Beyond Sausage™ product photo

Seriously? Fake Meat Will Save Us?

What will you be grilling for your summer holiday feasts? Hot dogs are a traditional favorite. Why not substitute some fake meat made of pea protein? Hot dogs – despite a beloved cultural image – have never been an especially wholesome food. For more on this, we refer you to Upton Sinclair’s expose on the meatpacking industry.

Fake Meat Riding High

Meat substitutes are having a moment. But we predict it won’t have a happy ending. Writing for the New York Times, Timothy Egan says “fake meat will save us.” PR like that is an agency’s dream come true.

So it’s no wonder that Beyond Meat was “going bananas” with a 550 percent surge in its stock price after a very successful IPO. Its rival, Impossible Foods, can’t keep up with demand for its Impossible Burger. That’s good news for farmers who can’t sell their soybeans – a typical plant based protein source. Suddenly, pea protein is hot. Prices for this humble legume are rising, even though soybean prices are depressed. (Blame the trade war.)

The biggest meat processor in the U.S., Tyson Foods, is jumping in to build a billion dollar brand with half-pea, half-beef burgers. Kellogg is supposedly sitting on a goldmine with its Morningstar Farms brand for fake meat.

This is getting serious.

A Fad That Hides Inconvenient Facts

Millennials want only whole, unprocessed foods and reject big brands that are the bedrock of “Big Food.” But they gladly gobble up veggie burgers that are, frankly, the quintessential ultra-processed food product. As we’ve noted before, PR spin taps into foodie moralism to make this fake food seem like a healthy choice.

Yes, indeed, we need toward a more sustainable diet that won’t destroy the planet. Fake burgers, though? The only answer they provide is to the question of how wealthy venture capitalists can grow even wealthier. By the time this fad is stale, they will have moved on to another get rich quick scheme. But it’s not going to give us a healthier diet.

Click here for more from Egan on how to save the world with fake meat. For a different perspective on how this fad takes fake food to a whole new level, click here.

Beyond Sausage™ product photo © Beyond Meat, Inc.

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July 4, 2019

5 Responses to “Seriously? Fake Meat Will Save Us?”

  1. July 04, 2019 at 7:11 am, Mary-Jo said:

    So true, Ted. And many of these ‘healthy’ veggie or bean burgers are pre deep-fried or need to be fried. I kind of like the idea of boiling whole carrots till tender and then grilling them. By the time you add the mustard, sauerkraut, and relish, you can’t even tell the difference with a normal hot dog. (Almost). Today, I’d put a mini-US flag on it before I served it to you.🇺🇸⛵️

    • July 04, 2019 at 7:24 am, Ted said:

      Thanks, Mary-Jo. Wishing you a wonderful summer with less of the dangerous heat that’s been broiling the Continent.

  2. July 04, 2019 at 8:21 am, Stephen Phillips said:

    The increase in the prevalence of vegans and vegetarians, as well as restaurants that cater to them, suggests that plant based meat is here to stay. Get used to it ..this is no fad.

    Mark Twain said, “There is nothing more unusual than other people’s habits”

    • July 04, 2019 at 12:05 pm, Ted said:

      Stephen, I agree that vegans and vegetarians are here to stay. It’s just the current fad of ultra-processed fake meat that I doubt will be enduring.

  3. July 04, 2019 at 9:07 am, Mary-Jo said:

    Thanks, Ted. Same to you. Fortunately, where we live, it’s been sunny, but cool and breezy as our village is on the North Sea. It’s in the high 60’s and low 70’s. Sunday, it’s USA vs. NL Women’s Final! Many beach tent restaurants are wheeling in widescreen TVs. I’m torn, but, shhh, I know who I really want to win!😁