up the bucks at Xmas to buy eggnog from a local manufacturer – comes in a glass bottle. You’re better off eating less of a real, whole food than a lot of highly processed/engineered poor imitation.
    And if you don’t sit on your butt all day, you can live into your 90s eating red meat/meat, drinking whole/raw milk, fried foods (read from real ingredients).

  • While those who believe they are our betters feast on Maine Lobster and Wagyu Beef, think they’ll force us to eat Mealworm Burgers and Cricket Canapés, they’re about to learn the real meaning of an Armed Insurrection.

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