First_cultured_hamburger_unbaked

The first cultured hamburger created in a laboratory, ready to be baked on 5 August 2013. Image source.

by Paul Fassa
Health Impact News

A controversial plant-based meat and egg manufacturer’s products are touted as the eventual answer to large scale factory farming that focuses on livestock for most of the population’s meat, eggs, and dairy products. This company is one of the leaders in the current trend of vegan lab produced meats, eggs, and cheese.

The high-tech food start-up company Hampton Creek, now renamed JUST, and its CEO Josh Tetrick, and its financial backers with Bill Gates among them, see this as the future of food.

This seems appropriate for the globalist corporate food agenda, as Gates sees GMOs as the future of food as well, and he owns a half-million shares of Monsanto stock, valued at $23 million in 2013. (Source)

JUST’s mission statement of providing plant based meats and eggs to prevent the slaughter of farm animals and its inherent large scale ecological damage also implies a future of genetically engineered meat products created in laboratores.

“Tetrick explained how, rather than slaughtering a chicken, scientists could extract stem cells from a bird’s fallen feather and grow them into muscle cells.” (Source)

Reducing factory farmed livestock foods is a noble and worthy aspiration.

But are lab created meats, eggs, and cheeses really healthy options?

Are Lab Created Meats and Eggs Healthy?

Using a laboratory to create “food” to taste like meat could be considered healthy by those who shun meat for their health and animal protection purposes, but is it ultimately really healthy for humans?

Some laboratory created foods to replace animal products are already in the market and available to consumers.

In 2013, Health Impact News did an investigation of a mayonnaise product called Just Mayo that was introduced into Whole Foods’ retail inventory. Just Mayo was made with synthetically produced eggs from plants, called Beyond Eggs, which was created by the same start-up company, Hampton Creek (now renamed JUST).

Health Impact News editor Brian Shilhavy’s 2013 article raised concerns over the fact that Canola Oil was part of what went into producing Hampton Creek’s Just Mayo, and that Whole Foods was at least indiscriminate promoting Canola Oil as a healthy oil, which they use in many of their prepared food products.

What is accepted as a healthy food or edible oil may not really be so healthy. Canola oil is a perfect example of that incorrectly assumed understanding. The article stated:

“It is possible they [Hampton Creek and Whole Foods] are sourcing only non-GMO canola, but even the original canola plant engineered from rapeseed was produced by genetic manipulation. Canola oil is not a traditional oil, and it has only been in the food chain for a short time.” (Complete article here)

There are ways of getting around not showing harmful ingredients on packaged and processed food labels. Several organic cereal companies switched deceptively to the label “Natural” after being bought up by large multi-national companies. They weren’t organic anymore.

But most consumers assumed natural to mean organic even though the USDA Organic seal isn’t on the package. Even the USDA organic seal on packaged or processed foods is not as much of a guarantee as it was because several ingredient exceptions have been allowed over the past few years.

One of those ingredients used in packaged foods labeled “natural” is hexane, which unlike most other nations, the FDA has no limits on the amounts used. According to the online organic food protection site The Cornucopia Institute, which reports the good, the bad, and the ugly among food producers who claim their products are organic:

To process common soy ingredients, such as soy protein isolate and soy protein concentrate, manufacturers immerse whole soybeans in a bath of synthetic, petroleum-based solvents. Hexane is classified as a neurotoxin by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and a hazardous air pollutant by the Environmental Protection Agency. (Source)

See: Dirty Little Secret in Natural Soyfoods Industry – Toxic Chemical Use…

In order to simulate the flavors and textures of real meats and eggs, vegan and lab produced meats contain artificial flavors and binders or stabilizers such as carrageenan, which has been linked to gut inflammation.

Rehydrated textured soy, artificial flavorings, yeast extract and methyl cellulose are commonly used. Some may even contain real eggs, cheese, whey and other dairy ingredients.

A substance called Quorn, a micro-protein lab creation, is also often used. Several allergic reactions have been reported internationally from this substance, which is actually produced from egg whites. Not so vegan after all. (Source)

Mock meat products, similar to those created in JUST labs, include chicken, turkey, sausages, chorizos, deli meats, and even mock shrimp. In addition to hexane produced soy protein isolates, there are hydrolyzed wheat protein, disodium guanylate, disodium inosinate, methylcellulose and artificial flavors aka MSG and similar variants. Not so healthy or organic.

With its Silicon Valley mindset and large venture capital donors, Hampton Creek was set to become the leader in this questionable food industry, and claimed to be the future of food.

Hampton Creek Controversy Led to Government Investigations and a Name Change

The controversies had nothing to do with fake food or GMOs. The FDA and USDA were not involved. Both the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) and the DOJ (Department of Justice) were the government agencies involved.

They had ended their inquiries around March of 2017, after almost a year of snooping and checking their records against reports of using unethical means for obtaining venture capital by making their company’s business seem better than it was. Attempts at getting details from each agency were blocked. (Source)

The reports that got SEC and DOJ attention came initially from Bloomberg magazine and Business Insider, both primarily business reporting magazines. They had both followed up on former disgruntled staff and executives and board members who had been fired or left voluntarily from Hampton Creek. Most were concerned about unethical business practices and not so scientific science.

One of the unethical business practices reported by those who left Hampton Creek was the strategy of sending in contracted buyers who stealthily avoided being questioned for coming in and out of stores and buying their large amounts of its products, mostly Just Mayo, with company money.

Evidently, CEO Tetrick wanted to create the impression that consumers were all over Whole Foods, Target, and other stores buying up Hampton Creek products. This impression seemed to help Tetrick raise large sums of venture capital from heavy hitters, including Khosla Ventures, where Bill Gates was involved as a limited partner. (Source)

Thus Gates was considered an indirect investor. But his personal backing is unquestionable. He promoted this high-tech food industry heavily in his “gates notes” blog The Future of Food, which also contained a short promotional video.

The Future of Food is Not With GMO Agriculture or Lab Produced Eggs and Meats

The idea of replacing cruel, ecologically damaging, and unhealthy for human health livestock factory farming is noble and necessary. There is considerable material, ignored by a GMO industry usurped mainstream media, which provides much of the evidence for this food chain disaster. For more on this, see Health Impact News on factory farming.

But the in-vitro or lab-produced animal products approach won’t cut it. Besides producing unhealthy alternatives, they actually only appeal to vegetarians who may yearn for the taste of the real thing now and then.

Some lacto-vegetarians will eat eggs, cheese, or fish. But vegans are the strictest about avoiding all animal products, even honey from bees!

Food journalist Micheal Polan thinks meat and egg consumers won’t be impressed by lab produced meat substitutes. Mostly vegans and vegetarians will show interest in lab produced meats.

The best way to rid the food chain of its inhumane, and environmentally damaging factory farming of livestock is to quit consuming so much meat from those sources and switch to less meat in the diet, and to choose only meats obtained from free-range grass-fed livestock only.

Consuming eggs only from pastured chickens cared for properly is another avenue toward that goal. All of these activities should come from smaller farms located in various regions instead of mega-farms feeding a very few centralized distributors. This has been studied by independent international agencies more than once.

And we can’t depend on our government to remedy the scourge of Big Ag’s inhumane handling of farm animals that produce toxic foods and create vast ecological harm. Our government subsidizes commercial mega-farms while leaving smaller organic farmers without a financial safety net.

Protecting our own and our families’ health by keeping up with what’s real food and what’s not, and then voting with our food consumer dollars may be the only path to needed change in our food supply system.

Read – Big Ag Fail: 70% of World Fed by Small-scale Farmers