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posted by chromas on Wednesday December 04 2019, @03:51PM   Printer-friendly
from the Meatslap! dept.

Plant-based burgers are "ultra-processed" like dog food, meat-backed ads say

A public-relations firm backed by meat producers has unleashed a savage marketing campaign that claims plant-based meat alternatives are unhealthy, "ultra-processed imitations" similar to dog food.

The campaign rolled out in recent weeks from the industry-funded firm Center for Consumer Freedom, according to The New York Times. So far, it has included full-page ads and opinion pieces in mainstream newspapers, including The New York Times, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal. All the marketing material raises health concerns about trendy meat alternatives, such as the Impossible Burger and Beyond Burger.

One ad posed the question "What's hiding in your plant-based meat?" Another directed readers to take the quiz "Veggie Burger or Dog Food?"

In an op-ed, the managing director of the Center for Consumer Freedom, Will Coggin, labeled meat alternatives as "ultra-processed" foods and noted that a recent study led by the researchers at the National Institutes of Health linked ultra-processed foods to weight gain.

The negative marketing campaign comes amid soaring popularity of meat alternatives, which threaten to slice into the meat market's sales and profits. In recent months, big players in the meat industry had tried a different—some might say hypocritical—tactic to compete with the new comers—that is, they released their own lines of meat alternatives. Now, the industry wants consumers to think such alternatives are unhealthy.

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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by TheRaven on Wednesday December 04 2019, @06:40PM (1 child)

    by TheRaven (270) on Wednesday December 04 2019, @06:40PM (#928201) Journal
    Many of these things are aimed at flexitarians: people that eat meat but want to cut back on it. A lot of them want to replace the most processed meats that they eat with something that's plant based: they'll keep eating decent steak occasionally, but substitute vegetable-based alternatives for the cheaper things that they eat more frequently. This is a far more of a problem for the meat industry, because if you significantly reduce the market for the cheap cuts, that will push up the price for the prime cuts, further reducing demand.
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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 05 2019, @10:30AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 05 2019, @10:30AM (#928408)

    Perhaps, but it still makes no sense to me.

    But I'm very much a meat eater. I have zero plans to change, because I know meat protein, and fat, are very important to health. And it tastes good for a *reason*.

    Yet, I love vegetables and fruits. A fresh apple off a tree? Grapes? Carrots, broccoli eaten my steak? Onions, green peppers, fried and cooked with my steak?

    Vegetables taste good. And you'd think vegetarians must like them, at least a little. So why the hell not make delicious vegetable dishes???

    I'm guessing, you can't improve on the ones that already exist, and that the truth is simple. A vegetarian is *craving* the taste of meat, the texture of meat, for one reason.

    Their body needs it, wants it, is DESPERATE for it.

    It's like potato chips. Do you know how many bags are sold a year? I see friends, trying to cut back on fat, on meat, then they go and buy a big bag, and eat such maybe twice or three times a week.

    Well, what's in potato chips? What's ON them? Even the healthy ones are coated in oil, and then? Salt! Along with other seasonings... the oil is designed to hold them there.

    So... not getting enough salt, not getting enough fat, and their bodies FORCE them to CRAVE something full of it.

    I noticed this, and decided to eat a couple of strips of bacon a day, and make sure I got at least a table spoon of grease onto a piece of bread. ALL CRAVINGS FOR POTATO CHIPS DISAPPEARED!

    Eating too much fat is probably bad, but eating TOO LITTLE is surely too bad.

    And my point is, that's why vegetarians want stupid crap like veggie burgers. The crave what's good for them, and a home-cooked burger is very healthy, especially right off the grill with grease dripping into the bun...