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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: 2) by maxwell demon on Wednesday December 04 2019, @06:54PM (6 children)

    by maxwell demon (1608) on Wednesday December 04 2019, @06:54PM (#928216) Journal

    Exactly. I don't mind buying vegetarian or vegan stuff, if it is a genuine product (and tastes good). But I generally avoid vegetarian/vegan fake meat. If I want meat, I eat the real one. If I decided to go without meat, I'd also go without fake meat.

    If there were less fake meat and more genuine (and tasty) vegetarian/vegan products, I might eat more vegetarian/vegan food than I do now.

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  • (Score: 2) by krishnoid on Wednesday December 04 2019, @07:51PM (3 children)

    by krishnoid (1156) on Wednesday December 04 2019, @07:51PM (#928233)

    I think a lot of their marketing is about it being better for the planet [umich.edu], not necessarily much better for *you*. tl;dr version at the bottom of this giant infographic [beyondmeat.com], under "Our Impact".

    • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 04 2019, @08:52PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 04 2019, @08:52PM (#928247)

      "Pay us to save your soul!Or else!"

      • (Score: 2) by krishnoid on Wednesday December 04 2019, @09:40PM

        by krishnoid (1156) on Wednesday December 04 2019, @09:40PM (#928258)

        ... "buy an Impossible Burger!"

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 05 2019, @11:30AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 05 2019, @11:30AM (#928416)

      I occasionally have the vegetarian option, just because I feel like it. Where I used to live there was a pizza shop did a great vegetarian pizza. I used to order a vegetarian with added ham and cheese. Got funny looks the first few times, but it was a really excellent pizza.

      I think a lot of their marketing is about it being better for the planet, not necessarily much better for *you*.

      The only response I have for that is fuck them sideways with a baseball bat wrapped in barb wire.
      Same reason I don't give a shit about global warming. If it was really a problem they wouldn't be flying all over the planet bleating about it at holiday resort conferences.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 04 2019, @11:37PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 04 2019, @11:37PM (#928281)

    If there were [...] more genuine (and tasty) vegetarian/vegan products, I might eat more vegetarian/vegan food than I do now.

    Oops, just noticed you said "products" do vegetables still count? There's plenty of vegetarian food in the produce isle, its just not productized into something you can advertise/market/trade-mark. Maybe run adds for carrots and convince people they're a ground-breaking new product?

    There's plenty of healthy food, but maybe not "products".

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by Acabatag on Thursday December 05 2019, @02:23AM

      by Acabatag (2885) on Thursday December 05 2019, @02:23AM (#928319)

      Sadly, there are carrots now that are essentially a 'product.' I like buying what they call 'baby carrots' which are smaller less mature carrots. They're tastier and since they have more surface area are probably more nutritious. But 'baby carrot' has now become a product. They take regular carrots and cut them into shorter chunks and put them in a bag labeled 'baby carrots.'

      You can still usually get real young carrots, but the 'baby carrot' is now a marketed product.