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The Problems with Artificial Meat

Have you noticed that many places are now marketing artificial meat now? There are some major problems with this, however. “Impossible Burger” and “Beyond Meat”, for all the advertising, have quite a few problems that the companies that produce these products are well aware of.

One big problem right out of the gate is that artificial meat tastes nothing like meat and lacks the texture of meat. It does look like ground meat, but that is about it. To be fair, artificial meat wasn’t invented in an effort to convince people to eat less meat. It was invented to produce something that is vaguely similar to meat because many vegans and vegetarians missed having meat in their diets. In other words, it was created to cater to vegans and vegetarians rather than to meat-eaters.

A bigger problem is one of health. Artificial meat producers try to say that their product is healthier than meat, but is it, really? The answer is a resounding, “No!”

For example, this is what is in Beyond Meat

Pea protein isolate, expeller pressed canola oil, refined coconut oil, water, yeast extract, maltodextrin, natural flavors, gum arabic, sunflower oil, salt, succinic acid, acetic acid, non-GMO modified food starch, cellulose from bamboo, methylcellulose, potato starch, beet juice extract, ascorbic acid, annatto extract, citrus fruit extract, vegetable glycerin.

Let’s look at some of these.

Processed soy, used to make soy protein isolate, is harmful to health. It has been proven to cause reproductive health problems in humans, including a drop in fertility, and to stimulate the growth of breast tumors.

The processed soy also contains a substantial amount of aluminum, which isn’t good for health.

Canola oil has been touted as healthy, but expeller pressed canola oil is decidedly not. Part of the process involves using pressure to force the oil out of rapeseeds, then taking the resulting cakes of canola and putting them through a hexane wash for a little longer than an hour. Hexane is a chemical solvent and is a powerful neurotoxin. After this, it is washed with sodium hydroxide. This is the very strong lye that used to be sold to unclog drains and toilets. It is hard to even find sodium hydroxide on the market anymore because of the hazards it possesses.

It is sneaky to call one of the ingredients ‘yeast extract’, too. Many people know this substance better as MSG or Monosodium Glutamate. Healthy problems tied to MSG is better discussed in another article.

That is just some of the ingredients and I didn’t talk about all of them that are dangerous.

How does it stack up against ground beef, nutritionally? A patty of the same size is about the same in calories between the two. Beef is slightly higher in fat, but beyond beef is higher in saturated fat. Beyond beef is nearly 8 times higher in sodium, though. It is lower in protein than beef but contains carbohydrates, which beef lacks. Most people eat far too many carbs and not nearly enough protein, as it is.

Is artificial meat healthy? I’ll let you decide, but the facts speak for themselves.

  • Have you ever eaten Beyond Meat or other artificial meats?

    • Yes
    • No
    • I have no desire to try it
    • I didn’t realize that it was so unhealthy
  • If you have eaten artificial meat, do you like the taste and texture?

    • Yes
    • No
    • Does not apply because I’ve never tried it

What do you think?

9 points
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Written by Rex Trulove

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