Fake Meat

How is it possible that people don’t see the insistent peddling of fake meat as some sort of a green alternative as a blatant marketing ploy that it is?

Cigarettes don’t make you thin. Fake meat won’t save the planet.

22 thoughts on “Fake Meat”

  1. Actually, given the amount of resources devoted to producing animal protein for human consumption, anything that gets humans to consume less resource-intensive protein sources could have a big impact on the environment.

    In principle people could just eat beans, but they like the taste and texture of meat, so competitive substitutes for meat will have to basically be artificial meat, emulating the taste, texture, and protein content but with less resource-intensive production methods.


  2. In fact, fake meat does a lot of good. The amount of land spent producing corn, and grazing cattle, who produce methane gas, is enormous and is a big contributor to environmental destruction. Competitive substitutes for meat are a good idea even if some of us are fine with just beans.


        1. \ you think fake meat will be more toxic than regular meat

          Why? Aren’t farm animals lying in their waste and packed with antibiotics? The logic of production costs prevents a change in their condition, while fake meat can be improved by R&D.

          One cannot feed the entire world / America with organic meat and vegetables, so I do not see it as a possibility.

          Ironically, after working on fake meat, it may be closer to organic standards than usual meat in shops today.


          1. That’s exactly what I’m saying. This will be fake food for the poor. Who already suffer from exploding obesity even in the 3rd world because of all the fake food they eat.


            1. “This will be fake food for the poor”
              Of course, anything being pushed by the mainstream media is guaranteed to be disastrous for the poor (or non-white) and especially poor non-whites but it’s being pushed by progressives so people politely decline to notice.
              From fat acceptance to hook up culture to eschewing marriage and celebrating single motherhood…. these are things the wealthy can maybe get away with (though they mostly steer clear of them) and are devastating to non-privileged populations.
              If the media is pushing it – it’s poison. Proceed with that assumption and you’ll be less likely to get burned…


  3. I partly disagree here since peddling of fake meat can both be a marketing ploy and many other things.

    I see it as the next step in the food revolutions disproving malthusian theory of humanity running out of food sources. ( Malthus talked about the inability to produce enough food, but we have another danger of global warming resulting partly from our wildly successful food production. )

    In addition to lessening environmental destruction, fake meat will lessen suffering of farm animals. I eat meat and do not plan to stop; however, I also know that animals are tortured in meat industry and would love to end their suffering by switching humanity to ‘fake’ meat even if it does zero for environment. I put the word fake in quotation marks since there is nothing magical in tissues taken from a killed cow in comparison with the same tissues raised in laboratory settings.

    When medicine progresses to taking human cells and growing from them an organ like a kidney, will you call this kidney ‘fake’ too? Why? Are children produced via IVF less human or ‘fake’? People may have perceived them thus a few centuries ago.

    Of course, meat industry is horrified by this development since, unlike vegetarianism, lab-grown meat will take their place – not because of environment but rather because of lower costs of production. People of the future will look at us and find the idea of raising animals for slaughter both barbaric (cruel) and unhygienic. Do you know how many antibiotics those animals receive and how often they are ill?

    I do agree with you that one should not take all and any ads on faith, but raising meat outside of animals is fantastic on so many levels, for so many reasons, that I am 100% sure my generation will see this meat bringing a real revolution during our lifetime.


    1. And ketchup is a vegetable. 🙂

      Let’s try our usual test once again. What will be the very rich eating? Processed and grown in a lab or fresh and real? The people who will make fortunes on the fake meat, will they eat real steaks or artificial ones?

      As for artificial kidneys and IVF, nobody recurs to them as the first choice. These are always the very last options anybody goes to and that only happens as a result of great tragedy.


      1. \ As for artificial kidneys and IVF, nobody recurs to them as the first choice. These are always the very last options anybody goes to and that only happens as a result of great tragedy.

        The question of whether an artificial kidney is less real is unconnected to whether it’s used as the first or the last option.

        If there are artificial wombs, I am sure many women will want to choose them. Probably no research is done in this direction in the first place partly since women’s concerns are not seen as sufficiently important. If men were magically forced to give birth tomorrow, we would’ve seen something different.

        \ What will be the very rich eating? Processed and grown in a lab or fresh and real? The people who will make fortunes on the fake meat, will they eat real steaks or artificial ones?

        Depends when. In the beginning, they will eat real steaks, but in the future there is no scientific reason I know of (as of yet) that would prevent fresh lab meat from being worse than ‘real’ one.


        1. As somebody who used to dream of the time when artificial wombs were invented, I can now say that this is a sign of serious psychological disturbances that should be treated ASAP.


            1. It’s a fear of the normal functioning of the female body. Usually happens in victims of abuse or some sort of violation of an invasive nature. And it’s normally just a tip of the iceberg. There are tons of other issues that are part of this package. Anxiety, sometimes to the point of suicidal ideation, maybe addiction, etc.


  4. Fake meat will never replace real meat to any significant degree because it tastes very BLAH! I certainly have no intention of giving up the joy of grilling real steaks and pork chops on my George foreman just to save the world.

    I did most of my psychiatric residency at Loma Linda University Medical Center in California, and discovered to my horror that the medical center cafeteria served ONLY fake meat (fake ham, fake chicken, even fake fish). (LLU is run by Seventh-Day Adventists whose religion compels them to eat no pork or shellfish [per the Biblical Old Testament] and encourages them to eat no meat, fish, or fowl at all.)

    The fake food was so bad that I either skipped lunches or drove off-campus to a local restaurant that served REAL food!


  5. Of course not all meat is going to go away. Some more arid landscapes only grow scrub (at least not without piping in massive amounts of water), so those regions are really only useful for feeding people if it’s grazing ground for cows/sheep/etc. Indigenous populations in such regions need meat to survive. I have no love for the meat production industry (I’m a pescatarian), and I am deeply concerned about what we’re doing to the environment… So I’m solidly on board with safe/healthy meat alternatives (have been eating things like soy burgers since I was a kid) if that helps make “real” meat something most humans only eat on special occasions.


  6. Most of the fake meat products I’ve tried have been blah or have mostly gotten their flavor from lots of salt. If the world needs to eat less meat for environmental reasons, it would be far more effective to encourage people to eat more of the many good, real foods and dishes found in various cuisines around the world that happen to be vegetarian.

    Unfortunately, the fake meat approach ruins good vegetarian foods in the minds of ordinary people. For example, I’ve had some really tasty Chinese and Japanese dishes that featured tofu, but in the US we take tofu and make things like tofurky, tofu corndogs, tofu cheese, and tofu cheesecake which are not good. It’s no wonder that people get exposed to those fake foods and decide that tofu and all things vegetarian are gross.


  7. Clarissa, you’re making two different points – the health of near anyone, including the poor, is entirely irrelevant to the state of the planet on an ecological level, and arguing against one when you lead with the other is blatant cheating. 😛

    On the save the planet front, it’s some segment of a half-measure. “The planet is important but not as important as getting the taste of beef just right” is a pretty clear set of priorities.

    On the health/marketing side… Isn’t this stuff marketed to the well to do right now? It’s the elois of the world who are supposed to subsist on cruelty free fairy dust.

    I also don’t know how good of a proxy “well what are the rich going to do?” is for health measures. A lot luxury foods have historically been such not because of their inherent health benefits, but because of their relative rarity. Corresponding staples may have been about as good, sometimes better.

    Also, I’m not a biologist and I mostly agree with the following idea because it meshes well with my bleak world view, but…

    There is no such thing as healthy food.

    This world wasn’t given us by god to make us the best we can be, it grew out of a bunch of creatures trying to eat each other. Most things do not like to be eaten, and so near anything is at least a little bit poison to everything else. There are worse and better ways to manage that fact, but there’s no escaping it.

    At least, that’s what I hum to myself when I’m cooking. 🙂


    1. I don’t think it will even remotely save the planet to put everybody on artificial food. We already eat tomatoes and apples that don’t even smell like food, and that did nothing whatsoever for climate change. This is all a trick to make people consume garbage and feel like they are on an important mission. If people honestly prefer fake meat or plastic tomatoes, good for them. Just don’t claim it’s part of some sort of a political agenda is what I say.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.