The company, Impossible Foods, is growing exponentially. Many are familiar with their Impossible Burger but they also make “fake” chicken, pork, sausage, and meatballs. You see these products in grocery stores, at Burger King, White Castle, Starbucks, and many restaurants. The company has an illustrious marketing campaign and lots of investors, including Bill Gates, who has invested over $75 Million in Impossible Foods. So what is the problem? There are several! For one, the protein in these products is made from genetically engineered soy which is Roundup-ready. This soy is engineered to withstand sprays of herbicide, especially Roundup. Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup and has been shown to wreak havoc with human health and the environment. Another huge problem is their “heme” as it is called, or hemoglobin. This heme is what makes the impossible burger “bleed” and looks like blood that you would find in real meat. How did they do this? There is a small amount of hemoglobin at the roots of the soy plant and they take the genetics for that and put it in a yeast, that no human had ever consumed and then use synthetic biology to make the yeast to make the bleedy stuff!
I spoke with Kelly Ryerson, who is an expert on Glyphosate, about the problems with these Impossible Foods. We talked about how the FDA allowed Impossible Foods to be on the market without any rigorous testing and how they decided to approve these products using GRAS (generally accepted as safe), even though the few studies that they did do resulted in health risks of blood clots, anemia, and kidney damage. It has also been approved to be in school lunches! Can you imagine what it does to a child’s developing immune system and the allergenicity of that soy? Call your schools and demand better!
Ryerson and I discussed some of the inherent dangers of eating these foods including consuming large quantities of glyphosate. Moms Across America tested the Impossible Burger and the levels of glyphosate detected in the Impossible burger by Health Research Institute Laboratories. The total result (glyphosate and its breakdown AMPA) was 11.3 ppb. Just for reference, only 0.1 ppb of glyphosate has been shown to alter the gene function of over 4000 genes in the livers and kidneys and cause severe organ damage in rats.
The question is why are people buying their products? We discussed their deceptive marketing tactics including saying their products are better for the environment and will reduce climate change. This is not true! When you look at the cost and environmental impact of making these products they are not environmentally friendly. GMO mono-crop farming from which this fake meat is derived increases climate change. GMO farming decreases microbes in the soil, increases chemical fertilizer input, and pollutes our waters. GMO farming also reduces carbon sequestration and increases nitrous oxide. Eating animal meat from CAFOs (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations) is not environmentally friendly either and everyone should be concerned about how animals are raised and the quality of that meat. There is a better way! If you choose to eat meat, eating 100% grass feed, humanly raised is such a better option. Organic regenerative farming, Joel Salatin’s methods which are widely practiced is a great example of how regenerative farming helps the environment. Check out my short interview with Joel!
We discussed many of these issues in greater detail in the hope that people who are consuming these products can be made aware of what they are really eating. This education needs to be widespread so please share this article and interview with others. If you are a vegan, there are so many better ways to get your protein including eating organic black bean burgers or lentil burgers, just to name a few.