Dr. Frank Mitloehner caused quite a stir several years back when he posted the picture above to his twitter page and asked his followers if they could identify which of these was a “Beyond Meat” burger, “Impossible” burger, and which one was dog food. (If you’re having trouble distinguishing which is which, the ingredients on the left is “Beyond Meat,” the right is “Impossible burger,” and the one in the center is “Walk About” brand dog food).

Dr. Mitloehner is a professor of agriculture science at University of California Davis and chairs the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s Livestock Environmental and Performance Partnership. His work and research investigates agriculture’s impact on the environment and greenhouse gas emissions from different sectors of the ag industry. The purpose of the above picture he tweeted was to counter the fake meat industry’s claims that new fake meat products were A) health food and B) better for the environment.

The reality is that the new fake meat fad is nothing more than processed junk food, no different than any other junk food found anywhere else in the grocery store. Just like the rest of the processed food industry, there is a lot of money behind the marketing of it. Fake meat is being sold as a “healthy” alternative to meat, made with “wholesome” ingredients, but when you look closer at what is actually in fake meat you’ll see it’s little more than refined oils, synthetic vitamins, and inferior proteins like pea protein.

Take Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, for example. Pyridoxine is vitamin B6, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride is a synthetic vitamin B6. Meaning it was synthesized and isolated in a laboratory and stabilized with an acid to extend it’s shelf life. In short, it is not a real vitamin B6. It may mimic it’s functions, but it is not the same.

At BWC we advocate eating as much real food as possible. What do you think would be better for you to consume, fake meat or a salmon filet? I’m not implying that the ingredients that are in these fake meats are necessarily bad for you, but what I’m saying is that it is a stretch to think these foods are a healthy alternative or superior to just eating a salmon filet, a chicken breast, or even a lean piece of red meat like sirloin or game.

I’ll continue eating actual food.