Fake food is being poised as a panacea to end world hunger and food shortages, but there’s nothing miraculous about synthetic, lab-made food. It can’t compare to food that comes from nature in terms of nutrition or environmental protection, and as we’re seeing with the mysterious infant formula shortages, when you’re dependent on fake food, your very survival is also dependent on the handful of companies that manufacture them.
With parents getting desperate in the search for infant formula, it’s eye-opening that campaigns haven’t been started to encourage new mothers to breastfeed — the best food for infants and one that also happens to be free and readily available in most cases. If you haven’t read my article on the best workaround for infant formula for those that are unable to breast feed, it is on Substack.
In the video above, you can watch a concerning timeline about why this may be, as Bill Gates appears to be behind the push to stop breastfeeding and encourage uptake of BIOMILQ, a cell-cultured “human milk” made in a lab,1 along with other varieties of fake food.
Bill Gates’ Formula for Disaster
In June 2020, Bill Gates announced startup company BIOMILQ, which is using biotechnology to create lab-made human milk for babies. Using mammary epithelial cells placed in flasks with cell culture media, the cells grow and are placed in a bioreactor that the company says “recreates conditions similar to in the breast.”2
This synthetic lab-made breast milk replacement raised $3.5 million in funding from Gates’ investment firm Breakthrough Energy Ventures.3 Gates has also contributed at least $319 million to the media,4 including The Guardian, allowing him to control and dictate what they print. The day after the Gates Foundation paid The Guardian its annual funding in May 2022, it released a hit piece on breastfeeding titled, “Turns out breastfeeding really does hurt — why does no one tell you?”5
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) offers also seized 588 cases of infant formula from Europe in April 2021 because it lacked appropriate nutritional labeling. In February 2021, CBP officers said they inspected 17 separate shipments of infant formula from Germany and The Netherlands, leading to a warning against buying infant formula online from overseas.
At the time, Keith Fleming, CBP’s acting director of field operations in Baltimore, Maryland, said in a news release:6
“Consumers should be very careful when contemplating the purchase of items over the internet from an international source, because they may not get what they expect. People expect that the products they purchase comply with existing U.S. health and safety laws and regulations and they’ll be safe for them or their family. That’s not always the case.”
While warning Americans against purchasing infant formula from overseas, in February 2022 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced bacterial contamination at the Abbott Nutrition’s Sturgis, Michigan facility,7 which is behind the current infant formula shortages. While Gates is clearly behind the push to stop breastfeeding and encourage BIOMILQ in lieu of breastmilk or formula, the formula shortages highlight the risks of consolidated food production.
Abbott Enriched Shareholders While Formula Sickened Babies
Corporate consolidation is rampant in the U.S. baby formula market, of which 90% is controlled by four companies. Abbot is among them, responsible for 43% of baby formula production in the U.S.8 Yet, according to a whistleblower filing from October 2021, equipment at the company’s Sturgis facility was “failing and in need of repair.”
Pitting and pinholes reportedly existed in a number of pipes, allowing bacterial contamination. Leadership was aware of the failing equipment for up to seven years before the February 2022 outbreak, according to the whistleblower’s report.9
With equipment in need of repair, and a bacteria outbreak in their formula sickening babies, Abbott used its massive profits from 2019 to 2021 to announce a lucrative stock buyback program.10 According to The Guardian:11
“Abbott detected bacteria eight times as its net profits soared by 94% between 2019 and 2021. And just as its tainted formula allegedly began sickening a number of babies, with two deaths reported, the company increased dividends to shareholders by over 25% while announcing a stock buyback program worth $5bn.”
Speaking with The Guardian, Rakeen Mabud, chief economist for the Groundwork Collaborative, added, “Abbott chose to prioritize shareholders by issuing billions of dollars in stock buybacks instead of making productive investments.”12
Big Meat and Dairy Companies Dominate Fake Meat Industry
The increasing number of plant-based fake foods and lab-grown meat companies give the illusion that consumers are getting more choices and the food industry is becoming less consolidated. However, there are still relatively few firms that are controlling the global grab for “protein” markets.
In a research article published in Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems, Philip Howard, a faculty member in the department of community sustainability at Michigan State University, and colleagues explain how this “protein” industry convergence is further jeopardizing the resilience of the food system and reducing genetic diversity of livestock and crops:13
“Recent years have seen the convergence of industries that focus on higher protein foods, such as meat processing firms expanding into plant-based substitutes and/or cellular meat production, and fisheries firms expanding into aquaculture. A driving force behind these changes is dominant firms seeking to increase their power relative to close competitors, including by extending beyond boundaries that pose constraints to growth.
The broad banner of “protein” offers a promising space to achieve this goal, despite its nutritionally reductionist focus on a single macronutrient. Protein firm strategies to increase their dominance are likely to further diminish equity in food systems by exacerbating power asymmetries.”
Tyson and Cargill, two of the largest meat processors in the world, for instance, have invested in fake meat company Memphis Meats, which also has backing from Bill Gates and Richard Branson. Other billionaires invested in fake foods include Sergey Brin (Mosa Meat), Peter Thiel (Modern Meadow) and Marc Benioff (Eat Just).
“These companies wouldn’t be making these investments if they didn’t expect that the intellectual properties held by these start-ups will lead to monopoly profits,” Howard notes.14 In “The Politics of Protein,” a report from the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES-Food), Howard explains:15
“Nearly every large meat and dairy processor/manufacturer has also acquired or developed plant-based meat and dairy substitutes, establishing footholds in a market that is growing approximately 20% per year.
More than a dozen of these firms have also invested in start-ups that are attempting to commercialize lab-grown meat and fish. Meanwhile, Vanguard and BlackRock — two of the world’s biggest asset management firms — have investments in almost all the largest meat, dairy, and animal feed companies.”
It is important to understand why all of these fake meat products are an absolute metabolic disaster relates to the fact that they are using vegetable fats to replace animal fats. Not only are they devoid of important vitamins like vitamin A and vitamin K2, but they are loaded with the dangerous omega-6 fat linoleic acid LA.
In some cases they contain up to 10 to 20 times the amount found in meats, which will radically contribute to diseases like diabetes, obesity, cancer and heart disease.
Lab-Grown Food Is an Environmental Catastrophe
The push for fake food is being made on the platform that it will somehow save the environment from the ravages of factory farming, which has devastated the environment with its concentrated animal feeding operations and monocultures. But this, too, is misleading.
In February 2021, the Good Food Institute (GFI), a nonprofit group behind the alternative protein industry, released a techno-economic analysis of cultivated meat, which was prepared by consulting firm CE Delft.16 In it, they developed a model to reduce the current costs of cultured meat production down to a point that would make it economically feasible in full-scale plants by 2030, a model they said is “feasible.”
In attempting to create cultured meat on the scale that would be necessary to feed the world, logistical problems are numerous and, possibly, insurmountable. There are waste products — catabolites — to deal with, as even cultured cells excrete waste that is toxic.
And, the oxygen and nutrients available must be adequately distributed to all the cells — something that’s difficult in a large reactor. Stirring the cells faster or adding more oxygen may help, but this can cause fatal stress to the cells.17
The environmental “benefits” are also on shaky ground when you factor in soy production as well as the use of conventional energy sources. When this is factored in, GFI’s life-cycle analysis found that cultured meat may be worse for the environment than conventionally produced chicken and pork.18,19
Farmer and historian John Lewis-Stempel also points out that the world’s farmers already produce enough food for the global population: “[A]ny discussion of global food policy needs to begin with one plain fact: there is … no actual food shortage. Already, the planet’s farmers produce enough food to cater for the projected 10 billion humans of 2050. The problem is waste and distribution.”20
Yet, the push for the creation of fake protein sources continues. In the foreword to Navdanya International’s report “False Solutions That Endanger Our Health and Damage the Planet,” Vandana Shiva also details how lab-grown foods are catastrophic for human health and the environment, as they are repeating the mistakes already made with industrial agriculture:21
“In response to the crises in our food system, we are witnessing the rise of technological solutions that aim to replace animal products and other food staples with lab-grown alternatives. Artificial food advocates are reiterating the old and failed rhetoric that industrial agriculture is essential to feed the world.
Real, nutrient-rich food is gradually disappearing, while the dominant industrial agricultural model is causing an increase in chronic diseases and exacerbating climate change. The notion that high-tech, “farm free” lab food is a viable solution to the food crisis is simply a continuation of the same mechanistic mindset which has brought us to where we are today — the idea that we are separate from and outside of nature.
Industrial food systems have reduced food to a commodity, to “stuff” that can then be constituted in the lab. In the process, both the planet’s health and our health have been nearly destroyed.”
Signs the Fake Meat Industry Is Stalling
For all of its fanfare, there are signs that the fake meat industry may be failing before it ever gets off the ground. Shares of Beyond Meat, for one example, lost $6 billion since March 2020 due to weak sales growth and has resorted to partnering with PepsiCo to release a plant-based jerky product.
“My analysis is the launch will do very little to increase the company’s fortunes,” writes business development consultant Victor Martino in Just Food.22 He argues that the “plant-based meat revolution” is just a PR stunt, a narrative that’s set to implode:23
“The fact is, despite increased product availability in terms of brand choices and added retail outlets, plant-based meat sales stalled in 2021, recording zero growth, according to recent research from SPINS, data commissioned and released by The Plant-Based Foods Association and The Good Food Institute.
According to the research, the total annual sales of plant-based meat in the US remained stable at $1.4 billion. That’s a continuation of the 1.4% share of total meat category sales.”
Shares of Beyond Meat and Oatly, a plant-based milk substitute, have lost more than half their value in 2022,24 but this isn’t to say that their executives are suffering. Beyond Meat’s former chief growth officer Chuck Muth sold shares valued at more than $62 million from 2019 to 2021, while Biz Stone, a current board member and Twitter co-founder, has made millions on Beyond Meat stock.25
The fact remains that when private companies control the food supply, they will also ultimately control countries and entire populations. Biotech will eventually push farmers and ranchers out of the equation and will threaten food security and human health. In other words, the work being done in the name of sustainability and saving the planet will give greater control to private corporations while weakening the population.
To save the planet and support your health, skip all the fake meat alternatives and opt for real food that’s being raised the right way instead. When you shop for food, know your farmer and look for regenerative, biodynamic and/or grass fed farming methods, which are bringing you truly sustainable food for a healthy population and planet.