Colorado Gov. Jared Polis eats a Burger King Impossible Whopper in his office at the Capitol on Aug. 15.

Gov. Jared Polis should advocate whole healthy foods, not processed junk.

The governor inadvertently advanced the latest trend in junk food last month when he asked the Colorado Department of Agriculture to focus on meatless options going forward. Like other consumers, Polis has observed the recent proliferation of fake meatless hamburgers sold under the brands “Impossible Foods” and “Beyond Meat.” The governor was so enthused about fake meat he offered to buy Impossible Burgers for about 100 workers at the Agriculture Department’s new research lab in Broomfield.

Polis also advocated meatless “meat” while eating a Burger King Impossible Whopper during an interview with Colorado Politics reporter Joey Bunch.

Impossible Burgers look so much like meat they bleed “heme” from the questionably safe, genetically modified food color additive “Leghemoglobin.”

Gov. Polis joins industry in promoting #BetterwithBeef

The governor’s suggestion to produce and eat this concoction is terrible advice.

Polis undoubtedly meant well. Like so many others, he probably fell for the processed food industry’s deceptive conflation of cheap food-filler products with health food. In doing so, he offended farmers and ranchers who produce real beef — Colorado’s largest export, by far.

In promoting fake food, Polis did himself no favors among rural Coloradans who feel threatened by the imposition of low-range battery cars, a law Polis signed that threatens oil and gas production, and “green” energy policies that endanger rural coal mining and railroad jobs. An audience at the Colorado State Fair, an event focused on agriculture, booed Polis just days after he promoted fake meat.

Meatless “meat” products are showing up all over the country. Qdoba pitches a trademarked “Impossible” protein product “made from plants.” White Castle serves a meatless burger called the “Impossible Slider.” Little Caesar’s serves the “Impossible Supreme” pizza. Subway has a “Beyond Meatball Marinara” sandwich. Even that famous health food oasis, Dunkin’ Donuts, serves a meatless “Beyond Breakfast Sausage Sandwich.” Pair that with a fried apple fritter and check the scale.

It seems “impossible” and “beyond” belief that people buy into processed food — made of an astonishing list of additives — as healthy alternatives to meat.

Here’s the ingredient list of an all-meat burger: ground beef.

The ingredient list of an “Impossible” burger is: water; soy-protein concentrate; coconut oil; sunflower oil; natural flavors; potato protein; methylcellulose; yeast extract; cultured dextrose; food starch, modified; soy Leghemoglobin; salt; soy-protein isolate; mixed tocopherols; zinc gluconate; thiamine hydrochloride; sodium ascorbate; niacin; pyridoxine hydrochloride; riboflavin; and vitamin B12.

The Beyond burger ingredient list: water; pea protein isolate; expeller-pressed canola oil; refined coconut oil; cellulose from bamboo; methylcellulose; potato starch; natural flavor; maltodextrin; yeast extract; salt; sunflower oil; vegetable glycerin; dried yeast; gum arabic; citrus extract; ascorbic acid; beet juice extract; acetic acid; modified food starch; and annatto.

The Center for Food Safety, a health and environmental organization in Washington, D.C., warns fake meat is “ultraprocessed,” “poorly studied,” and “under-regulated.”

“It is also high in sodium like many highly processed foods, which is something to be cautious about,” says Beth Warren, a registered dietician, nutritionist and author, as quoted by Prevention magazine.

Famed nutritional expert Dr. Frank Lipman has spent 40 years writing, lecturing and teaching people how to achieve physical, emotional, mental and spiritual wellness. Soy, he insists, causes harm to humans and the environment.

“Some people think they’re being virtuous by replacing real meat with faux meat crumbles, Tofurky ‘roasts,’ veggie bacon, veggie burgers, and more. Bad move,” Lipman explains. “Though the raw materials for these meat substitutes may include vegetables, by the time they make it in the package, they are ultraprocessed, lab-made Frankenfoods.”

He calls soy a “cheap and abundant” ingredient, the new “dream” of processed food manufacturers, and a “man-made mess.”

“Soy plays a role in the development of a number of debilitating conditions, which can morph into far larger problems down the line,” Lipman writes.

“For starters, soy disrupts thyroid and endocrine function. It interferes with leptin sensitivity, which can set you up for metabolic syndrome. Soy screws with your sex hormones by throwing off the estrogen and testosterone balance. It also helps block your body’s ability to access key minerals like iron, zinc, calcium and magnesium. If that weren’t enough, soy is a potentially lethal allergen to a segment of the population and an inflammation-triggering irritant to millions of people who may not even be aware that they’re sensitive to it.”

Soy farms consume an enormous amount of water and, Lipman says, strip soils of nutrients.

“Soy crops are amazingly destructive to just about everything they come in contact with,” Lipman wrote.

Some people genuinely feel better, look better and improve their health by going vegan or vegetarian and eating genuinely healthy food. Meat is not for everyone, but overprocessed fake meats are not a good alternative.

Gov. Polis, advise real humans to eat real foods; not Frankenfoods made to look, smell and bleed like real meat.

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