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Hyped-Up Fake Meat Product Finds Stock Tanking


- July 30th, 2019
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Impossible Foods” has a newly marketed meat substitute that is all the rage. Everywhere you turn, there’s a story hyping up an unnatural, processed product meant to replace good old American meat. One iteration of the fake meat product, the “impossible burger,” is even available in fast food form at Burger King in an “Impossible Whopper.”

The impossible burger is just one of the popular meat Self Magazine tells you that this item is convincing meat-eaters to eat plant burgers (not this meat eater.) CNN comforts you with the news that the “impossible burger” shortage is over.  The company has numerous high-profile partnerships including Dunkin’ Donuts, Tim Hortons, Blue Apron, TGIFs, and Del Taco. It seems like this fake meat trend is a real thing, right?

Well no. CNBC reports about Beyond Meat, another popular fake meat product:

Wall Street analysts, normally a bullish bunch especially on recent IPOs, can’t bring themselves to recommend buying Beyond Meat even as the stock tanked by double digits.

The alternative meat company reported mixed earnings and a secondary offering after the bell on Monday, causing the stock to drop by 13% in premarket trading to $193.65 Tuesday.

The average price target of the three major analysts who came out with updated reports on the stock Tuesday is $163 a share, representing a drop of another 15% from its price in early market trading.

“The question from here is whether the company can continue to deliver positive news that surprises to the upside,” Bernstein analyst Alexia Howard said. But the stock is tanking and there’s been exclusively positive press from the prestige media. Perhaps the financial whiz world isn’t willing to gamble on the public interest to have this new, trendy, politically-correct food hoisted upon them.

What is in one of these exciting new plant-based products? To start there are 21(!) different ingredients in the impossible burger: Water, Soy-protein concentrate, Coconut oil, Sunflower oil, Natural flavors, Potato protein, Methylcellulose, Yeast extract, Cultured dextrose, Food starch, modified, Soy leghemoglobin, Salt, Soy-protein isolate, Mixed tocopherols (vitamin E), Zinc gluconate, Thiamine hydrochloride (Vitamin B1), Sodium ascorbate (vitamin C), Niacin, Pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), Riboflavin (vitamin B2), and Vitamin B12. Sounds delicious.

One reason the media has been pushing this monstrosity is as part of a climate change campaign. Huffington Posts warns us that “World Resources Institute and other environmental groups have sounded a call to action to cut our impact on the environment in half by eating less meat and dairy” in a piece pondering if the movement to eat less meat actually making a difference?

Grub Street wonders if cows will be obsolete? The Guardian explains that the climate crisis will change our plates by 2050.

Eat what you want, but it’s not clear this soylent meat product is any healthier for you. “They are not necessarily healthier than beef burgers,” Alissa Rumsey, a registered dietitian, said. “They’re totally fine to eat, but there’s no need to replace your beef burger if you don’t enjoy these.”

The New Republic tells us about the “impossible burgers” ingredients:

The most notable ingredient-related difference is that Impossible uses genetically modified soy protein, drawing criticism from anti-GMO groups. Impossible also uses genetically modified soy leghemoglobin—also known as “heme”—which gives the burger its meaty flavor and red, blood-like drippings. Heme wasn’t considered safe for consumption by the FDA until last summer, and Impossible still must go through the regulatory process for getting heme approved as a color additive, which will be required if the company wants to sell the uncooked patty in grocery stores.

Terrific. I’ll stick with my meat from my local, grass-fed cows but by all means, try out this hot, new meat replacement. It sounds delicious.

(Photo by Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

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