First, it was Burger King. Next came Chick-fil-A. Then it was Little Ceaser’s. Companies have inexplicably been signing on to use laboratory-grown, plant-based “meat” substitutes in everything from burgers to sausage. And now, joining the parade is Nestle. Wait a minute… Nestle makes burgers? I thought they did hot chocolate. (CNBC)

Nestle is looking to take a bite of the growing U.S. plant-based burger market.

Through its Sweet Earth brand, which it acquired in 2017, the global food giant will launch its Awesome Burger in the fall. The vegan meat substitute will be available at grocery stores, restaurants and universities.

Sweet Earth founders Brian and Kelly Swette said they began developing their own plant-based burger several years ago — before nearly every restaurant chain announced a plant-based option and Beyond Meat went public.

Okay, so Sweet Earth Foods is a brand that Nestle bought to expand their portfolio. You can take a look at this particular horror show at their site. They’re prominently advertising the “Awesome Burger” as coming soon. I’ll give them credit. The actual burger part of the sandwich does kinda sorta look like a real hamburger if you don’t stare at it too closely. But still… not quite. Take a look for yourself. (Click on image for full-size picture.)

See what I mean? As I said, it sort of looks like meat, but there are weird gaps in the patty. It looks fairly juicy, but keep in mind that this is an advertising photo and those things rarely look like what actually comes out of the package and winds up on your plate. If you’re not familiar with the process, take a gander at this report on how photographers make the food look so delicious. The list of secret tricks includes, but is not limited to, glue, sponges, tampons, shoe polish, and motor oil.

Of course, now that I think about it, would you rather eat something made of tampons, shoe polish and glue or “soy DNA injected into genetically engineered yeast that’s then fermented?” (That’s literally a company description of the impossible beef and how they design it in the lab.) Might come down to a coin toss if you ask me.

So this particular nightmare is spreading faster than I’d ever imagined it would. Whether you’re going into a restaurant and placing an order with your nifty new AI-controlled robot waiter or picking up something at the grocery store to cook at home, you’ll need to be on your guard. I think they’re still required to tell you that you’re purchasing some sort of Frankenplant composite, but labels can be tricky. Be sure to ask first.

In the end, this is all being cooked up (literally) by the people trying to drive the beef industry out of business. You know what we have to do, people. Suck it up and start eating more steaks.