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Impossible Milk?

by Bev Berens

Published: Friday, September 11, 2020

Telling Your Story

As if milk isn't harassed enough by imitations like soy and nut juices, another predator is taking aim at taking down the milk industry.

Impossible Foods launched their plant-based line of burgers and sausages in 2018-19. According to the Aug. 14, 2020 Issue of Food, Impossible Foods recently raised another $200 million in Series G funding led by Coature, with help from Mirae Asset Global Investments, Temasek and new investor XN. This brings total funds raised for research, development and marketing of their phony foods to $1.5 billion since 2011.

You guessed it. This time their target is the dairy industry and creating a plant-based milk, bragging that when the product is launched, it will rival real cow's milk, unlike the current plant-based derivatives that leave no mistaking its origin.

Impossible Foods has a stated goal "to produce a full range of meat and dairy products for every cultural region in the world" according to the Food Navigator article. They proudly say they are out to produce plant-based "upgrades" to every meat and dairy product.

The article quotes Pat Brown, Impossible Food chief executive officer: "Our goal is to collapse the livestock industry and that means going after every piece of consumer value that comes out of a cow."

Published patents are not clear whether the phony dairy products will be manufactured from nuts, seeds and legumes or from proteins and microbial fermentation to produce the kingpin ingredient of fake meats—heme.

The company makes no effort to hide its intent. It wants more than market shares. It wants all of the market, and it is squeezing Silicon Valley for the money and means to send more than a ripple through your milk tank.

Impossible Foods and other manufacturers of meat substitutes have gained little traction and a very small share of actual sales. However, over time and with advertising that disparages livestock production from beginning to end, that market share has the potential to expand handily.

Think they will defer to marketing the wholesome goodness (cough, gag, cough) of their milk alternative? Of course not. They will attack animal agriculture as nothing short of a cruel master who rules animals with whip and chain, rich polluters of the earth who care for nothing more than an ever-expanding bank account.

Don't get me wrong, I am not here to disparage the farmers who grow products that are used in milk alternatives like soybean or almond milk. You wish to expand markets for your products just like all farmers do. But if you are honest, is there a soybean grower out there that chooses to drink soy milk over real milk only for the sake of promoting their product? (And I am not talking to the person or family that has real milk allergies and are unable to drink real milk.)

It is time for labeling rules to be followed. Milk is milk. Anything else is a copy-cat and wrongfully claiming milk as its title.

Will almond growers and dairy farmers find a common ground and tag team a mutual enemy? That doesn't seem likely, but I suppose it could happen.

In the meantime, check your investments to see that none of the money you may have invested in retirement or other funds are not supporting the manufacturing of foods bent on wiping out your fellow farmers. It is a dog-eat-dog world out there, but I suspect even the dogs won't drink this spilled milk.

Bev Berens is a mom to 4-H and FFA members in Michigan. Do you have a story to share? Email her at

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