That's Impossible! Vegan 'Meat' Not So Good for You After All

Courtesy of GOOD Meat

There's a "health halo" surrounding manufactured vegan "meat" products even though they provide no "clear benefit" — and might even be bad for your heart health, according to a new study reported on in the Daily Mail.


Dr. Sumanto Haldar lectures on nutrition science at Britain's Bournemouth University and suggests that the industry re-evaluate "the development of the next generation of meat alternatives" because "[at] present, producing these plant-based meat alternatives often involves a substantial amount of processing."

Current vegan "meats" like Beyond Meat, Fauxjerky, Cow Patty’s, or I Can’t Believe It’s Not Sausage "can be high in salt, saturated fat, and additives in order to match the taste and texture of real meat products," according to Haldar. His study showed that people who eat the stuff "also seemingly had worse blood pressure than their meat-consuming counterparts."

"As it stands," the study concluded, "the plant-based meat alternatives currently available do not offer same health advantages as a traditional plant-based diet, generally consisting of whole foods such as whole grains, legumes and a plethora of fruits and vegetables."

In other words, the authors of the study aren't against vegetarianism or even veganism. They just couldn't find any benefit to the lab-altered veggies masquerading as meat — in no small part because they're loaded with salt and fat to help create the illusion.


Look at the photo at the top of this column. When I saw the men and women in lab coats and all that gleaming stainless steel, I wondered what high-tech product they might be manufacturing there. Or maybe that's what it looks like underneath Carousel in "Logan's Run." But, no. That's where cell-cultivated GOOD Meat is fabricated.

Last September, I reported on fake meat startup Upside Foods, whose frankenchicken is brewed in bioreactors and is trying to get their production costs down to merely “unreasonable” from “comically astronomical."

GOOD Meat and Upside Foods are the healthier options made from lab-grown animal cells, compared to the fat and salt-saturated vegetable-based "meats" looked at in Haldar's study. 

That seems like an awful lot of money and effort to badly replicate what nature does easily and well. I'm no Luddite, either. If there's a bleeding-edge tech gadget (merely cutting-edge won't do), then I either have it or am saving for it — going all the way back to 1981, when I bought my first computer.

But I'm also not a 26-year-old idiot in an underground nightclub any longer, and I'm going to have some questions before I ingest something I don't recognize. 


Left unsaid: real meat isn't bad for you — and you're never more than a little seasoning and heat away from making it taste naturally great. Beef, pork, chicken, and seafood contain healthy amounts of salt and fat to begin with. 

If my vegetarian and vegan friends don't want to eat meat, that's entirely up to them. I just hope they're aware of the health risks underlying their unnatural choices. 

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