We’ve been critical of synthetic meat analogues because, contrary to what these companies want you to believe, these products are not actually healthier than real meat. That’s according to dietitians, who note that there’s essentially the same amount of fat and calories in real meat and fake meat, while fake meat often has higher sodium. Fake meat also is generally made from ultra-processed additives, which are necessary to try to recreate the tastiness and mouthfeel of real meat.
It seems we’ve got a convert on our side. Unexpectedly, it’s a fake meat company.
Lightlife, a longtime maker of vegetarian “meats,” took out an ad in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal this week slamming Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, two of its competitors. “Enough with the hyper-processed ingredients, GMOs, unnecessary additives and fillers, and fake blood,” the letter states.
Impossible Foods responded by calling the campaign “disingenuous, desperate disinformation.” It’s a strongly worded, but fairly lame, response. (Although, it’s not as lame as Impossible’s response to our Super Bowl ad earlier this year.)
Disingenuous? Impossible Foods uses ultra-processed ingredients including soy leghemoglobin, soy protein isolate, and methylcellulose in its products. According to researchers, ultra-processed foods cause overeating and weight gain. We sure hope Impossible Foods isn’t claiming the mantle of science-denier.
Lightlife brags that its synthetic meat only has 11 ingredients, whereas Impossible and Beyond burgers have about 20.
We’ll just be sitting here with the popcorn. While these guys compete for the mantle of “least ultra-processed goop,” guess what? Real ground beef has only one ingredient: Beef.