Salvo 08.23.2022 15 minutes

Which Came Last?

Scientists admire egg from chicken

A new plant-based “egg” represents the advent of the transhumanist global state.

JUST Egg is not a vegan egg replacement or plant-based egg alternative, according to its creators. No, this stuff (it comes as a liquid in a bottle) actually is eggs. The fact that it bears no resemblance whatsoever to the real thing doesn’t matter. This new chickenless egg is by far superior to the real thing. Just listen to their copywriters:

We love eggs. Every single thing about them. The way they fluff, the way they scramble, the way they make breakfast worth waking up for. We especially love how they’re healthier and even taste better when they’re made from plants. Yes, we said it. The best eggs don’t come from chickens; they come from plants. And delicious eggs might just fix our planet.

Not least of all, one imagines, because it finally puts to bed the interminable question of which came first. Now we can be sure it was the start-up, with ample seed capital, that came before the plant-based egg, and not the other way round…

As you might guess, since my name is the Raw Egg Nationalist, the existence of this plant-based imposter really does rub me up the wrong way. It’s not that I just hate all vegan food or vegans; though I do think veganism is stupid, unhealthy and, when forced on children, tantamount to child abuse. It’s all of those things, but also the terrible calumny against the humble egg that bothers me so much. The egg was perfect from its creation, at the hands of God. Far from being “better than the real thing,” the plant-based egg is, like all these newfangled ersatz foods, perfect only as a sinister concoction of some of the worst ingredients industrial agriculture has to offer. Indeed, the plant-based egg, and other foods like it, are essential to corporate efforts to consolidate their control of the global food supply, with serious potential consequences not just for our health but also our freedom.

What’s in an egg?

Our increasing acceptance of such products is not simply due to bad nutritional advice or corporate greed, though. The plant-based egg is also the result of a counterfeit metaphysics that has brought our entire civilization, quite literally, to the brink of madness. Yes, really. But before I get to that, more about what’s in those “eggs.”

Let’s start with the ingredients of JUST Egg. Water, mung bean protein isolate, expeller-pressed canola oil, dehydrated onion, gellan gum, carrot extracts, turmeric extracts, potassium citrate, salt, soy lecithin, sugar, tapioca syrup, tetrasodium pyrophosphate, transglutaminase and nisin. By comparison, an egg is just, well, an egg. If your instincts are right, you should know that the game is up already. But that wouldn’t make much of an article, so let’s look at the main macronutrient contributors to JUST Egg, which are mung bean protein and canola oil.

Some so-called nutritionists will claim that a normal egg and a portion of JUST Egg are more or less the same, because they both contain roughly the same amount of calories, grams of protein, and grams of fat. If only nutrition were that simple! People who tell you that it is – that protein is protein is protein, and fat is fat is fat – really don’t know what they’re talking about.

First, the protein. The protein in JUST Egg, like all plant proteins, is of an inferior quality to that of eggs and other animal foods. This is uncontroversial. Plant proteins are less digestible, in part because of the presence of anti-nutrients (lectins, tannins, trypsin inhibitors, etc.) which prevent protein uptake by the body; animal proteins do not contain these. Plant proteins are also generally less “complete” proteins, meaning that they contain fewer of the essential amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) that we need to consume from our diet.

What this means, basically, is that in order to get as much bang for your buck, so to speak, you need to consume more plant matter than animal product, and even then there may be some amino acids (methionine, lysine and tryptophan especially) that you’ll have a hard time consuming in sufficient quantity. For this reason, animal protein sources, but in particular milk and eggs, are always given the highest scores in scientific protein quality indexes. Whereas egg protein has a perfect score of 1.0 on the Protein Digestibility-Corrected Amino Acid Score (PDCAAS), mung bean protein isolate has a lowly score of 0.55—less than wasps. And the PDCAAS scores for plant proteins are often more generous than they should be, since they don’t fully take into account the effects of the anti-nutrients I mentioned earlier.

You won’t be getting better quality protein from JUST Egg, I’m afraid. But what about the fat? That’s the real cause for concern. Canola oil is a seed oil, and if you’ve been paying attention to right-wing-bodybuilder Twitter, you’ll know that seed and vegetable oils are bad news. Basically, it comes down to the fact that seed and vegetable oils mostly contain polyunsaturated fatty acids (“PUFAs”) rather than monounsaturated or saturated fatty acids. Significant consumption of PUFAs “has been shown to contribute to a large number of disease conditions including increased cancer and heart disease, immune system dysfunction, damage to the liver, reproductive organs, and lungs, digestive disorders, depressed learning ability, impaired growth, and weight gain.”

What makes PUFAs so bad when consumed in quantity is primarily their chemical instability. While saturated fats are stable, because they are “saturated” with hydrogen, monounsaturated and especially polyunsaturated fats are not. As a result, PUFAs form reactive particles known as free radicals that attack tissues they come into contact with, by altering their molecular structure. While free radicals are an essential part of the body’s own defences, a diet containing PUFAs, especially the volumes most people eat now, can cause uncontrollable cascades of oxidative damage. Moreover, the production of most seed and vegetable oils – a harsh industrial process that generally involves the application of heat and chemicals through multiple stages – makes the resulting oils even more reactive and thus even worse for you. It’s also worth noting that most canola is GMO in North America.

Although eggs contain a blend of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids in a high relative amount compared to saturated fat, at least for an animal-sourced food, these fatty acids are not the same as those found in expeller-pressed canola oil. If chickens are fed large quantities of certain foods, like soybean oil, this can negatively affect the quality of the fat contained in their eggs, which is why, when you buy eggs, you should pay attention to what’s being fed to the chickens.

Cholesterol myths and facts

Real eggs also contain significant amounts of cholesterol, and plant-based eggs do not. While you might associate cholesterol with heart disease and death, and thus consider JUST Egg to have the advantage in this regard at least, the truth is that everything you know, or think you know, about cholesterol is totally wrong. Cholesterol is absolutely vital to your health and wellbeing, and the amount you consume actually has no bearing at all on the levels in your blood. It’s the massive cholesterol content that makes eggs the choice of food for raw egg nationalists: studies have shown a closer correlation between cholesterol intake and muscle gain than between protein intake and muscle gain.

Then there’s the wealth of micronutrients, vitamins, and minerals that eggs contain and JUST Egg totally lacks. Eggs contain the full complement of vitamins, except vitamin C. Eating just two eggs a day will cover as much as 30 percent of the recommended vitamin requirements for an adult. Eggs are also rich in phosphorus, calcium, potassium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, selenium, and zinc. Deficiencies in these vitamins and minerals are associated with depression, fatigue, and susceptibility to pathological diseases. 

Eggs also contain a whole host of compounds whose near-miraculous properties scientists are only just beginning to understand. Some peptides (proteins) in eggs have special anti-microbial properties that could contribute to intestinal health by inhibiting the growth of pathogens in the gut. Other compounds act as powerful antioxidants, reducing cellular damage, while yet others may help to reduce blood pressure. There’s even a strong suggestion that compounds in the white, in particular, are able to inhibit the growth of tumors. Eggs could help fight cancer!? Well, maybe… but these eggs are made from plants!

I hope I’ve not labored the point in showing you that the egg is, without a doubt, one of the great natural superfoods. How, then, did we reach a point where a food of such potency should be treated as a health hazard and mocked with inverted, transvestite products like JUST Egg?

Really, we’re talking about everything that’s been wrong with nutritional “science” and public health guidelines for the last seventy years. We must blame the so-called “lipid hypothesis.” This has been one of the prime movers in an unprecedented shift away from the nutrient-dense animal foods that sustained our ancestors since time immemorial, to the untested products of industrial agriculture. These gifts of modern industry included a new class of supposedly “healthy” oils that once served only to lubricate machine parts if they found a use at all: vegetable and seed oils.

At base, the lipid hypothesis holds that consumption of saturated fat and cholesterol, which are essentially conflated with each other, has the inevitable effect of increasing blood cholesterol levels, and this in turn leads to heart disease. We have Ancel Keys, the inventor of the U.S. military’s K-ration, to thank for first proposing this hypothesis. Later in his career Keys renounced it, recognising it for the bad science that it was – and he should have known, since he fudged the data himself. By that time, however, nobody was really listening to him. The damage was done.

Though eggs contain little saturated fat, they contain whopping amounts of cholesterol (one egg contains over half of what used to be the daily recommendation), and so they had to be thrown in the dustbin of history along with the red meat and butter.

The simple truth about the lipid hypothesis is that it’s totally false. Consumption of saturated fat and/or cholesterol does not cause blood cholesterol levels to rise, in turn causing heart disease. You may have heard of the French Paradox – that the French consume 4.5 times as much butter as Americans but have lower rates of heart disease – but you can also add to that the Greek Paradox, the East African Paradox , the Swiss Paradox, the Pacific Island Paradox, and more. All of these groups eat high quantities of saturated fat and have low rates of heart disease. Dr George Mann, who studied the famous Masai—African pastoralists who eat hundreds of grams of saturated fat a day and are about as healthy as it’s possible to be—was led to pronounce the lipid hypothesis “the public health diversion of this century… the greatest scam in the history of medicine.”

In fact, having low cholesterol is a killer and saturated fat is essential to the body, not only so it can make its own cholesterol (80% of the body’s cholesterol is produced in the liver), but also in the formation of a whole host of other essential molecules, including hormones such as prostaglandins. As well as epidemiological studies (i.e. studies in the wild) to back this up, we also have studies conducted under the tightest of scientific conditions.

The Minnesota Coronary Experiment was a double-blind randomised controlled trial – i.e. science’s gold standard for trials – that took place in seven institutions in Minnesota over a period of five years. The aim was to investigate whether replacing saturated fat in the diet with vegetable oil (which contains high levels of PUFAs) would reduce heart disease by lowering blood cholesterol. For every 30-point decrease in cholesterol observed, the death rate increased by 22%. Studies from Korea, Finland, France, and many other countries say exactly the same thing: if your cholesterol levels are on the decline – so are you, I’m afraid!

Bad science, corporate greed, and hubris all have their part to play in the story of how abandoning the foods that were supposedly making us sick actually made us even sicker – far sicker, indeed, than we could ever possibly have imagined.

But don’t forget malice either! One of my favorite anecdotes about the demonization of eggs concerns LBJ, who like Sleepy Joe today faced a perfect storm of imperial overreach and economic chaos. With inflation rising and rising, a beleaguered LBJ did his best to keep the prices of individual goods down, by hook or by crook. As Joseph Califano, a member of Johnson’s cabinet, remembers:

Shoe prices went up, so LBJ slapped export controls on hides to increase the supply of leather. Reports that color television sets would sell at high prices came across the wire. Johnson told me to ask RCA’s David Sarnoff to hold them down. Domestic lamb prices rose. LBJ directed McNamara to buy cheaper lamb from New Zealand for the troops in Vietnam. … When egg prices rose in the spring of 1966 and Agriculture Secretary Orville Freeman told him that not much could be done, Johnson had the Surgeon General issue alerts as to the hazards of cholesterol in eggs.

This may not be the very worst thing LBJ did in office, but it bespeaks a cynicism and disregard for the truth that critics of the 45th president of the United States might do well to remind themselves of. Anyway.

Corporations remain at the forefront of efforts to reshape the eating habits of the global population. The new ersatz foods appeal to corporations because they allow even greater control of the commodities they produce. Monopoly control over the food supply, especially in the US, was already well advanced before these new products came along, with just a few enormous companies like Tyson Foods and JBS controlling the lion’s share of the market through a ruthless process of vertical integration.

While an egg or cow cannot be patented, a plant-based egg and a lab-grown steak certainly can, and likewise GMO crops. These new commodities allow fresh “ownership envelopes” to be broken, which is why the big players are all investing heavily in them. This investment is being accompanied by rebranding, as food producers shift from being purveyors of particular foodstuffs – meat, dairy, etc. – to purveyors of macronutrients, especially protein, instead. Tyson Foods has already trademarked the name “the Protein Company,” and other giants like Nestlé and Unilever are also rebranding themselves in similar ways as they move to extend their control of new food markets.

The process has political ramifications, too. Corporate governance is central to the World Economic Forum’s model of “stakeholder capitalism,” so it’s not a surprise that the world of the Great Reset is envisaged as one in which corporations have total control of the food supply. In the WEF’s vision of the near future, consumption of animal products has been all but eliminated in order to reduce agriculture’s carbon footprint, and the world’s population of 10 billion will consume a uniform, almost entirely plant-based, diet (“The Planetary Health Diet”, developed by the EAT Foundation, a partner of the WEF).

The only way this can be achieved, according to the WEF plan, is through a massive intensification of global agriculture under corporate control, with an especial reliance on new high-yield genetically modified crops, but also cultured and alternative proteins, including, of course, insects. My new book, The Eggs Benedict Option, is the first detailed full-length discussion of this plan, why we should take it seriously as a threat to our health and freedom, and, most importantly, what we can do about it.

There’s something deeper at work too. The fact that corporations are increasingly choosing to market ersatz foods, or that we’ve been fed the wrong dietary advice for decades, doesn’t explain why we are more and more accepting of such foods. It’s not simply that we’re forced to accept them, because we aren’t – at least not yet. We must also be morally, indeed spiritually, receptive to them for this to happen. Something profound has changed in our attitude.

We are mired in a perverted form of nominalism through which all genuineness needs to be undermined. Gender and humanity itself are radically challenged. All must be reduced to nothing more than an individual’s choice of self-expression, in the acid bath of identity politics. Just as it has taken us a wayward path through history to reach the point where a man can have his penis turned inside out, take a hormone pill, put on a dress and makeup and claim to be a woman – in fact where a man can simply say he is a woman, and demand to be treated as such from that very moment onwards – so, by many strange turns, have we arrived at a place where a slurry of mung beans, vegetable oil and an assortment of texturizers, colorings and flavorings can be called, in all seriousness, an egg. Both absurdities result from the same basic stance – “This is whatever I say it is, and that’s that” – and both harm us as individuals, as well as harming our collective inheritance – our civilization. Not only has nominalism rotted our soul: it’s rotting our stomach too.

The American Mind presents a range of perspectives. Views are writers’ own and do not necessarily represent those of The Claremont Institute.

The American Mind is a publication of the Claremont Institute, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, dedicated to restoring the principles of the American Founding to their rightful, preeminent authority in our national life. Interested in supporting our work? Gifts to the Claremont Institute are tax-deductible.

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