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Fake meat is failing because it’s gross and unhealthy

Here’s some news for foodie scolds who want to put our favorite meat dishes out to pasture: The “flight to plant-based foods” phenomenon hit the wall this summer, and there’s no end in sight to the downward spiral.

The meat-hating media wanted us to believe that bogus beef is driving out the real enchilada to improve our health and save forests from greenhouse-gas emissions.

But it’s all baloney.

Beyond Meat, the No. 2 manufacturer of plant-based meat substitutes, announced this week that it lost $53 million in the second quarter of 2023 as its US revenue fell 40 percent.

The company’s tailspin included the axing of its chief operating officer Doug Ramsey last fall after he bit a man’s nose — not a plant-based organ — in a road-rage confrontation.

The news follows meatless-market king Impossible Foods’ plans to chop 20 percent of its workforce on top of cuts it made last year. The belt-tightening moves are meant to keep “costs in line with revenue,” its chief executive said in February.

Beyond Meat revealed earlier this week that it lost $53 million in the second quarter of this year.

Although sales remain strong, Impossible has repeatedly delayed an expected initial public offering since 2021, while employees have seen the value of their private shares plummet by 89 percent in the last two years, according to Bloomberg. Neither situation reflects unbridled optimism about long-term growth.

Meanwhile, US beef consumption rebounded to 58.9  pounds per capita in 2022, up from a low of 54 pounds in 2017, according to the USDA.

In New York City, steakhouses, not plant parlors, stand at the top of the restaurant food-chain. 

Any time a steakhouse closes, it’s immediately replaced by another steakhouse, not by a plant factory. For example, Rocco’s from Madison Avenue is taking over the former BLT Steak on East 57th Street.

Former Beyond Meat COO Doug Ramsey.
Beyond Meat’s downfall has included former COO Doug Ramsey biting a man’s nose in a road rage incident.
Washington County Sheriff/Mega

Eleven Madison Park chef/owner Daniel Humm came to a “mutual” decision with the owners of the new 425 Park Avenue building to back out of opening an all-vegan eatery there. It will instead be a normal, albeit “health-conscious,” restaurant by Jean-Georges Vongerichten.

The hottest new dishes in town this year aren’t the latest spins on tofu but Mischa’s $29 hot dog and Tatiana’s short rib pastrami suya.

Meat is the stealth menu anchor at lots of new and old restaurants that aren’t officially steakhouse — the Lambs Club, Monterey, The Grill and Knickerbocker Bar & Grill.

Americans love beef, and American beef is delicious.

Side view of Mischa hot dog with condiments in the background.
The giant beef-and-pork hot dog at Mischa is one of many meaty dishes New Yorkers are loving right now.
Tamara Beckwith

Overhead shot of Tatiana’s short rib pastrami suya.
Tatiana’s short rib pastrami suya is one of the best dishes in the past year.
Stephen Yang

I recently salivated over sweet-and-pungent chili-rubbed boneless ribeye at Michael Lomonaco’s Porter House; musty-and-funky, gorgonzola-cured Texas wagyu ribeye at Andrew Carmellini’s Carne Mare and mind-bending-luscious porterhouse on the bone at David Burke’s Red Horse in White Plains.

And I’m not a big steak eater!

But with specimens  like these around, who wants “heme,” the protein released when soy leghemoglobin is synthesized from genetically modified yeast. The Impossible Burger relies on this tasty, lab-generated ingredient to make a faux burger that actually “bleeds.”

Meanwhile, who really wants to sink their teeth into a Beyond Meat patty, which is made from such tasty ingredients as pea and rice protein, sunflower lecithin and methyl cellulose?

Sure, most — but not all — medical professionals recommend limiting red meat consumption for cardiovascular health, but these frankenfoods aren’t what the doctor ordered.

Hand holding a half eaten Impossible Burger.
The Impossible Burger relies on a lab-engineered ingredient called heme to look bloody.
Stephen Yang

This story originally appeared on NYPost

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