For the last few years, vegan diets and plant-based alternative foods have been touted as one of the best ways to optimize your health. Backed by endless marketing budgets and the celebrity power of A-list superstars like Kim Kardashian, Kevin Hart, and Snoop Dogg, the plant-based movement has picked up tons of momentum.
The biggest brands in the space – Beyond Meat, Impossible Foods, and Oatley – have successfully run Super Bowl ads and signed strategic partnerships with global food brands like Starbucks, McDonald’s, and Taco Bell. Today, these new faux food concoctions are everywhere and anywhere.
Think about that. You can now drive through a typical food desert in rural America, and it might be easier to find a vegan burger at a McDonald’s drive-through than find a grocery store selling actual fresh fruits and vegetables. Raw cow’s milk – a real superfood – is illegal in many states. Yet, oat milk, a processed beverage made out of grains, water, and seed oils, is available at every bougie coffee shop, served by your favorite hipster barista rocking a man bun.
At the Daily Tonic, we have no problem with someone taking a more plant-based approach to their diet. Fruits and vegetables are great. They’re full of nutrients, fiber, and water content, making them the perfect, healthy, and satiating addition to every meal. What we are against, however, is highly processed foods like most junk sold by big brands like Beyond Meat or Impossible Foods.
Just look through the ingredient list on any of these products and ask yourself if any of that sounds healthy. Or if any of that sounds like food, for that matter. It doesn’t.
Beyond Meat skirts the same rigorous facility checks that meat-packing plants face
And if that weren’t reason enough, leaked evidence by a former employee recently came out exposing the conditions under which some of these plant-based “foods” are made. According to a Bloomberg report, one of Beyond Meat’s key factories was reportedly riddled with mold, bacteria, and other health-related concerns.
Gross. Beyond Gross.
A leaked internal document also revealed that products manufactured in the plant had tested positive for Listeria, a harmful food-borne bacteria, at least 11 times in the second half of 2021 and the first half of 2022. And just in case you needed pictures of all the mold, here you go.
The key takeaway? Highly processed plant-based alternatives are not the healthy, clean options their marketing teams paint them out to be. Processed foods are just processed foods, and you should consume them sparingly if you want to optimize your health.
Also, keep in mind that since Beyond Meat isn’t meat, their facilities are not inspected with the same rigor as meat processing plants, which is why conditions can spiral out of control into what you saw in those pictures.
We don’t have to tell you that eating processed food from a facility covered in toxic mold is probably not great for your health. Let’s skip the Beyond Meat or Impossible Food products, whether you are vegan, vegetarian, or just curious.
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