Impossible Foods, Impossible Truth – Joel Salatin

March 26, 2019 

According to an article in Fast Company last week, Impossible Foods has had a price breakthrough for its fake meat by switching from wheat to soybeans.

Soybeans, of course, are much higher in protein than wheat so in making fake meat for the Impossible Burger it stands to reason that using soybeans would be more efficient.  They also have a higher yield per acre.  They also account for the highest use of glyphosate, the herbicide implicated in the first two negative jury verdicts against Bayer, buyer of Monsanto.  Some 11,400 lawsuits are pending, but so far, Monsanto is batting 0-2 in its glyphosate claims.

The statement that got my goat is from Rebekah Moses, senior manager of impact strategy at Impossible Foods:  “The best, fastest, easiest way to make meat more sustainable is to avoid the cow.”  According to the company, their fake burger reduces the carbon footprint by 89 percent, uses 87 percent less water, 96 percent less land and reduces water contamination by 92 percent.

I have news for you, folks.  The Rhode Island-sized dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico did not exist when perennials and bison roamed the prairies–in arguably more poundage than all of today’s American cattle.  No, that dead zone came as a result of annuals, chief of which are corn and soybeans.

All of Impossible Burger’s claims are audited and verified by Quantis, a consulting outfit.  Throughout the announcement, Moses kept talking about burps and gassing, deforestation and greenhouse gases.  This diatribe against herbivores and the fake science behind it is getting under my skin.  I have to take a deep breath and realize how many movements turned out to be horrible:  hydrogenated vegetable oil, anti-microbial soap, the food pyramid and many others.

Herbivores, prairies, and predators built the soil in all the areas currently being mined by soybeans.  Perennials and not annuals; animals in symbiosis with plants–these are the truths that guide ecology.  The anti-herbivore crowd religiously refuses to ascribe any positives to mega-fauna.  And of course, their data points are all assuming corn-based, feedlot fattened, aquifer irrigated, continuously and over-grazed mis-management.  None of this dystopian production protocol mimics nature.

Soybeans are as anti-nature as you can get.  Monocrops.  Chemicals.  Tillage or herbicide–trading the Devil for the witch. Killing perennials and prairie.  Mechanical harvest.  Soil extractive.  Fertility exploitive.

The cow requires no planted seed, enjoys diverse vegetation, thrives on perennials, does not require mechanical harvest, builds soil, increases hydration–IF she’s managed according to nature’s template.  What all these fake meat diatribes need to say, to be honest, is an opening caveat that “compared to conventional industrial anti-ecological cattle production.”  That would actually be honest.

To demonize the most efficacious soil building mob stocking herbivorous solar conversation lignified carbon sequestration fertilization template in the ecological foundation is absurd and evil.  Why can’t Impossible Foods simply offer their soybean alternative as a choice in the marketplace?  Why must they fuel their marketing message with vitriol against every herbivore on the planet?  Of course, they’re very careful to single out cows, but if their message is correct, it must include horses, elephants, zebras, caribou, moose–every herbivore on the planet.  That’s a pretty broad swipe, don’t you think?

Did God make a mistake when creating herbivores?