The Real Story Of The Triple Bottom Line

Nov. 24, 2018 1:19 AM ETBeyond Meat, Inc. (BYND)TSN26 Comments
Rogier van Vlissingen profile picture
Rogier van Vlissingen


  • The coming IPO of Beyond Meat is a signal of the plant-based food revolution and a large-scale disruption of the food industry.
  • The US is late as the vegan movement is racing ahead in Germany, UK, and Israel, but we're catching up.
  • Sorting out fact from fiction is highly necessary, and suffers from mixed objectives and active obfuscation of nutritional data.
  • The Triple Bottom Line is the mythical objective of ESG investing: Environmental, Social, Governance, but in practice often conspicuously absent.
  • The Plant-based food revolution offers its own triple bottom line: solving our problems with Environment, Healthcare and World hunger, though it comes with equally massive opportunities for obfuscation.

As we are watching the conflagration that is Tesla Motors (TSLA), the obvious violence to all of the principles of ESG investing becomes clearer by the day. Numerous analyses cast doubt on Tesla's environmental pretense, not least the jet setting commuting practices of Elon Musk, who nevertheless feels justified in browbeating people who drive diesel cars, who are mostly victims of that earlier clean driving scam, now known as dieselgate. The social mission of Tesla is marred by reports of labor abuses, while it has become a real-life parody on good governance that may yet have a future as a sitcom. The effective pointlessness of the ICE-to-BEV transition was recently celebrated by Anton Wahlman on this site, pointing out how the 2019 Toyota Rav4 has the same fuel cost per mile as the Tesla Model 3.

The promise of the transition to increasingly plant-based food is rife with promise, including explosive potential for food-industry obfuscation. To help investors sort the chaff from the wheat, here are some analytical guidelines that may prove useful.

Science, myth and paradigm change

In order to make any sense of what will happen in this coming cataclysmic change in the food industry, we should note that it is built on the growing evidence of health benefits of plant-based foods. We need to appreciate the Copernican revolution in nutritional science represented by The China Study.

Plant-based diets have been around for a long time, but sound plant-based nutritional science has not. I could have and arguably should have written that nutritional science itself has not been around for long for the field has existed without any rigorous evidence-based scientific foundation since its inception. For the longest time, nutritional science was sort of an accidental by-product of the discovery of the nutrient composition of food. Simply put, protein was the first macro-nutrient that

This article was written by

Rogier van Vlissingen profile picture
Consultant in energy efficiency, power quality, air quality, renewable energy retrofitting - moving energy from liabilities to assets. Passionate student of the business scene, particularly commodities, circular economy, currently not an active investor. Author, translator, blogger. Trading experience more commodities than stocks. Co-founder of BCM Industries, specializing in autologous regenerative organ tissues (using the patient's own DNA), including major soft-tissue organs, bone, cartilage and skin. Bronx Lead for Plant Pure Communities and active in Plant Powered Metro New York - DaBronx.

Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

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