Vandana Shiva writes:
“Fully artificial food is an increasingly popular trend focused on developing a new line of synthetically produced, ultra-processed food products by using recent advances in synthetic biology, artificial intelligence, and biotechnology. These new products seek to imitate and replace animal products, food additives, and expensive, rare, or socially conflictive ingredients (such as palm oil). Biotech companies and agribusiness giants are seeing the opportunity to move into this promising market of ‘green’ consumption and hence these products are marketed to a new generation of environmentally conscious consumers who are growing critical of the grim realities of industrial food production. As a result, meatless burgers and sausages, as well as imitations of cheese, dairy products, seafood, and others, have begun to flood the market, being found anywhere from fast food chains to local grocery stores.
Although these products market themselves as ‘eco-friendly’, ‘healthy’, and ‘sustainable’, they are no such thing as they do little to truly address the root problems of industrial agriculture and its environmental, and health consequences. Consequences that can be largely blamed on the same circle of businessmen who today finance the development of this biotech industry. These products instead represent the next generation of ultra-processed junk foods that work to further entrench industrial agriculture models due to their direct dependence on globalized commodity chains, agrochemicals, GMOs, monocultures, and even conventional animal production. In other words, synthetic foods are quickly becoming a next means to consolidate even more power and profit into the hands of a few food giants without facing the implications of ecological devastation, worsening human health, and exacerbated climate change…”