After seducing the population with the supposed wonders of the vegan diet, vegan capitalism reaches the hands of transnational meat producers and large investment funds landed in the food industry that present themselves as substitutes.
Until recently, six or seven decades ago, the diet of the majority of the rural population was austere, balanced and subject to the possibilities of their territories.
In parallel with developmentalism and the concentration of the population in cities, from study centers, universities and prestigious journals – in coordination with the food industry – the message of the need to improve dietary standards was spread, increasing the consumption of proteins, especially of animal origin.
Due to a lot of publicity and propaganda, let’s think about the case of fast food, the message permeated culturally and installed itself in the imagination as the standard to be followed.
To meet this “created” demand, the food industry, capable of producing a lot of milk, meat and its derivatives at cheap prices, was justified, thanked and praised, without contemplating or worrying about its excessive externalities. Traditional food and agriculture were despised and ridiculed, affecting bodies and territories.
From buying and cooking fresh foods, they switched to ultra-processed foods reheated in the microwave, and the industry clearly emerged as the winner. Something as intimate as our food ended up being delegated to a few mega-companies controlled by investment funds.
From ultra-processed animal protein to vegan capitalism
Knowing what happened, and now that vegan eating trends are reaching milestones, is history repeating itself? Is it a culturally induced success? And if so, are they new or regular actors?
Although it may seem contradictory, the main transnational industrial meat production companies are the ones behind foods that, based on vegetables or proteins grown in the laboratory, are presented as substitutes for meat, fish, eggs and milk.
Much information about this reality can be found in the Proteins and Policies report of the Ipes-Food entity or on the pages of the ALEPH2020 scientific platform.
More and more transnational companies behind the new vegan boom
For example, the company Vivera, known in Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom for its more than one hundred references such as vegan salmon or vegan chicken kebab, belongs to the Brazilian company JBS, the world’s largest producer of poultry and beef and number two in the production of pork. .
In JBS’ portfolio, we also find that it is a majority shareholder in Spanish BioTech Foods, dedicated to the cultured meat sector.
While in the United States, two of the country’s leading meat companies, Tyson Foods and Smithfield, have created their own divisions to produce their plant-based nuggets and sausages to compete with the two industry leaders, Impossible Foods (associated with Burger King) and Beyond Meat.
While in Spain we find the same phenomenon. The largest integrator in the country, leader in chicken and pork macro-farms, Vall Companys, launched in 2019 the Zyrcular Foods business project to manufacture pea, wheat or soy meat substitutes from afar, of which we can already find products in different supermarkets with its white label. And their expansion will continue if they are granted the 134 million euros presented to the Next Generation recovery funds to face the new challenges in this field.
If we continue to break the vegan market, we end up finding more multinational companies that have controlled the world’s food for decades, like Cargill, Nestlé, Danone, etc.
In addition, we also find investment funds such as BlackRock, the largest in the world (supporting Tyson or JBS, among others), or Breakthrough Energy Ventures chaired by Bill Gates (actively participating in Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat).
The landing of food multinationals in this “segment” could not be done without the certainty of having already seduced the population.
Since companies have always been so competitive with each other, they have no problem finding common ground, like the platform EAT, thanks to which – with the trained “science” and investors mentioned above, they take charge of transmitting and lobbying in favor of these new dietary patterns.
The vegan diet and the climate crisis
Repeating as mantras the wonders of this vegan diet to contain the climate crisis and ensure eternal health, they managed to impose a story that permeated the population and administrations. And the truth is that reducing the solution to all our ills by removing animal protein from our diets is not just a reductionist story, it’s also incorrect.
Why not address the differences in animal protein production models, knowing as one knows the importance of herbivores in the nutrient cycle, their use of foods that do not compete with the human population, their role as fertilizers for the earth, etc?
Don’t they know that a diet based on pea, soy, corn or wheat proteins is replicating the same model of monocultures responsible for the problems they say they want to solve? Why is the dependence on oil for so much processing, travel, and plastics that clothe these pseudo-foods unrecognized?
Did we believe that veganism was a success of the awareness work of some NGOs? Meat or vegan, traditional food capitalism distances us from the sovereignty that urgently needs to be recovered and that can only be established by adapting our food to the cycles of abundance of the land that peasants and peasants, herders of our corresponding territories know how to manage: in their orchards and on their farms. Simple and beautiful.
Source: from below