Fake meat has recently come on the health foods scene as a plant-based alternative to real meat. It is made from plant sources of protein like soy protein isolate and has gained status from people seeking to reduce their meat intake.
Fake meat offers a similar amount of protein and calories to real meat and can be found in most grocery stores nationwide as well as specialty grocery stores like Whole Foods.
But is it healthy? No, it’s not! Here are five reasons why I suggest avoiding fake meat:
- It’s soy-based and ultra-processed. Ultra-processed means that it is composed of already processed foods. It’s not a whole food like real meat. The soy is processed into just soy protein. And the soy in the Impossible Burger uses GMO soy, which means it has traces of the herbicide RoundUp. I’ll admit that I’m not a fan of soy. Besides being mostly GMO, the soy has a type of estrogen hormone, which has been linked to weight gain.
- Not nutrient dense. Because of its ingredients and its processing, fake meat lacks the micronutrients such as zinc, selenium, and B vitamins found in ground beef. Additionally, cholesterol and saturated fat are also important to consume for healthy living. Fake meat has neither.
- Price. We are in a recession where many things are more expensive. Fake meat is about twice the price of high quality, grass-fed organic ground beef.
- May contain gluten & GMOs. 20% of naturally gluten-free foods that are processed contain gluten. 2% of certified gluten-free foods contain gluten. If you have Celiac or are gluten sensitive, this should be concerning. The popular fake meat producer, Beyond Meat, is certified non-GMO, but not certified gluten-free. Impossible Foods products are certified gluten-free but not certified non-GMO. Both gluten and glyphosate can open your tight junction barrier and cause leaky gut.
- Culture of dependency. This spring with the infant baby formula crisis, we saw what happens when an industry is dependent upon monopoly manufacturing. With the closure of the Abbott plant in Michigan, the shortage of infant formula left mothers on federal subsidies unable to provide formula for their infants. Could the same dependency happen with the meat industry? Currently, it is difficult to conceive of this, however, the same thing could have been said 80 years ago about infant formula. Being able to raise a cow or travel a short distance to a farm that has raised cows provides the freedom to source healthy protein for one’s family. Purchasing it from an industrial food manufacturing plant leads to dependency. Joel Salatin talks about this in this week’s podcast, which you can listen to here.