The hottest food and initial public stock offering these days is a proud fake.
“Beyond Meat” advertises “imagine your favorite meaty dishes like burgers and tacos delivering the juicy, delicious taste you know and love, while being better for you and the planet. That’s the future we’re working to build. Click below to learn more about each of our products and discover The Future of Protein today.”
Imagine… get what you love – all that yummy flavor – but it’s better for both you AND the planet. Sounds too good to be true. Why would you ever want the real thing again?
The BM site continues “The world’s first plant-based burger that looks, cooks, and satisfies like beef without GMOs, soy, or gluten.”
It looks and satisfies like the real thing, but doesn’t have any “issues” that might be found in the real thing or the current wave of fakes with which you might be familiar (soy). BM finally found the perfect blend of more good with none of the bad. It doesn’t just simulate without sin, it perfects.
Just as the animal proteins came in a variety of cuts and flavors (sirloin, chops, bar-b-que, smoked) Judaism has had a variety of orientations over thousands of years. The most famous tug-of-war in the Jewish community was 2,000+ years ago. The Sadducees and Karites sought to limit their Judaism to just the written word of the bible, as they did not believe in the accompanying “oral law” which others believed was passed down through tradition from Moses. Meanwhile, the Pharisees championed the combined use of oral law together with the written bible. That was the form of Judaism that prevailed after the destruction of the Second Temple and the creation of Christianity.
While each were different, they all believed in the authenticity of the bible as the work of God.
That began to change 200 years ago, with the introduction of the Reform and Conservative movements. Their push towards modernity and greater integration into society included the shedding of various mitzvot, Jewish laws, such as keeping kosher. They were able to comfortably make the transition by reducing the bible to a work written by people who were divinely-inspired. Free of the constraints of being a work of God and therefore timeless, it became a document written around 2,700 years ago which needed refreshing for modern consumption and life. The groups maintained its connection with Judaism by still referencing the bible, and because Jews are a people in addition to being a religion.
American Judaism continued to morph with newer movements like Reconstructionist and Jewish Renewal (JR). These movements – and JR in particular – moved beyond mitzvot to the notion of “values” and “spiritual experience.” The Hebrew bible became a framework from which to create an experience; a concept but not a source. Not surprisingly, the values and spiritual experience are very similar to what someone might find in a church of any religion with a similar political and worldly outlook.
And that was their point.
Stripped of being tied to a divine document which contained some non-progressive language such as the condemnation of homosexual acts as an abomination, the movements took only the parts of the bible they liked. Judaism became a universal value system and not a distinct religion.
Like Beyond Meat, these new “Jewish” approaches market themselves as giving people the sense that they are enjoying and participating the real thing, but improving upon it immensely by being better for both the individual and society.
On one side, one can see Orthodox Jews devouring smoked brisket in a kosher restaurant and risking heart disease with fellow Jews, and on the other, see Jews and non-Jews at a Jewish Renewal event grilling plant-based foods.
Can both groups of Jews coexist? Sure, they can be friendly. But one group truly believes that the “originalists” are unhealthy, contribute to animal cruelty and brainwash their children, while the other believes that the “progressives” are deluding themselves that they are practicing anything remotely Jewish and having a prayer at a future in the Jewish world.
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