The Center for Consumer Freedom made a big splash this week in front of the public, taking out a full-page ad in The New York Post criticizing the association between plant-based “meat” and the movement known as “clean eating.”
The ad urges people to avoid fake things — you know, fake hair, fake orgasms, and, of course, fake meat.
While the spirit of the ad is understandable — plant-based meat alternatives aren’t necessarily indicative of healthier lifestyles — there’s also some room to quibble as it uses a lot of big words to make meat-alternative ingredients sound scarier than they really are. Our own contributor, who writes under the name Food Science Babe, addressed this notion in an article about artificial food additives. In it, she said:
“I’d like to remind everyone that everything is made up of chemicals and that whether a chemical is natural or synthetic or whether you’re able to pronounce it or not holds absolutely no bearing on its safety.”
The Center for Consumer Freedom said that its goal with the ad is, in part, to challenge the appeal to nature stance that plant-based companies can have. They want to show that these products are, in fact, highly processed and not exactly straight from the field.
This is not the first time that the Center for Consumer Freedom made such an argument — past ads have run in The New York Times, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal. The group has also done a lot of good advocacy work exposing misinformation and questionable finances about groups like the Humane Society of the U.S. and PETA.