Part of an ongoing series of Truth in Labeling Campaign blogs about plant-based protein substitutes.
Last August there was a five-hour feeding frenzy at an Atlanta Kentucky Fried Chicken location.
The restaurant, decked out in special green paint to match the new colored KFC buckets, had a parade of customers that went around the building. They all were lining up for the new offering, a “plant-based” concoction made by Beyond Meat dubbed “Beyond Chicken,” which sold out in a few hours.
All the hype, news stories, and press releases (the CEO of Beyond Meat said his “only regret is not being able to see the legendary Colonel himself enjoy this important moment”) becomes even more ridiculous when you realize what these folks were waiting to purchase – a brew of brain-damaging chemicals constructed to look like a chicken nugget.
Now, this mixture of soy protein isolate, natural flavors, yeast extract and pea extract (all sources of manufactured free glutamate, or MfG) will be rolling out at 4,000 KFC locations around the U.S.
The entire concept of these so-called “plant-based meats” are the ultimate in deceiving the public. They are certainly not health foods, they won’t turn meat-eating consumers into vegans, and for those who already shun animal products this new KFC fake fare isn’t even prepared in a vegan or vegetarian manner, being cooked in the same oil as the actual KFC chicken is.
So, what’s the attraction?
As we said in a blog at the end of December, sales of these “substitute” foods (what the FDA calls them) have taken a nosedive. Despite scores of fake meat, chicken and even fish products easily available in both supermarkets and restaurants, sales have gone flat. It appears that consumers are catching on to this con. And for those still in the dark about what these foods are made from, the novelty of tasting something fake that’s pretending to be something real has worn thin.
Could it be that the only thing keeping this phony food market seemingly afloat is the sheer amount of press being given to it? The new KFC mock chicken was mentioned in practically every news source you can think of, including vegan and vegetarian publications. The ones we saw applauded it, some giving three cheers to all the chickens that will be saved by KFC (which certainly remains to be seen).
What you won’t be hearing from the media is how food chemists have managed to make a laboratory concoction comprised of highly processed ingredients that, when tweaked enough, will manage to have a chicken-like taste. It’s not easy to do. Perhaps that’s the “Kentucky Fried Miracle” they are advertising.
Here’s a look at what this faux foul is made from. The ingredients in red are all sources of MfG, the very same excitotoxic, brain damaging, glutamic acid found in all flavor enhancers, including MSG.
Water, Enriched wheat flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Soy Protein Isolate, Expeller Pressed Canola Oil, Enriched bleached wheat flour (Bleached Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Wheat Gluten, Natural Flavor, Yeast Extract, and less than 2 percent of: Breadcrumbs (Wheat Flour, Distilled Vinegar, Sea Salt, Leavening (Sodium Bicarbonate), Inactive Yeast, Spice Extractives), Chili Pepper, Citric Acid, Garlic Powder, Leavening (Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Aluminum Phosphate, Monocalcium Phosphate), Modified Wheat Starch, Onion Powder, Pea Extract, Rice Flour, Salt, Spice, Titanium Dioxide (for color). (List provided by Women’s Health magazine).
Obviously, there’s no “miracle” here, just a witches’ brew of chemically processed ingredients and flavorings.
If you’re not a TLC blog reader, here’s a quick rundown of some of the things free glutamate is associated with: Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, stroke, ALS, autism, schizophrenia, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), epilepsy, ischemic stroke, seizures, Huntington’s disease, addiction, frontotemporal dementia, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and autism.