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Fake Meats for US Troops

Corporations to use American soldiers as guinea pigs for cell-grown meats.

by | Jun 22, 2024 | Articles, Opinion, Social Issues

Bioindustrial Manufacturing and Design Ecosystem (BioMADE), which has received more than $500 million in Department of Defense funding, recently announced it is soliciting proposals to develop “innovations in food production that reduce the CO2 footprint of food production at … DoD operational environments.” Translation: The Pentagon is funding research and development of novel cell-cultured fake meats to feed US soldiers.

Fake Meats and Climate Change

BioMADE claims that lab-grown food products will reduce the Pentagon’s carbon footprint. The company’s invitation for project proposals presents a utopian mission of producing yet-to-be-invented fantasy foods, including fake meats:

“BioMADE is a Manufacturing Innovation Institute (MII) sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) with a vision to build a sustainable, domestic, end-to-end bioindustrial manufacturing ecosystem.

“BioMADE is building a robust bioindustrial manufacturing ecosystem and has a national network of over 280 members spanning industry, academia, and non-profit organizations.

“Together with the DoD, BioMADE is interested in accelerating technology development related to mitigating the causes and consequences of global climate change, particularly when these intersect with bioindustrial manufacturing.”

The Pentagon – which manages the production and deployment of arsenals of devastating weapons – proposes to offset its prime mission to win wars by feeding soldiers tofu MREs (Meals Ready to Eat). Moreover, BioMADE emphasizes that project bids must enhance social justice causes:

“This implies taking actions that optimize positive social outcomes through adherence to ethical standards, including seeking ways to make products and processes that improve societal welfare. Special attention to this commitment includes equitable distribution of benefits of your project. Examples may include community engagement, whether as education or consultation; or for workforce development that addresses the need for diversity and inclusion; or for creative initiatives to bring open dialogue, perspectives and appreciation of biomanufacturing and economic possibilities to the general public.”

Corporate Trough-Slurping

Using taxpayer dollars to subsidize pro-industry propaganda for manufacturers of fake meats is far from traditional notions of the work done at the Pentagon. Despite the social justice revolution, US service personnel remain chattels to be utilized for the furtherance of equity.

Developing cultured meats for soldiers is a far cry from France’s legendarily edible MREs of venison and rabbit. Plant-based meats in a tube or can for combat troops may one day be transferred to public consumption, like Tang was popularized after it was served to astronauts in flight. It is unclear whether foods grown in stainless-steel vats from GMO plants pose health risks or nutrient deficiencies – they haven’t even been invented yet. But they are being federally funded as part of a Biden initiative to use the military to combat not tanks and mustard gas but cows and greenhouse gases.

Corporations influence ever-increasing government spending in their favor. Big Pharma sells vaccines with free advertising through the CDC. EV and solar panel manufacturers enjoy massive subsidies and regulatory favoritism in the name of reducing inflation and boosting the economy. Delivering on promises of improved circumstances or environmental benefits is as unnecessary to the social justice warriors as secure borders, lower crime rates, or equitable redistribution of the true costs of these policies. Food companies, including start-ups making fake meats, are simply dining at the same corporate trough on the taxpayers’ dime.

There is no reason to expect that grants of taxpayer funds through BioMADE will overcome the profound hurdles encountered by private venture capitalists who have poured billions into fake meats with zero profits. Producing meat substitutes at scale and cost has been proved rather elusive for the nouveau meat-makers. More like impossible.

Cows to the Rescue!

Cows grazing on pastured hillsides sequester carbon, nurture soil microbes, reverse erosion, and improve water retention. GMO monoculture crops such as corn and soy are dependent on massive applications of glyphosate and other chemicals for their production, deplete soils, taint and reduce precious groundwater resources, and release carbon dioxide from the soil through tilling. The shift to fake meats, like the shift to EVs and solar arrays, does more harm than good to the environment; however, it does much good to short-term corporate profits for well-positioned “stakeholders.”

Like prisoners, or prisoners of war, US soldiers will eat what they are ordered to eat and march where they are commanded. Increasingly, corporate domination of public policy compels soldiers and civilians alike into industrial conformity and compliance like factory animals, consuming what is compelled without question or choice.

Agrarian essayist Wendell Berry imaginatively captured this vision of corporate conscription:

“The food industrialists have by now persuaded millions of consumers to prefer food that is already prepared. They will grow, deliver, and cook your food for you and (just like your mother) beg you to eat it. That they do not yet offer to insert it, pre-chewed, into our mouth is only because they have found no profitable way to do so. We may rest assured that they would be glad to find such a way. The ideal industrial food consumer would be strapped to a table with a tube running from the food factory directly into his or her stomach.”

Factories are being constructed to concoct processed or “cultured” replacements for cows using insects, soy, or yet-to-be-created processes or chemicals. This is being achieved at public expense, without a vote, using the usual corporate actors, and inflicted upon noble servants who sacrificed legal rights and freedoms of choice (including diet) in order to serve the public good.

Read More From John Klar

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