One of the downsides of the internet is that anyone can present themselves as an expert in a field, make all sorts of false claims, and end up spreading harmful disinformation to thousands of people.
One such person is Dan Go (@FitFounder), a self-described “High Performance Coach To Entrepreneurs.” (If you want to get fit but are not an entrepreneur, sorry, you’d better find a different coach.)
Go recently claimed in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, that, “Eating fake meat is 100x worse for your health & the environment than eating real meat.”
That led another X user, an ecologist and science writer, to respond with a post of their own.
fact check time— spencer 🦈 (@Unpop_Science) November 17, 2023
“Plant-based meat substitutes have on average 50% lower environmental impact.”
“Plant-based diets can lower all-cause mortality and lower the risk of ischemic heart disease with reduced IHD-related mortality.”https://t.co/fjln4ysrJVhttps://t.co/sAsSLxGRCZ https://t.co/tC1R4vfnrU pic.twitter.com/T1DAVpLEdg
“Fact check time,” Spencer (@Unpop_science) wrote, quoting two studies from the National Library of Medicine.
According to the first study: “Plant-based meat substitutes have on average 50% lower environmental impact.” According to the second: “Plant-based diets can lower all-cause mortality and lower the risk of ischemic heart disease with reduced IHD-related mortality.”
In an attempt to back up his claims, Go linked to an article that makes the case that lab-grown meat (a fledgling industry that is not even close to the main producer of “fake meat” currently available to consumers) does not yet have the technology in place to deliver its product at scale sustainably.
The article mentions nothing about plant-based or lab-grown meat being “100x worse for your health and the environment” — this appears to be a number that Go pulled out of thin air.
Too many studies to list, from reputable sources, have shown time and time again that decreasing the amount of red meat you eat is a good thing for both your health and the planet.
One, published in the scientific journal Nature Communications, recently showed that replacing half of meat products with plant-based alternatives could reduce pollution caused by global agriculture by as much as a third by 2050. Another, from Harvard University scientists, showed that eating less meat decreases the risk of a variety of diseases.
The takeaway here is to take information from strangers on the internet with a grain of salt — and not just trust anyone with a professional headshot and a bunch of followers.
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