We could end this post right here because a simple “no” should suffice.
Nobody with basic knowledge of nutrition would believe a slab of fungi printed from a machine that’s been zooped up to look like a salmon fish fillet instead of the pale-colored turd it actually resembles is even remotely healthy. But this is where we are headed: crickets, lab-grown meat, more genetically modified foods, and fake meat.
Revo Foods [ [link removed] ], a food startup based in Vienna, Austria, recently revealed its 3D-printed vegan “salmon” with plans to bring this revolutionary fake fish [ [link removed] ] to a store near you.
Called “THE FILET [ [link removed] ],” Revo Foods’ says its 100% vegan fish filet contains fungi, omega-3 fats, nine essential amino acids, and synthetic vitamins A, B2, B3, B6, folic acid, B12, and D2. CEO of Revo Foods, Robin Simsa, says the company is focused on creating a vegan alternative and shaping the future of food.
Although the company says its fake salmon is entirely plant-based, that doesn’t make it healthy or fit for human consumption.
Ingredients in Revo’s filet include mycoprotein, soy protein extrudate, water, sunflower oil, gelling agents such as carrageenan and methylcellulose, flavors, DHA and EPA from microalgae, synthetic vitamins, colorings from iron oxide, lycopene, and rapeseed protein, and konjac—a thickening agent.
Mycoprotein is derived from a fungus called Fusarium venenatum. Although it may be high in protein and fiber, several studies have shown mycoprotein is an allergen [ [link removed] ] and may also cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Several deaths have been linked to foods containing mycoprotein, and research suggests one may become sensitized and subsequently develop a specific allergy [ [link removed] ] to the ingredient.
Carrageenan is an ingredient extracted from red seaweed used to thicken food. Approved only for limited use in the EU, carrageenan is associated with numerous autoimmune conditions, including inflammatory bowel disease, colon cancer, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Sunflower oil is inflammatory, contains omega-6 fats, is unstable when heated, and is associated with higher rates of heart disease, cancer, and dementia. When cooking oil emits fumes, it releases toxic substances [ [link removed] ] called aldehydes. Aldehydes are known for their ability to increase a person’s risk of cancer. Sunflower oil has been shown to generate more aldehydes than any other oil, regardless of the cooking method.
Folic acid and other synthetic vitamins are not ideal sources of micronutrients for the body. For years, folic acid has been known to cause methylation issues, especially in those who have MTHFR mutations.
To create 3D-printed salmon, Revo Foods integrates fats into a fibrous protein matrix—manufactured by Swedish startup Mycorena—called “Pyomyc,” which makes the “flakiness” and juicy fibers of fish fillets.
According to Mycorena’s website [ [link removed] ], Promyc is a vegan mycoprotein ingredient produced through a fermentation biotechnology process they believe is more efficient than traditional farming and better for the environment.
Revo Foods then uses food-grade syringes to hold the printing material and deposits the ingredients through a nozzle layer by layer before injecting the filament-like matrix of the vegan fish fillet. The end result is a salmon-inspired fishless fish.
Although Revo Foods’ mycoprotein-based fungi filet is the world’s first 3D-printed food available in grocery stores, Israeli firm Steakholder Foods created a similar 3D bio-printed grouper [ [link removed] ] earlier this year and plans to have their products in stores in the upcoming months.
According to a 2023 paper in Current Research in Food Science [ [link removed] ], very few studies have looked into the development of 3D-printed meat products, and most have looked into the “wet concentrate of proteins [ [link removed] ]” used for adhesion, gelation, and softness versus how consuming these types of food affect the body.
In other words, adequate studies have not been conducted to determine if these food products are safe for human consumption and what effect they may have on the body if consumed long-term.
Lab-Grown Meat Approved for Human Consumption
Although Revo Foods’ salmon contains no meat, the U.S. Department of Agriculture recently gave two manufacturers—Upside Foods and Good Meat—permission to sell “cell-cultivated [ [link removed] ]” lab-grown meat derived from animals that haven’t been killed.
This happened just months after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, for the first time, said cell-cultured lab-made chicken was safe to consume. What data this was based on, nobody really knows, but the decision opened the door for the two California companies to bring lab-grown chicken to America’s restaurants, followed by store shelves.
Cultivated meat is grown in steel tanks from the cells of a living animal, a fertilized egg, or other cells. Once the cell lines are selected, they’re combined with a broth-like mixture of amino acids, fatty acids, sugars, salts, vitamins, and other ingredients cells need to grow. Inside the cultivator tanks, the cells grow and increase quickly. Once large sheets of the meat product are formed, they’re turned into cutlets, nuggets, shredded meat, and stays.
More than 150 companies worldwide are now developing chicken, pork, lamb, fish, and beef from cells—which scientists say will have a positive environmental impact. The cost? The price is expected to mirror high-end organic chicken selling for up to $20 per pound. The potential effects these lab-grown meats may have on the human body? Nobody knows. It’s yet another experiment.
These companies believe their products [ [link removed] ] are part of a new era of meat production designed to eliminate animal harm and reduce the environmental impact of grazing, growing feed for animals, and animal waste.
“Instead of all of that land and all of that water that’s used to feed all of these animals that are slaughtered, we can do it in a different way,” said Josh Tetrick, co-founder and chief executive of Eat Just, which runs Good Meat.
Yet, these companies and their proponents have failed to consider that animal waste and grazing benefit the environment and the soil used to grow the foods humans are actually designed to eat. They clearly have no understanding of how agriculture works.
Luckily, a recent poll by the Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research showed half of U.S. adults said they are unlikely to try meat grown using animal cells—with many citing safety as the biggest concern. But these companies are hopeful that once people understand how the meat is made and taste it, they’ll be hooked.
Megan Redshaw is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
Unsubscribe [link removed]?
The Archive of Political Emails is a project of Defending Democracy Together Institute. Please email [email protected] with any questions.