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Beefs and Beliefs
Cultured ground fake meat JIRAROJPRADITCHAROENKUL-Getty Images
The current demand for fake meat products appears to spring from an inability to understand nutrition or real morality.

Fake meat is the new kid on the stupid block

Our society keeps falling for bad fads, and the craze over fake meat is really just one more counterproductive whim.

To say I have disdain for fake meat products would be a significant understatement.

These products, whether plant-based or grown from bovine fetal blood serum, bring to mind so many of mankind's stupid failures. One example is infant formula, which was sold to mothers in my parents' generation as actually superior to real breast milk. Now we know that was much worse than a lie as millions of people from baby boom on down have significantly poorer health, more allergies, more cancer and lower intelligence than if they have received breast milk.

By the way, I'm not going to give you all the bibliography here, but pretty much everything I say can be backstopped if you care to do the research.

Another example is the war on cholesterol and animal proteins and fats. This was, of course, funded at least in part by makers of breakfast cereal, sugar products and vegetable oils. We are now learning these carbohydrates and vegetable oils are far worse for us than any major dietary change we could have undertaken. Further, we're learning cholesterol is a vital component in our bodies for electrical synapses, including brain function, and for lubrication of joints, and for many other things. I will mention two books I still consider seminal works on human nutrition: Good Calories, Bad Calories and The Big Fat Surprise.

Another stupid human trick we have applied in the US is public education controlled by the state and, worse yet, by the federal government. The statistics I have read throughout my lifetime show our nation's educational success keeps dropping farther and farther behind competing nations. It's probably even worse than it sounds, because I also read material that says other developed nations are concerned about a downturn in their educational quality. Personally, I argue the failure of centrally planned public education is a self-perpetuating problem because the dumber you make each generation, the less likely they will realize the system is dumbing down their children even further.

And speaking of the inability to think ...

The idea of avoiding animal protein (and fat) in favor of plant-based protein, whatever your reason, has been proven a foolish one. In every valid study I've ever read, animal protein is much more effective at boosting human nutritional levels. That runs from near infancy and first foods clear to the grave. For example, beef as a first food is better at relieving iron deficiency in small children, and beef and other animal proteins build muscle in elderly people much better than plant proteins. We know these things instinctively. The scientific data is available to us. But stupid ideas and "feelings" can block out facts and scientific data.

My friend and former work supervisor Dan Crummett has long joked there is just not enough hunger in the world. He's not making light of the people who are truly hungry. He is making the point that when people are hungry and are busy earning a living, they don't have time for foolish ideas about pet cows or pigs.

So that brings me to the vegan/vegetarian mindset. I know they are not technically the same, but I lump them all into the same pile because of nutritional deficiencies and because of blind allegiance to faulty ideas. I often quip we should encourage these people because it is a self-correcting problem. The truth is, we're now seeing many nutritional deficiencies and even some studies suggesting mental illness results from vegetarian diets, so it's really not funny.

In turn, that brings me back to my first comments about fake meat. Why would people want to put such junk in their bodies, knowing we quite literally are what we eat?

As far as I can tell, it's because someone they thought was smart told them what to think.

The Greek philosopher Aristotle is claimed to have said: "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."

In our society, I would say there is a frightening lack of educated minds.

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